I think yesterday’s post: Should We Be Eating Dairy, left a few people with raised eyebrows and skepticism, while other people were intrigued and wanted to learn more on their own. I had one reader comment that it is harder mentally to be against dairy because there is so much information EVERYWHERE about the importance of “3-a-Day.”
My best suggestion is to read some literature for yourself. I highly recommend reading The China Study and then forming your own opinion. If you missed yesterday’s post, I encourage you to get caught up now: Should We Be Eating Dairy?
I think the #1 question raised when people first learn about those avoiding dairy is, “how do you get your calcium?” So in this post, I wanted to touch on a few quick points for a little more convincing and then give some examples of how to get your calcium WITHOUT dairy.
Dr. Allan Spreen, the author of Nutritionally Incorrect: Why The Modern Diet is Dangerous and How to Defend Yourself and a Senior Member of the Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, is another advocate for avoiding dairy, emphasizing that milk is not the great calcium source in which people may believe. A few key points from Dr. Spreen:
- The high phosphorus content of milk actually interferes with calcium absorption.
- The homogenization process that milk goes through makes calcium less absorbable by the body.
- Milk does not contain enough magnesium in order to help with calcium absorption and prevent it from collecting in your kidneys and soft tissues. If you take a supplement, make sure it contains magnesium at a ratio of 1 part magnesium for every 2 parts calcium!!
- Homogenization also breaks down an enzyme called xathine oxidase, which when entering the body in this broken down, smaller state, can react against our arterial walls causing the body to protect itself with a layer of cholesterol.
- Baby calves were meant to grow at an accelerated rate, far faster than human babies, which is why there is so much fat and protein in whole milk.
- Moderation with cultured and enzymatically altered dairy products is okay; kefir, yogurt, and cheese.
Now for a list of some NON-DAIRY Calcium Rich Foods:
- Kale: 200 mg per 1 cup cooked
- Spinach: 250 mg per 1 cup cooked: Combine with Vitamin C to cancel out the effect of oxalic acid which can block calcium’s absorption.
- Collard Greens: 300 mg per 1 cup boiled
- Turnip Greens: 450 mg per 1 cup cooked
- Parsley: 200 mg per cup
- Romaine: 40 mg per cup
- Nori (Sea Vegetable): 1200 mg per cup
- Broccoli: 178 mg per cup
- Green Beans: 58 mg per cooked cup
- Celery: 54 mg per cup
- Sweet Potato: 70 mg per cooked cup
- Black Eyed Peas: 210 mg per cup
- Soybeans: 175 mg per cup
- Almonds: 70 mg per ounce
- Brazil nuts or Hazelnuts: 55 mg per 1/4 cup
- Figs: 100 mg in 4 figs
- Oranges: 70 mg per cup
- Raisins: 53 mg per 2/3 cup
- Salmon: 180 mg per 3 oz
- Shrimp: 40 mg per 1/2 cup
- Oysters: 60 mg per 1/2 cup
- Sardines (canned): 370 mg per 8 medium
Hopefully this list makes you feel more confident about meeting your calcium needs without dairy products!
The best place to look for ways to get your calcium is the produce section!!
QUESTION: Do you know anyone who has given up dairy? Would you ever consider it?