Don't drink milk? Here's how to get enough calcium and other nutrients
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Cow’s milk is an wonderful supply of calcium which, together with vitamin D, is required to construct sturdy, dense bones.

Milk additionally comprises protein, the minerals phosphorus, potassium, zinc and iodine, and nutritional vitamins A, B2 (riboflavin) and B12 (cobalamin).

As a baby I drank plenty of milk. It was delivered in pint bottles to our entrance steps every morning. I additionally drank a 3rd of a pint earlier than marching into class as a part of the free faculty milk program. I nonetheless love milk, which makes getting sufficient calcium simple.

In fact, many individuals do not drink milk for a variety of causes. The excellent news is you may get all of the calcium and different vitamins you want from different meals.

What meals include calcium?

Dairy merchandise equivalent to cheese and yoghurt are wealthy in calcium, whereas non-dairy meals together with tofu, canned fish with bones, , nuts and seeds include various quantities.

Some meals are fortified with added calcium, together with some breakfast cereals and soy, rice, oat and nut “milks.” Examine their label vitamin data panels to see how a lot calcium they include.

Nonetheless, it is tougher to your physique to soak up calcium from non-dairy meals. Though your physique does get higher at absorbing calcium from plant meals, and in addition when your complete calcium consumption is low, the general impact means if you do not have dairy meals, you could have to eat extra meals that include calcium to maximise your bone well being.

How a lot calcium do you want?

Relying in your age and intercourse, the every day calcium necessities fluctuate from 360 milligrams per day to greater than 1,000 mg for teenagers and older girls.

One 250ml cup of cow’s milk comprises about 300mg of calcium, which is equal to at least one commonplace serve. This identical quantity is present in:

200 grams of yoghurt250 ml of calcium-fortified plant milks 100 grams of canned pink salmon with bones100 grams of agency tofu115 grams of almonds.

The beneficial variety of every day serves of dairy and non-dairy options varies:

  • youngsters ought to have between 1 and three.5 serves a day, relying on their age and intercourse
  • girls aged 19 to 50 ought to have 2.5 serves a day, then 4 serves when aged over 50
  • males aged 19 to 70 ought to have 2.5 serves a day, then 3.5 serves when aged over 70.

Nonetheless, the common Australian consumption is simply 1.5 serves per day, with just one in 10 reaching the suggestions.

What different vitamins do you want?

If you happen to do not drink milk, the problem is getting sufficient vitamins to have a balanced eating regimen. This is what you want and why.


Meals sources: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried beans and tofu.

Wanted for progress and restore of cells and to make antibodies, enzymes and make particular transport proteins that carry chemical massages all through the physique.


Meals sources: meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, dried beans and lentils.

Builds bone and tooth, helps progress and restore of cells, and is required for .


Meals sources: leafy inexperienced greens (spinach, silverbeet, kale), carrots, potatoes, candy potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, beans and peas, avocados, apples, oranges and bananas.

Wanted to activate cells and nerves. Maintains fluid steadiness and helps with muscle contraction and regulation of blood strain.


Meals sources: lean meat, rooster, fish, oysters, legumes, nuts, wholemeal and wholegrain merchandise.

Helps with wound therapeutic and the event of the immune system and different important capabilities within the physique, together with style and scent.


Meals sources: fish, prawns, different seafood, iodised salt and business breads.

Wanted for regular progress, mind improvement and utilized by the thyroid gland to make the hormone thyroxine, which is required for progress and metabolism.

Vitamin A

Meals sources: eggs, oily fish, nuts, seeds. (The physique also can make vitamin A from beta-carotene in orange and yellow greens and inexperienced leafy greens.)

Wanted for antibody manufacturing, upkeep of wholesome lungs and intestine, and for good imaginative and prescient.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Meals sources: wholegrain breads and cereals, egg white, leafy inexperienced greens, mushrooms, yeast spreads, meat.

Wanted to launch power from meals. Additionally helps wholesome eyesight and pores and skin.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Meals sources: meat, eggs and most meals of animal origin, some fortified plant milks and fortified yeast spreads (verify the label).

Wanted to make crimson blood cells, DNA (your genetic code), myelin (which insulate nerves) and a few neurotransmitters wanted for mind perform.

When would possibly you’ll want to keep away from milk?

Causes why individuals do not drink milk vary from style, private preferences, animal welfare or environmental considerations. Or it may very well be because of well being situations or considerations about intolerance, allergy and pimples.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose is the primary carbohydrate in milk. It is damaged down within the easy sugars by an enzyme within the small gut referred to as lactase.

Some persons are born with out the lactase enzyme or their lactase ranges lower as they age. For these individuals, consuming meals containing plenty of lactose means it passes undigested alongside the intestine and may set off signs equivalent to bloating, ache and diarrhoea.

Analysis reveals smalls quantities of lactose—as much as 15 grams every day—will be tolerated with out signs, particularly if unfold out over the day. A cup of cows milk comprises about 16 grams of lactose, whereas a 200g tub of yoghurt comprises 10g, and 40g cheddar cheese comprises lower than 1g.

Cow’s milk allergy

Cow’s milk allergy happens in about 0.5-3% of 1 yr olds. By age 5, about half are reported to have grown out of it, and 75% by adolescence. Nonetheless, one survey discovered 9% of pre-school youngsters had extreme allergy with anaphylaxis.

Signs of cow’s milk allergy embrace hives, rash, cough, wheeze, vomiting, diarrhoea or swelling of the face.

Symptom severity varies, and may occur instantly or take just a few days to develop. If a response is extreme, name 000, as it may be a medical emergency.


The whey protein in cow’s milk merchandise, apart from cheese, triggers a rise in insulin, a hormone that transports blood sugar, which is launched into the blood stream.

In the meantime, milk’s casein protein triggers a rise in one other hormone, referred to as insulin-like progress issue (IGF), which influences progress.

These two reactions promote the manufacturing of hormones referred to as androgens, which may result in a worsening of pimples.

If this occurs to you, then keep away from milk, however maintain consuming onerous cheese, and eat different meals wealthy in recurrently as a substitute.

Whereas milk will be problematic for some individuals, for many of us, ingesting sparsely in step with advice is the way in which to go.

Q and A: Kidney stones and calcium

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Do not drink milk? This is find out how to get sufficient calcium and different vitamins (2022, February 9)
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