Or worse – lied to.
Lie #1: Milk is the best source of calciumCalcium must be acquired through food, as it is not something the body can make on its own. Although milk has been marketed to be full of calcium and good for bones, dark greens have nearly as much calcium, and sesame seeds are at the top of the list.
Here is a chart showing the amounts of calcium in some foods:
|Sesame seeds||1/4 cup||350 mg|
|Goat’s milk||1 cup||325 mg|
|Cow’s milk||1 cup||296 mg|
|Spinach (boiled)||1 cup||245 mg|
|Collard Greens (boiled)||1 cup||226 mg|
|Turnip Greens (boiled)||1 cup||197 mg|
|Blackstrap Molasses||2 tsp||118 mg|
|Kale (boiled)||1 cup||93 mg|
|Broccoli (steamed)||1 cup||75 mg|
|Green beans (boiled)||1 cup||58 mg|
|Basil, ground||2 tsp||63 mg|
|Cinnamon, ground||2 tsp||55 mg|
|Garlic||1 oz||51 mg|
Lie #2: Oranges are a great dairy-free source of calciumDid you read that food list? I know you did. Oranges are near the bottom of the list. Yes, they are up there, but did you notice ground cinnamon has more calcium than an orange? Marketing, people, it’s all in the marketing. Florida oranges are big business.
Lie #3: One glass of milk is all the calcium you need for the dayWe see the “Got Milk?” headlines which insinuate as long as we drink one glass of milk a day, we’re set.
Here are the Recommended Dietary Allowances for calcium as developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies:
|Children 12 months and younger||200 – 250 mg|
|Children 1 – 8 years||700 -1,000 mg|
|Children 9 – 18 years||1,200 – 1,400 mg|
|Adults 19 – 50 years||1,000 mg|
|Adults 51+ years||1,200 mg|
|Pregnant, Lactating, and Postmenopausal Women||1,500 mg|
Lie #4: Nothing you consume can effect calcium absorptionFood is poo-pooed by health professionals as having very little effect on health. And the fact that foods can effect calcium absorption is not common knowledge.
These four things can decrease or inhibit calcium absorption:
- Drinking Caffeine – teas, coffee, many carbonated beverages
- Eating White Sugar
- Consuming Phosphates – commonly found in carbonated beverages
- Eating a High Protein Diet
Lie #5: Taking large doses of calcium is effective1,000 mg calcium supplements are not uncommon. They are less expensive than the lower doses, of course, and this is where they suck you in. You want to save money, so you purchase the 1,000 mg instead of the 500 mg not knowing you’re wasting your money anyways.
Our bodies can only absorb 500 mg’s of calcium at a time. So the other 500 mg’s is going right through you, unabsorbed. It’s simply not effective. To be effective you have to take 500 mg doses several times a day. Oh, and don’t forget to take your calcium with magnesium and Vitamin D!