Milk Alternatives & Calcium
This page provides a list of foods that contain the necessary calcium to maintain a healthy diet for kids and adults. Those who suffer severe milk allergies should stick to milk free diet. On the other hand people with lactose intolerance can supplement their diet with lactase enzymes or treat milk with lactase drops. Alternatively control their milk intake.
Milk is rich in protein, calcium and vitamins A and B and it is important to insure inadequate intake of these elements when on an dairy-free diet. Sardines are rich in calcium, Soya is rich in protein, and other foods of importance in a dairy-free diet are potatoes, vegetable oil and fish. Cod liver oil or fish oils are rich in vitamin A. Calcium is found in sardines, watercress, figs, rhubarb, almonds and other nuts. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a good source and vitamins and minerals (especially important for children for the formation of strong, healthy teeth and bones).
There are a number of other milks that are available that may be substituted for cow's milk when baking or cooking. The type of substitute used will depend on the type of food it is used for. Soya milk is a popular alternative to cow's milk.
Rice milk is good for drinking and putting on cereal. It can also be used when baking or as a thickening agent. In some recipes water, broth, or juice can be substituted for the cow's milk. Sometimes, a milk allergic person can use goat's milk or soy milk. Both of these milks, however, are also very allergenic. In fact, most people allergic to cow's milk are also allergic to goat's milk.
Persons with lactose intolerance should only use milk if treated with Lactase Enzyme liquid and should never use untreated goat's milk as it also contains lactose. Lactose is present in all animal's milk.
Calcium is essential for the growth and repair of bones throughout life. In the middle and later years, a shortage of calcium may lead to thin, fragile bones that break easily (a condition called osteoporosis).
The UK Department of Health recommended Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for calcium is as follows. The RNI is a daily amount that is enough or more than enough for 97% of people.
|Daily Recommended Calcium Intake mg/day (UK)|
Age / Sex
|Infants & children, depending on age||350-550|
|Adult Man & Woman||700|
|Breast-feeding woman||extra 550|
Calcium in Food
The table below provides a list of food that contains calcium and its quantity
|Calcium in Food|
Type of food
|Broccoli (cooked 1 Cup)||94-177mg|
|Chinese Cabbage (cooked 1 cup)||158mg|
|Collard Greens (cooked 1 cup)||148-357mg|
|Kale (cooked 1 cup)||94-179mg|
|Oysters (raw 1 cup)||226mg|
|Salmon canned with bones||167mg|
|Shrimp canned 100g||98mg|
|Molasses 2 tbsp||274mg|
|Tofu processed with calcium salts, 100g||225mg|
|Dried figs 40g||100mg|
|Brazil nuts 60g||100mg|
Some vegetables that are high in calcium (Swiss chard, spinach, and rhubarb, for instance) are not listed in the table above because the body cannot use their calcium content. They contain substances called oxalates, which stop calcium absorption. Calcium is absorbed and used only when there is enough vitamin D in the body. A balanced diet should provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. Sources of vitamin D include eggs and liver. However, sunlight helps the body naturally absorb or synthesize vitamin D, and with enough exposure to the sun, food sources may not be necessary. Some people with lactose intolerance may think they are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet. Consultation with a doctor or dietician may be helpful in deciding whether any dietary supplements are needed. Taking vitamins or minerals of the wrong kind or in the wrong amounts can be harmful. A dietician can help in planning meals that will provide the most nutrients with the least chance of causing discomfort.
Milk substitutes for cooking
There are a number of other milks that are available that may be substituted for cow's milk when baking or cooking. The type of substitute used will depend on the type of food it is used for. Rice milk is good for drinking and putting on cereal. It can also be used when baking or as a thickening agent. In some recipes water, broth, or juice can be substituted for the cow's milk. Sometimes, a milk allergic person can use goat's milk or soy milk. Both of these milks, however, are also very allergenic.
Alternatively, for lactose intolerant person, ordinary cows' milk (or any other milk) can be treated with Lactase Enzyme liquid and used as normal. Please visit the products page for Lactase Enzyme liquid.