Most people are surprised to learn that in the United States, nine out of ten women and seven out of ten men don’t meet their daily requirement for calcium. Worse and even more troubling news is that nearly 90 percent of teenage girls and 70 percent of teenage boys don’t meet their daily calcium requirement. For many, soda has replaced the old “milk at every meal” custom. This portends disastrous future health consequences for large numbers of people.
A single 1-cup serving of nonfat plain yogurt supplies 414 milligrams of calcium—an amazing 40 percent of your daily calcium needs and at a cost of only 100 calories. This compares favorably with nonfat milk, which has only 300 milligrams of calcium. The rich amount of potassium in yogurt combined with the calcium also plays a role in normalizing your blood pressure.
Yogurt is also a better source of B vitamins (including foliate), phosphorus, and potassium than milk. Of course, the calcium in yogurt is of great benefit to pre- and postmenopausal women and to men in their struggle against osteoporosis. A rich source of calcium to begin with, the milk sugar in yogurt actually aids in calcium absorption. Moreover, dairy foods are a source of IGF-l, a growth factor that promotes bone formation, which benefits women over and above the bone-preserving contribution of calcium.