Thursday, January 05, 2012

No, You Don't Need Dairy for Calcium

That's right. I said it. And you really don't.

I just finished answering a question about dairy and calcium at, and this is what I said:

I can definitely relate to giving up dairy! I'm doing the Whole30 challenge this month, and talked about (whined about) my issues with giving up dairy on my blog.
The idea that we need dairy for adequate calcium is definitely a myth. You can get calcium from foods like broccoli, spinach, sardines, and most nuts... and you might not even need as much as you think, as Living Paleo suggests.
I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I have a theory that the reason for why people eating a neolithic diet seem to believe they need large amount of calcium (and they probably do) is because of their highly acidic diet. Because they eat such large quantities of grains, they need the extra calcium to strengthen their bones from the acidic load. But of course, getting calcium from dairy can be problematic for a lot of people.
One question to ask is, do you actually have a problem with dairy? If you do, and it effects you negatively, I would opt to give it up all-together, and read this article at Whole9.
However, if you are able to tolerate some dairy, then you might consider staying away from conventional dairy, and get more higher quality full-fat dairy sources, and read this article at Paleo Diet Lifestyle.
You might even consider reading both articles -- the Whole9 article which is against dairy entirely, and the Paleo Diet Lifestyle article which promotes certain types of dairy -- and then come up with your own conclusion.
Good luck, and hope you find the balance that's right for you! :)

And this is something else I found while perusing teh internets:

Awesome calcium chart from Disease Proof

Yup. Bok-freaking-choy, baby.

Don't be afraid to eat your vegetables, people.

And that's all I wanted to share for now. :)

(Oh, and I found this chart too, but it's not nearly as cool -- even though it's longer -- as the other one since it doesn't show the comparison to milk... plus where are all the effing leafing greens?! The actual good, powerful leafy greens like listed above? Like romaine?? Hmmm?? NOTE: my infatuation with romaine might be guiding this somewhat-bias thought.)

Not as cool chart from Dairy Free Cooking For Kids (Children?)

Have fun eating bok-choy. I know I find it yum. :)

And romaine... oh romaine... *drools*



  1. It's pork tenderloin and bok choy night at my house tonight - its always so surprising to see charts like that! :)

  2. Agreed! Charts like that always shatter our conventional wisdom and challenge us to think twice about what we are told, and think we know. :) I love it! I'm always learning. Lol.


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