Still Drinking Milk as a Calcium Source?

An article in yesterday’s Times certainly doesn’t help the matter!

While I agree wholeheartedly with the principle of getting all our minerals and vitamins from food, rather than pills, I’m vehemently opposed to the idea of suggesting that dairy is a good option for getting one’s calcium.

Despite many of the new interpretations of Paleo on the rise these days, some of which include grass-fed dairy, dairy is not part of the Paleo diet.   The Paleo diet is a modern way of mimicking ancestral food groups with produce and proteins locally available to us.   

Dairy is a great food product… if you’re a calf.    Apart from that, it’s not a good thing to ingest.  Even those who feel that they don’t have the glaringly obvious symptoms of intolerance including bloating, gassiness, diarrhea or constipation, congestion and acne, to name just a few, ingesting milk is still a really, really bad idea.  If you’ve not done so yet, and would like to dive in a bit deeper to Chapter 3 of Dr. Loren Cordain’s latest book, The Paleo Answer.

There is a reference to the tired old argument of yogurt being an ‘even better source of calcium that fluid milk, ounce for ounce’.  Then, a follow up with a short list of foods that actually do result in an ideal calcium balance at the end of the day (unlike dairy products, which create a net acidic load on the body) including:

  • Salmon & Sardines with bones
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Almonds

Finally, the article finishes up with a statement that few people eat enough of the above to obtain proper am0unts of calcium.  I’m sure that’s true as most people eat far too little veggies; even those who follow the Paleo diet tend to overdo the fruit and drastically cut themselves short on all veggies, as though they’re still nothing other than a mere garnish.

So why not just load up on calcium supplements if you’re already dairy-free but feeling like you don’t want more veggies?  How about because of the studies that show overdoing calcium supplementation can lead to increased risk of heart disease as calcium supplements can result in deposits in the arteries, rather than the bones?

Keep it simple:
Engage in weight-bearing activity,  follow the real Paleo diet and eat copious amounts of kale!