Definitely, second on the list of the most frequent questions I am asked (especially by women).  All I can say is that the dairy farmers have really pulled the wool over your eyes.  Do you think it is just coincidence that every-time you pick up a women’s magazine there is some celeb staring back at you with a milk mustache? The dairy farmers have deep pockets and it is in their best interest to make sure that you believe that you need to drink milk, eat yogurt, cheese etc… in order to stave off the dreaded osteoporosis.

If you read “Where do I get my protein?” then you learned that philosophically I have nothing against eating meat.  There are animals that eat other animals and it is just part of the circle of life.  I however do have something different to say about dairy.


Let me repeat myself.


It is completely unnatural.  In addition, there is no other animal that continues to drink its mother’s milk past childhood (or whatever you consider it in animals.)

I think most of the time we can look at the natural world to tell us what we should and should not be doing.  So I think it is safe to say that we definitely should not be drinking another animal’s milk.  The unbelievably high rates of lactose (milk products) intolerance should be clue enough that this is a practice we should abandon.  There is also good evidence to suggest that dairy products may be responsible or at least partly responsible for a multitude of cancers, auto-immune and other chronic diseases.

I feel for you girls though, it is pounded in your head from birth that you need to drink your milk or eat your yogurt so your legs don’t snap out from under you and you spend your golden years in a nursing home.  So what is the solution?  Calcium supplements?? Wrong!! Calcium supplements are completely unnatural, of dubious benefit and may even cause some harm.  It never ceases to amaze me that if there is a buck to be made someone will come up with something utterly ridiculous that people jump on. The latest craze with calcium supplements is coral calcium.  Somehow this is better for you??? Last I checked, coral reefs were not part of the average person’s diet so why would you think that coral calcium is better for you.  Let’s not forget the small fact that people are destroying coral reefs in order to get this calcium.

So where do you get calcium if you don’t eat animal products?

Here are some examples of just a few foods that are naturally high is calcium:

Almonds, Almond Butter, Almond Milk, Figs, Orange, Broccoli, Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard etc..), Romaine Lettuce, Molasses, Beans, Sprouts, Soy Products, Chia, Acai, Flax, Quinoa,  Buckwheat, the list goes on and on….

Here are some other things you can do to help:

  • Reduce your sodium intake. Increased sodium in the blood can cause your body to compensate by pulling more calcium from your bones to maintain balance. Cut back on your salt intake and your bones will stay strong.
  • Carbonated drinks contribute to leaching calcium from your bones so avoid sodas altogether.
  • Eat your veggies. In addition to their calcium content, many vegetables and fruits are good sources of potassium. According to the NIH, this mineral may help decrease calcium excretion in people who eat high sodium diets— particularly in postmenopausal women.
  • Don’t overdo the protein. As with sodium, the body’s reaction to excess protein can weaken bones.
  • Exercise. Weight bearing exercise, like walking, step-aerobics, running, and hiking put stress on your bones, causing your body to respond by making them stronger

  • Get ample amounts of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps improve calcium absorption. Food and sunlight are your two sources for vitamin D. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “for bone health, an adequate intake of vitamin D is no less important than calcium.

So yet another vegan myth dispelled. You do not need to consume dairy products in order to get enough calcium in your diet.

-Dr. Sal



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