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Ask Kat: How Do I Get Enough Calcium Without Dairy?

Read time: 3-4 minutes

Here is a question recently passed on to me by a fellow PT. I get asked this one a lot so I thought you might also find the answer useful!

Question: How do I get sufficient calcium if I don’t drink dairy and I have a high case of low bone density within family members? I know leafy greens have it but what else? Thanks 🙂

Kat: There are two key points that I’d really like to touch on here. Firstly, the misconception that dairy consumption is the best way to get your calcium and improve bone density, and secondly the answer to your question, namely how you can get sufficient calcium.

the dairy myth

I’m all for adequate levels of calcium in the body, but I have a bit of a personal issue with why calcium has become such a focal point for health enthusiasts. While many of us are becoming aware of the importance of a range of minerals and nutrients – vitamin D, omega 3, and magnesium are all commonly discussed in terms of their importance to ideal health – the health world dairy industry and therefore media focus on calcium would have us all believe that it’s the answer to just about everything. Can you honestly say you would be so concerned about your calcium levels if it weren’t for the focus put onto how much dairy we supposedly must consume? Have you ever anxiously wondered how your manganese levels are doing? How about selenium – so crucial to thyroid health and optimal neurotransmitter function? What about copper? Zinc? Methylators? Iodine? Chromium? Maybe. But probably not right, or at least not to the same degree as calcium. Just something to think about.

Rant over (and please be assured I am absolutely NOT anti-dairy, in fact I use (raw, organic) cream and butter as a daily staple in my home but I do minimise my milk intake), let’s talk about why dairy might not be the answer to your calcium needs.

The following excerpt from UK site ‘The Healthier Life’ sums up my personal feelings on the so-called health benefits of milk quite nicely.

“According to US HSI Panel member Dr Allan Spreen, there is a long list of reasons why milk is unhealthy or at least not the solution we’ve been told, including:

  • calcium in milk is not well absorbed (and even less so once homogenised);
  • there isn’t enough magnesium in milk;
  • there’s evidence that the antibodies the body makes to milk are closely related to the antibodies that destroy islet cells (insulin producers) in the pancreas in cases of juvenile diabetes (!!);
  • homogenisation breaks up the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which in its altered (smaller) state can then enter the bloodstream and react against arterial walls, causing the body to protect the area with a layer of cholesterol (!!);
  • the fat content of milk is for the accelerated growth of calves; and
  • milk contains pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, and Bovine Growth Hormone.

Dr Spreen does, however, add that cultured products (kefir, yoghurt), and enzymatically-altered products (cheese, etc.) are acceptable calcium rich foods in moderation (and possibly butter, too).

For the sceptical side of you  – this is by no means a sole opinion. A simple Google or pubmed search will reveal page after page of similar research and discussion.

Side note: Personally I’m a huge fan of raw butter and cook with it frequently. The short-chain fatty acids are excellent for a healthy metabolism, and the butyric acid increases all-round nutrient absorption.

is calcium really the answer anyway?

According to Biosignature founder Charles Poliquin it’s by no means an accepted conclusion that calcium increases bone density without other important factors. In this very useful article on bone health, Charles states the following:

“Sure, there are studies out there that suggest calcium increases bone density, but the problem is that those studies always included other variables like exercise and vitamin D.  (These are certainly) two factors that have been shown independently to improve bone health, (but) osteoporotic bone isn’t just lacking adequate calcium, it has also lost magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper and most importantly, collagen.”

Hmmm. I don’t know about you, but to me it sure as heck makes sense that one nutrient alone couldn’t be the ‘be-all-end-all’ for something as important as bone health. If you’re a research and learning based kinda person and you want to be sure you’re not missing half the story on this important issue then I’d strongly suggest you also check out the following article by Charles:

Magnesium Deficiency: A Growing Health Crisis

Here’s a small excerpt on osteoporosis:

“The primary message coming from the dairy industry is that you need calcium for strong bones and to help prevent osteoporosis. True, but you can’t have healthy and strong bones without adequate magnesium. The ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diets of the Paleolithic man was 1.3 to 1, but the diet that is commonly used now has shifted that ratio to 5 to 1. The main culprit is the inclusion of dairy products in the modern diet. The calcium-to-magnesium ratios found respectively in milk, yogurt and hard cheeses are 7:1, 11:1, and 26:1.”

