Live It NOT Diet! FAQs – If I Don’t Drink Milk, How Do I Get Enough Calcium?

Although a nutrition strategy high in animal protein has been shown to promote better calcium absorption, many are still concerned with deficiency.  Mainly, because conventional wisdom has us scared to death that our arms will break and teeth will fall out if we miss our daily glass of milk.

By following the principles laid out in Live IT NOT Diet!, we get a substantial amount of vitamin D (from animal foods), and it’s better absorbed (from cutting out grains).  As discussed previously (here):

“Maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels is essential to the absorbability of calcium and phosphorous, which is critical for maintaining healthy bones.”

When vitamin D is low, calcium absorption is diminished; which is why supplemental vitamin D is essential (when sun exposure is low) for healthy bones.

Interestingly, the U.S., Canada, England, and Finland have the highest osteoporosis rates, despite above average intakes of dairy (calcium).  Any coincidence that these 4 countries have very little sun exposure (if any) for nearly half the year?

If you’re supplementing vitamin D, making animal protein mandatory, and eating full-fat dairy sources (aged cheese, heavy cream, butter), but you’re still concerned with calcium; focus on the following non-dairy calcium-packed foods:

calcium
And don’t let marketing tell you that you need a glass of milk to get enough calcium:

When looking at equal servings, there’s more calcium in 1 serving (or 1 cup) of kale than 6 ounces (or ¾ a cup) of milk – and the absorption rate in is superior!

More importantly, DON’T supplement calcium:

Calcium supplementation of 1000mg or more per day has been linked to heart attacks in men, and heart disease in women.

Even the doctors would agree with me on this one, as they were recommending supplementation until the end of 2012 when they realized it was calcifying arteries and giving everyone kidney stones.

The take home message, is that there’s no need to treat dairy as anything more than a condiment (in it’s full-fat form). And even without that, you can get plenty from the calcium in greens, fish, and nuts and seeds.

More importantly, animal protein and vitamin D should be a far bigger concern than calcium in maintaining your bone health.

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike


RELATED ARTICLES:

The Deal With Dairy

Why Supplement Magnesium?

Bone Health With Vitamin D NOT Calcium