Being a Fussy Foodie/ Dairy Free

Bone Health and Dairy Free

Bone health is something we often take for granted whilst young, fit and well but shocking statistics indicate that we should be taking much more care, especially if following a Milk Free or Dairy Free diet. One in two women and one in five men over 50 will break a bone, mainly due to osteoporosis. To reduce fracture risk young people need to build up a good bone mass and key elements of this include plenty of weight-bearing activity and a diet providing adequate calcium.

The main dietary sources of calcium are milk and dairy foods so if you avoid these foods it is crucial to include plenty of calcium-rich alternatives in your diet. The recommended intake of calcium for adults is 700mg per day – use the table below to check that you are achieving this.

Note how low in calcium the unfortified products are. Always check the label and if calcium is not listed assume it is not fortified.

Food 100g

Calcium mg

Food 100g

Calcium mg

Dairy (Cow’s milk)

Milk

Cheese (hard)

Soft cheese

Yogurt

Ice cream

Milk chocolate

 

120

740+

230

120+

100+

240

Fruit and Veg

Figs (dried)

Watercress

Spinach / curly kale

Currants

Apricots (dried)

Olives in brine

 


250

170

150

93

73

61

Dairy alternatives

Soya milk, fortified

Organic soya milk

Goat’s milk

Sheep’s milk

Rice milk

Rice milk, fortified

Goat’s cheese

Soya yogurt, fortified

Organic soya yogurt

Soya custard

Ice cream, non-dairy

 

120

12

120

170

8

120

360+

120+

13

120

72

Other

Tofu

Tahini / Sesame seeds

Sardines, tinned

Red kidney beans

Soya beans

Almonds

Brazil nuts

Salmon, tinned

Fruit juice with calcium

White bread

 

Certain fortified breakfast cereals (including Cheerios*, Frosties**, Honey nut loops**)

 

 

500

680

430+

100

83

240

170

91

120

177


267*/456**

 Other diet tips for bone health:

  • Get plenty of sunlight on your skin in the summer months to generate Vitamin D.
  • Avoid too much caffeine, fizzy drinks, salt and alcohol and don’t let yourself become underweight.
  • If you are unable to achieve the recommended amount of calcium on a milk free or dairy free diet or then you may benefit from a supplement. 

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Claire
    February 24, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Hi Laura, this blog is a really interesting read and has definitely opened my eyes to how much calcium I should be having. I’m not convinced I’m getting anywhere near that amount with my dairy free diet so will definitely be monitoring my intake and even considering a supplement from now on!

  • Reply
    Miranda
    February 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Check out oatly which is calcium enriched for milk alternative.

  • Reply
    Alison
    February 23, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Hi I have just discovered your site and it’s great!
    Can I ask though why you include goats products as dairy free when they are not, my little boy is allergic to casein which is found in goats milk. thanks

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm

      Hi Alison, I really meant cow’s milk free rather than dairy free and hope that I have made this clearer now by re-naming the categories. The majority of people with cow’s milk protein (casein) allergy will also be allergic to goat’s and sheep’s milk protein so unless a separate medical test proves otherwise they are usually best avoided.

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