2

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Can you give me reassurance on quitting dairy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 28, 2012 at 12:14 AM

I'm eating all the Paleo things I should for bone health but I always have that niggling feeling that it might not be enough without dairy. I really don't want to go back to dairy because I have noticed a lot of improvements in my airways and digestion. However, I have noticed a hip injury that was only very slight getting worse recently. It could be something else (eg. the way I'm lying on a thin mattress; residual gout). I'm not looking for an answer to this small hip problem, but I just need to be reassured that I don't need dairy to be sure of getting my daily calcium quota like the dairy industry and health services say you do. I'm always cynical of their lecturing about it and I can see the evolutionary argument against dairy, but when you get a small bone issue a couple of months after quitting dairy, it makes you think. I just need a bit of reassurance if you can. Thanks, Scute.

P.S. I did do a search for dairy and also for calcium and it returned 0 matches. And yet my keywords generated a pop up saying there were 85 posts for calcium. So apologies if it repeats an old question.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:08 AM

no, the whole matter is confusing because americans can only feel good about themselves when they tell other people what to eat.

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 10, 2013
at 03:16 PM

I think dairy is a good source of vitamins, calcium, and milk, drinkers tend to weigh less than non-drinkers.

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on December 28, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Is your almond milk storebought? If so, you might want to switch to homemade. Storebought almond milk has all sorts of nasty additives and synthetic vitamins.

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on December 28, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Vegans/vegetarians are so fond of this false dichotomy. There IS a third option -- sustainably, humanely, pasture raised animal products! Yeesh.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:49 PM

Great answer. Sometimes I wonder if balancing the body's pH is one of the reasons slow, deep breathing is (supposedly) so therapeutic. Aside from just forcing someone to slow down and get calm, it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was something physical to it, too.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on December 28, 2012
at 04:02 AM

nobody said you should eat dairy

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on December 28, 2012
at 04:00 AM

and just because you dont have to do something doesnt mean you shouldnt blablablabla.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:39 AM

You raise a good point, but if you look at actual calcium balance studies the net effect of calcium containing dairy products (like milk) is a better calcium balance: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/41/2/254.short

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:37 AM

You raise a good point, but if you look at actual calcium balance studies the net effect of calcium containing dairy products (like milk) is a positive calcium balance: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/41/2/254.short

61848fb3934eb0f08abacf0b920bf81b

(225)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:08 AM

You don't see animals using toilet paper either, but we still should. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should -which is the case that Kashkillz is making.

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:53 AM

Thanks Christian, you jogged my memory. In fact, this was what I was trying to remember as a piece of definitive biological evidence. I seem to remember when I read about this, that the body steals calcium from the bones to alkalise the stomach when acidity is high.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:50 AM

where is the evidence thst raw milk leeches calcium?

383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:30 AM

do you see other animals using knives?

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Yeah, it's because I've sort come in through the back door so I don't know those guys- I just knew the basics for Paleo through general reading and so, because of various small ailments I drifted into it. And now I'm getting to the point where I need to ask a few questions. I'll look those guys up. I did read something from Gary Taubes the other day though. Point taken on net acid-load edit. Thanks

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:20 AM

Thanks, canis minor. I'm also eating oily fish, doing bone broth and getting outdoors for Vit D fix. Plus weights, walking and biking. So I think I'm doing everything right so far. Appreciate the feedback.

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Thanks Miked. You've jogged my memory. I remember reading about the acid/leaching effect years ago. I seem to remember the article said if you're acidic your body will steal calcium from your bones to alkalise the stomach.

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:10 AM

Thanks Miked. I'm eating oily fish, grass-fed and chicken too- then doing bone broth with them. Plus lots of outdoor time for vit D, green veg etc. and learning more every day.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Edited my original answer to address you acid/base concerns. It was too long to put as a comment here.

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10 Answers

best answer

1
07ae3209b344b9ba17387c6377a140c6

on December 28, 2012
at 12:50 AM

The most important thing about calcium consumption is that you keep what you eat. Dairy is an acid-forming food in your body, just like grains and legumes, but calcium requires an alkaline environment to be absorbed properly. So if your body is acidic you will leach calcium from your bones and excrete it in your urine. Goodbye calcium. That is the paradox: eating dairy could actually reduce the calcium in your body

Taken from "The Complete Idiots Guide to eating paleo"

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:10 AM

Thanks Miked. I'm eating oily fish, grass-fed and chicken too- then doing bone broth with them. Plus lots of outdoor time for vit D, green veg etc. and learning more every day.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Edited my original answer to address you acid/base concerns. It was too long to put as a comment here.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:37 AM

You raise a good point, but if you look at actual calcium balance studies the net effect of calcium containing dairy products (like milk) is a positive calcium balance: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/41/2/254.short

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Thanks Miked. You've jogged my memory. I remember reading about the acid/leaching effect years ago. I seem to remember the article said if you're acidic your body will steal calcium from your bones to alkalise the stomach.

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:53 AM

Thanks Christian, you jogged my memory. In fact, this was what I was trying to remember as a piece of definitive biological evidence. I seem to remember when I read about this, that the body steals calcium from the bones to alkalise the stomach when acidity is high.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:39 AM

You raise a good point, but if you look at actual calcium balance studies the net effect of calcium containing dairy products (like milk) is a better calcium balance: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/41/2/254.short

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:50 AM

where is the evidence thst raw milk leeches calcium?

best answer

2
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on December 28, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Also, there's plenty of calcium in several green vegetables, in almonds if you eat them and various other places. I load up on the leafy greens anyway, so I don't worry about it myself.

