Categorized | Lactose in the News

Non-dairy sources of calcium for vegans plus lactose intolerant people – Metro

It’s surprisingly straightforward (Picture: Shutterstock/Getty)

With the news that ‘clean eating’ regimes are actually causing the sluggish decay of your insides, you’re probably wondering – how on earth do we stay fit?

A survey by the National Osteoporosis Society has found that 40% of young adults have got tried diets in which they cut out dairy, gluten, grain and sugars, and more than a fifth had significantly restricted their intake of milk and cheese.

The automatic reaction to this would probably be to assume from these findings that a vegan diet is bad for you. If you have lactose intolerance or even a cow’s milk allergy, you might also be worried that you’ll develop osteoporosis.

However , this really is not the case.

This is what brittle bones does to your body over time (Picture: Getty Images)

So-called ‘clean eating’ is the avoidance of all processed foods, whilst veganism – as far as food is concerned – is simply following a plant-based diet, avoiding all pet products. This can (and often does) include a lot of processed food.

Dairy-free so-called ‘clean eating’ could be putting your health at risk

In fact a lot of vegan staples, such as almond and soya milks, would be shunned by clean eaters as they are processed.

So how would you navigate this minefield? What if you want to avoid cruelty to animals, yet don’t want to sacrifice your bone fragments?

Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward. Here are some alternative sources of bone-healthy vitamins, so you can look after yourself even though you’re vegan or lactose intolerant.

What do you have to keep your bones healthy?

Calcium, calcium, calcium.

Calcium is a big participant when it comes to your bone health – but it’s not the only thing.

Vitamin D is also crucial for good bone tissue health, as are vitamins K, proteins and potassium.

To find the best possible bone health, you need a combination of all of these.

But is it just about eating loads of calcium?

Almonds are an incredible source of calcium mineral (Picture: Getty Images)

Not really. You should also try and avoid sources of calcium mineral that are bound to a substance known as ‘oxalate’, which actually hinders calcium supplement absorption.

Best almond milk tip How to reside dairy-free and stay healthy

Whilst cow’s milk is very high in calcium supplement, it is also not that easily immersed in the human body.

This actually makes many low-oxalate veggies, such as rocket, cabbage and kale, as good as animal milks when it comes to calcium absorption.

You should also prevent eating too much salt and coffee – both of which have been shown to inhibit calcium uptake.

So where can you get easily-absorbed calcium?


Rocket is a surprisingly good source of calcium (Picture:

Low-oxalate veggies are a great shout for vegan calcium sources.

If the phrase ‘low-oxalate vegetables’ puts you away from, just think: green and leafy veg.

This includes spring produce, kale, broccoli and cabbage – which are all great sources of calcium supplement, as well as vitamin K.

Red kidney beans are also excellent

Similarly, red kidney coffee beans and black-eyed beans are remarkably good sources of calcium.

A 100g serving of reddish kidney beans contains around 8% of your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of calcium.

Nevertheless , you can leave spinach and chard off this list, as they’re both high in oxalates. (They are usually, however , great sources of iron – so keep them on your plate. )


Most plant milks are fortified with vitamins (Picture: Alpro)

Most plant milks that you can buy in shops are fortified with vitamins B12, B2 and D, and are very good sources of calcium.

It’s now possible to purchase milk made from soya, almonds, cashews, oats, coconuts, rice, or even hemp. They all have different textures, preferences and consistencies, so you can find the one particular you like the best.

Same goes for soya and coconut yogurt, almond milk ice cream, and soya cream.

Mmm… tofu

Tofu is another good way to obtain calcium – especially when the brand uses calcium sulphate as a coagulant. This is known as ‘calcium-set tofu’.

(For background, tofu is made using soya beans, water, as well as a ‘coagulant’ – a curdling agent. )

While it depends upon what specific brand of tofu you’re buying, most mainstream brands are calcium-set.

In fact , you only need 33g of tofu to get 100mg of calcium – 10% of the RDA.


Nuts – walnuts in particular – are also a really good source of calcium. A 42g serving can get you 10% of your calcium RDA.

If you’re buying almond milk, even better.


Tahini is extremely rich in calcium (Picture: Getty Images)

Yum. A 217g helping of boiled chickpeas gets you 100mg of calcium – once again, around 10% of your RDA. Prepare them with some fortified plant milk or soya cream to make a creamy Indian channa curry.

Or, alternatively, stick them in a blender with some olive oil, parsley, green chillis and tahini – an incredible supply of calcium – to make hummus.

You only need a small 15g serving of tahini to get 10% of your RDA of calcium, therefore heap a couple of tablespoons in to create your hummus nice and creamy – and calcium-rich.


If in doubt – consider supplements (Picture: Getty)

This one is pretty obvious.

If you’re still concerned that you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet, make sure you take supplements.

It’s easy to buy combination calcium and vitamin D tablets, which are aimed specifically in bone health.

So if I get enough calcium then I won’t obtain osteoporosis?

Not really.

Osteoporosis is genetic – meaning it can be inherited genetically – so if you have a family history associated with osteoporosis or osteomalacia, you should keep an eye fixed on your health regardless of your diet.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Reply

    Recent Posts

    My Experience