Charles goes on to discuss an important study in which magnesium supplementation directly improves subjects bone density.

okay, okay – but calcium still matters, right?

For sure. I absolutely do not mean to imply that it doesn’t. It matters just as does pretty much every vitamin or mineral you might care to name – each to different degrees perhaps, and for different purposes most certainly. So let’s talk about how or where you can best get your calcium – the most useful and absorbable kind of course!

The following chart, which I found on this site, lists some excellent food sources of calcium.

Whole Food Sources Serving Calcium (mg)
Sardines 3 ounces 372
Chinese cabbage, cooked 1/2 cup 239
Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 230
Rhubarb, cooked 1/2 cup 174
Wild salmon, canned with bones 3 ounces 167
Kale, cooked 1 cup 122
White beans, cooked 1/2 cup 113
Bok choy, cooked 1/2 cup 79
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 70
Pinto beans,
cooked
1/2 cup 45
Red beans, cooked 1/2 cup 41

One ounce is about 28 grams.

In general it’s true that the darker and leafier the green vegetables, the more calcium it contains. A bonus is that eating oily fish and dark green vegetables is a boost for many aspects of good health, including omega 3 intake and estrogen detoxification, so I’d certainly recommend you include these foods.

The other thing you may like to consider is supplemental support for bone density. If you’ve read this far then you’ll guess I’m not talking about a pure calcium supplement! But even if I were, it’s important to realise that there are different forms of calcium. The most absorbable form is called Hydroxyaptatite, and it’s been shown to actually increase bone density. Other forms – cheaper forms typically used in over the counter supplements – may slow or even stop bone loss, but won’t reverse it. The Poliquin Bone Matrix supplement contains Hydroxyapatite, along with type I and II collagen, in addition to zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, vitamin D, and a range of other bone building nutrients – it’s absolutely my recommendation of choice, and each tablet has over 400mg of calcium! A very simple way to ‘insure’ your bones.

You are (not?) what you eat

Finally, remember that the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ can be more accurately defined as ‘you are what you eat and digest’. It’s all very well to choose the most nutrient-dense foods and supplements, but it’s no good to you if you’re not absorbing those nutrients thoroughly. If you suspect digestion may be an issue for you then I’d suggest having it assessed through a Biosignature consultation.

Over to you – is this the first time you’ve heard the idea of milk not being ‘all it’s cracked up to be’? What’s your take on the matter?

Don’t forget –

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat x

P.S.

Rebel.
Upstart.
Fuck the system; screw the rules.
Won’t do what they told me.
Too much.
Unreasonable.
Ridiculous.
Unprofessional.
Crazy!

Should I go on? I could, but I think you get the picture.

You’re the one who is not only not like the other PEOPLE, you’re also not like the other entrepreneurs.

They, they actually think they’re different; non-conformists?! Don’t make me laugh. You and I both see it as it is:

They just wanna be told how to build a pretty little website and a pretty little social media page or three and a pretty little online product or course and get their pretty little headshots and do a pretty little pre-scripted dance all over the internet so that other equally pretty fucking bland and boring and same same-y peoples pay them money,

And they can all sit in a pretty little womans circle together patting each other linking elbows and stroking each others hair and singing Kumbaya as the sun sets over another day of sinking ever deeper into the unremarkableness that is their lives.

They are the ones who are not only willing to jump through hoops, they also want to build more hoops for other people; they want to perpetuate the hoop jumping life and their whole sales pitch is basically some version of “I will help you to have a better and shinier hoop, come see!”

lolol

BUT REALLY.

Meanwhile, you –

You’ve tried the hoop-jumping life, maybe more than what you care to admit. And, whilst you’ve nothing against sitting around with other ladeez and stroking each others hair, you and your girls; the real ones?

You don’t exactly fit in in the typical woman’s circle.

You don’t feel at home with the pretty-preneurs, not even on the internet let alone in real life.

You don’t actually GIVE a fuck about having all your shit perfect,

Polished,

And just so –

And the idea of having sales and marketing and content processes which you have to systematically pre-plan and then work through and endlessly join dots with?

Makes you want to hurl.

Sure –

You’ve bought in at times to do the idea that maybe you DO gotta do it as they say.

An automated webinar, perhaps?? Facebook ads which carefully and smartly tell the world who you are and how you can help? A sales plan proven and tested by the greats. The gradual sinking slow decline of your soul, your joy, your dreams, and even your pussy as everything within you that once knew she could HAVE IT ALL AND DO LIFE HER WAY SLOWLY DRIES,

WITHERS TO NOTHING,

AND DIES?