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:20 AM

Thanks, canis minor. I'm also eating oily fish, doing bone broth and getting outdoors for Vit D fix. Plus weights, walking and biking. So I think I'm doing everything right so far. Appreciate the feedback.

best answer

4
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on December 28, 2012
at 12:32 AM

I'm surprised you haven't found anything about this. Robb Wolf, Gary Taubes, Rocky Angelucci, and a bunch of others have all written about this ad nauseum.

The short story is that you only need to consume calcium if you eat grains, and even then it's not enough because it leaches faster than it's deposited. So don't worry, if dairy causes you digestive or autoimmune problems, you're not missing out by cutting it out.

Edited to add:

Regarding net-acid load. This is a true statement, if you're running acidic then your bones will have a net loss of calcium, and net gain if basic. However, people get all up in arms about foods and which ones become acidic or basic when digested and metabolized. What they all forget is that you breath pounds of carbon dioxide every day, and carbonic acid (carbon dioxide dissolved in water) is a great way for your body to balance its pH. That is, if you're running acidic then all you need to do is breath out a little more CO2 and you'll lose that extra acid, opposite is true if you're running a bit basic. So don't get worried about the whole acid/base balance with regards to your food, your body has a natural way (that's out of your conscious control anyway) to keep pH correct.

Db20e80aec9abf291a7f685d2b0ed42e

(55)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Yeah, it's because I've sort come in through the back door so I don't know those guys- I just knew the basics for Paleo through general reading and so, because of various small ailments I drifted into it. And now I'm getting to the point where I need to ask a few questions. I'll look those guys up. I did read something from Gary Taubes the other day though. Point taken on net acid-load edit. Thanks

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:49 PM

Great answer. Sometimes I wonder if balancing the body's pH is one of the reasons slow, deep breathing is (supposedly) so therapeutic. Aside from just forcing someone to slow down and get calm, it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was something physical to it, too.

3
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:43 AM

I gave an answer recently where I explained why I believe it's hard to get enough calcium on a dairy free paleo diet:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/168209/do-you-really-consume-enough-calcium/168218#168218

It's hard, though not impossible, but you really need to work on getting calcium rich foods in your diet.

Calcium is an essential mineral and there's literally no evidence that you don't need to eat calcium if you don't eat grains, as Miked says above.

2
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 28, 2012
at 04:20 AM

I never gave up dairy entirely, but I didn't worry about it much either, and since I'd given up cereal and ice cream my main dairy intake disappeared. Despite eating a wide variety of foods including bone broth & lots of greens, I ended up with some serious dental problems that were easily solved by being more careful about eating dairy -- I now eat mostly fermented dairy (aged raw milk cheeses, yogurt, etc) but I make sure to eat it every day.

I'm quite sure you can devise a diet that includes adequate calcium without dairy, but since dairy never caused me any problems (and it was not my experience that giving up grains meant I didn't need calcium) I found it easier to make sure it was a part of my daily diet. Anyway, I love cheese.

1
6606721777255a56f7cd503afe90012f

on February 10, 2013
at 03:15 PM

The more you research the milk/dairy issue, the more confusing it will become. This is because, on one side, you've got the powerful dairy industry telling everyone that they need to drink 3 cups a day to have healthy bones. And then there are the anti-milk advocates, like vegans, which will point out that humans are the only animals which drink milk after infancy and also that milk leaches calcium from bones. Here is an article with all the arguments for and against milk consumption for calcium.

The problem is that there isn't enough credible research available. And the research which is available is often conflicting. From what I've gathered, milk IS a good source of calcium. But, of course, that doesn't mean you've got to rely on it to get your calcium!

Dark green veggies have lots of calcium. So do many nuts. The bioavailability of this calcium may not be as good as from dairy though, so strive to get the RDA of 1000mg just to play it safe.

I'd recommend keeping a food journal for a few days and tracking your calcium intake. Also, try to spend more time outdoors in the sun (you can't get vitamin D from sunlight through windows). Also, sunscreen blocks vitamin D -- just something to be aware of. Supplements can help, but it isn't good to rely on them.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:08 AM

no, the whole matter is confusing because americans can only feel good about themselves when they tell other people what to eat.

1
C0237fd9e277fcef496d538beda1f35b

(287)

on December 28, 2012
at 01:30 PM

I use unsweetened almond milk in my coffee which has LOADS more calcium than cow milk. It's not unpleasant to drink on it's own, but I prefer coconut milk better if you're looking for a plain beverage.

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on December 28, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Is your almond milk storebought? If so, you might want to switch to homemade. Storebought almond milk has all sorts of nasty additives and synthetic vitamins.

1
5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 28, 2012
at 06:21 AM

Mucus, oily skin and acne are good enough reasons. Dairy also causes premature aging and increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. You don't need to get your calcium from dairy, get it from fatty coldwater fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon. Leafy greens like spinach are also a great source.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I owned a dairy. Trust me. Don't drink ANY dairy. If you don't believe me go to a dairy farm....but stay away from the chicken house..or you won't eat chicken either.

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on December 28, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Vegans/vegetarians are so fond of this false dichotomy. There IS a third option -- sustainably, humanely, pasture raised animal products! Yeesh.

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on December 28, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Look around. Do you see any other animals drinking dairy past initial growth phases? Do you see any animals drinking the milk of another species?

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on December 28, 2012
at 04:02 AM

nobody said you should eat dairy

383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 28, 2012
at 02:30 AM

do you see other animals using knives?

61848fb3934eb0f08abacf0b920bf81b

(225)

on December 28, 2012
at 03:08 AM

You don't see animals using toilet paper either, but we still should. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should -which is the case that Kashkillz is making.

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on December 28, 2012
at 04:00 AM

and just because you dont have to do something doesnt mean you shouldnt blablablabla.

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