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How To Get Calcium Without Dairy Products

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List Of Calcium Rich Non-Dairy Foods

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we answer a question about how to get calcium without dairy products.

Are you deficient in calcium if you don’t drink dairy milk?

We also share a full list of non-dairy foods high in calcium.

This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 009.

How To Get Calcium Without Dairy Products

But before we get into the answer, we have special guest, Jeremy Reid from Jeremy Reid Fitness joining us today.

You may recognize Jeremy from our hilarious video called the Top 6 Douchey Things Guys Do In The Gym.

Jeremy portrayed the “Live Lean Douche” and he showed all the douchey things guys do in the gym.

Note: guys, you should not be doing these things!

But as you get to know Jeremy, you’ll quickly see that he is a great guy and the complete opposite of the douche character that he plays.

Here’s today’s viewer question:

CiscoBalls on Snapchat asks: I’m wondering how to get calcium without dairy products? What do you guys do for calcium without dairy in your diet? I know there are small amounts of calcium in lots of foods, but it seems like a glass of milk would fix that. By the way, I’m lactose intolerant. I’ve been trying Tums just because they are all calcium. What are your thoughts on that deficiency?

To be clear, Jessica and I don’t typically consume a lot of dairy products.

This often confuses people as the old belief is that dairy sources are the only, and best way, to get high amounts of calcium.

Of course, this is not necessarily true, especially if you are lactose intolerant.

Common Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

Sure, most dairy products, including dairy milk, contain calcium, but vegetables, and many other real whole foods, also contain a lot calcium.

I’ll list some of these healthy high calcium, non-dairy foods below.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) For Calcium

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium in adults, between 19-50 years old, is 1000mg per day.

For reference, 8 oz of dairy skim milk contains 300mg of calcium.

Vegetables High In Calcium

Per 1 cup serving (cooked):

  • Collard Greens: 266mg
  • Kale: 179mg
  • Bok Choy: 160mg
  • Broccoli: 60mg

Note: spinach contains 80mg of calcium per 2 cups, but it’s also high in oxalates. Oxalates are a naturally occurring compound that binds to calcium, making the calcium less absorbable by the body.

Non-Dairy Drinks High Calcium

Per 8 oz serving:

  • Fortified Almond Milk: 300mg
  • Fortified Orange Juice: 300mg

Whey Protein Isolate*: 120mg of calcium per 30g serving

*Note: even though whey protein isolate is derived from dairy most of the lactose has been removed.

Other Non-Dairy Food High In Calcium

  • 3 oz Canned Sardines: 325mg
  • 3 oz Canned Salmon: 300mg
  • 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds: 126mg
  • 1 oz Almonds: 80mg
  • 3 oz Shrimp: 77mg
  • 2 Dried Figs: 65mg
  • 1 Orange: 55mg

If you’re lactose intolerant, or don’t consume dairy products, eat more of these non-dairy, high calcium whole foods, in your diet.

For more of the best non-dairy foods high in calcium, check out this post on How To Get Calcium Without Drinking Milk.

How To Get Calcium Without Drinking Milk

Should You Supplement With Calcium Pills?

If you actually know that you have a calcium deficiency, you could consider supplementing with calcium.

A calcium supplement can help ensure you reach your daily calcium needs, if you’re coming up short with your diet.

However, don’t just think you need dairy, or a calcium supplement, in order to avoid being calcium deficient.

If a calcium deficiency is a concern of yours, I recommend you get a blood test.

That way you will get the evidence you need to make an educated decision.

Otherwise, you may be concerned for no reason as you could already getting sufficient amounts of calcium from your diet.

Consuming More Magnesium May Also Lower Your Calcium Needs

If you follow a diet that is high in magnesium, you also may not need as much calcium.

This is because magnesium and calcium work synergistically together.

When you consume a lot of magnesium, your dependance on calcium may go down.

Based on this, I suggest you do your own research.

Is Dairy A Healthy Source Of Protein?

In addition to calcium, a lot of people also think you need cheese, greek yogurt, or cottage cheese to hit your protein intake goals.

Sure they all contain protein, but they are not the healthiest sources.

Here is a list of better sources of protein.

Best High Protein Foods For Weight Loss And Muscle Building

My Personal Experience Going Low Dairy

I’ve been going low dairy for over 7 years now.

From my experience, my bones, muscles, and teeth are still strong.

In fact, I’ve never had a broken bone in my body.

Based on this, I don’t fall for the hype that, in order to have strong bones, you need a glass of dairy milk everyday.

Food Wars: Coconut Milk vs Dairy Milk vs Soy Milk vs Almond Milk Video

Jessica’s Personal Experience Going Low Dairy

Jessica mentioned that she has never felt better since going low dairy.

She still drinks a whey protein isolate shake after workouts, but as mentioned earlier, since it’s a protein isolate, most of the lactose has been removed.

Although we both still have dairy in the form of pizza or ice cream occasionally as a cheat meal treat, dairy is not a part of our daily diet.

Jeremy’s Personal Experience Going Low Dairy

Jeremy also tries to stay away from dairy as he doesn’t drink dairy milk or a lot of cheeses.

He also occasionally has dairy during a cheat meal and drinks whey protein isolate shakes.

Since going low dairy, Jeremy mentioned that he’s felt so much better.

Bottom Line On How To Get Calcium Without Dairy Products

We all feel the healthiest we’ve ever felt by going low dairy.

However, this is just our opinions and personal experiences.

It’s up to you to do your own research and experiments, so you can figure out what works best for you.

Once you do this, you can make an informed decision, and then go from there.


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Question For You:

  • How often do you consume dairy?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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