Sure –

Why not

And look.

It’s not that any of these things are bad or wrong. Maybe right now you’ve got to a certain point by playing by the rules … kind of. Following what ‘logic’ suggests you do. Breaking free here and there with wild little jaunts into over the top madness, noticing how THAT lights you up and also how people respond to it … but ultimately continuing to go back to trying to find the right fucking system to get you to where you want to go,

Because this thing of trying to just be you interspersed with trying to get it all right and make it work, well –

It’s God damn tiring –

But also, in the end, if we’re going to be black and white about it, it hasn’t got you to where you want to be!!

You KNOW you should be making SO much more money.

NOW.

With consistency, and yeah, while of course of COURSE you’re down for doing the work, you also feel like it SHOULD be a lot easier, more flow

And you know that you know that you know that you’ve still not let out the most unrestrained and fully expressed side of you!

– The you they can’t look away from
– The you they are MAGNETIZED by
– The you who automatically commands a huge freakin’ following, and sales to match it

You know who I’m talking about –

THE MILLIONAIRE REBEL YOU!

Starting January 18th!

>>> https://thekatrinaruthshow.com/rebelmillionaire/

The revolutionary fucking leader who tears SHREDS off of normal every damn day before the rest of the world has barely sipped its coffee!

Who is FULLY unleashed in what she says, how she shows up, how she does business, how she does life.

Who does not give a fuck about following rules! Or sales systems! Or strategies! Who can and will do what works for HER, and if it happens to resemble other ways people build an audience and make a fuckload of money online, cool, and if not, so what! That is not the point! The point is –

She knows what works for her.
She backs herself unapologetically.
She DOES it.

And she gets the damn results. The BIG results. The CONSISTENT results. The FUCK yes results, not just with money but with the VIBERY of it all.

Imagine …

Waking up every day and KNOWING you have crushed the day before it already begun because THAT IS WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU ROLL!

* Your shit sells (at any and all price point)
* Your creativity and inner ideas machine flows endlessly (you always know what to put out into the world and that when you speak people PAUSE EVERYTHING AND LISTEN, whether it is with free content and shenaniganery or with your paid stuff)
* You don’t even have to think about low end or high end or how to take people through a value ladder or some such bullshit, the value ladder is YOU CONTINUING TO BE YOU, and the more that you DO you the more people just take themselves through whatever it is you’re offering!
* It is easy, natural, fun, and OBVIOUS how to build your automated income, funnels, the ‘cash machine’ side of your business.
* In fact the whole damn thing feels fun and easy and like you’re just being you (the full on you, the too much you, the rebel you, the fuck all of ’em THIS IS WHAT I STAND FOR AND NOW I’M GONNA TELL YOU you!),
* and at the same time you have the DEEPLY grounded and certain knowledge that the way you’re doing it, hot mess and chaos vibes and all, is WORKING. PS – the reason you feel certain of this is because your bank balance and soulmate audience and their feedback reflects it, not bc your spirit guides told you it’s coming

All of this is ALREADY available to you.

It is who you are and what you were born for.

You did not come here for normal!

You are one of the truly crazy ones, who has something inside of her that will leave the world BREATHLESS –
and allow her to make millions and impact millions –

BUT NOT IF SHE CONTINUES TO DO BUSINESS AND LIFE BY TRYING TO SOMEHOW BE A NON-CONFORMIST WHO CONTINUALLY CAVES AND CONFORMS.

For this to work,

REALLY work, like next next NEXT level $ and life flow work,
you’re going to need to FULLY turn your back on the idea that your breakthrough is waiting on the other side of you adjusting, filtering, compromising, playing the game the way the other entrepreneurs are playing it, or worrying about what the fuck your social media looks like!

What you’re going to need to do is simple:

FLICK THE DAMN REBEL MILLIONAIRE SWITCH BABY.

>>> https://thekatrinaruthshow.com/rebelmillionaire/

All in on madness.
All in on crazy.
All in on chaos.
All in on the TRUE epic awesome ridiculousness and too much-ness of YOU.

REBEL MILLIONAIRE

Starting January 18th!

For those who were born to run the damn thing,

To turn the world on its head and dance on top of it,

And who are ready to do just that.

>>> https://thekatrinaruthshow.com/rebelmillionaire/