Lactose Intolerant? Have a Healthful, Calcium-Rich Diet with No Milk


Fifty percent of North Americans are lactose intolerant. They lack the enzyme to split the double sugar, lactose, found in milk and other dairy products. Since you can only absorb single sugars, if you can’t split the double sugar, it passes to your large intestine where it is attacked by bacteria and fermented, causing gas and cramping. Some people deal with this by adding the lactase enzyme to their diet.

You can eliminate all dairy products and still have a perfectly healthy diet. Yes, milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients, but it is far from essential. You can get all the calcium you need from a variety of other foods.

Many doctors, dieticians and vegetarians oppose the use of dairy products, and back their position with extensive research data.
You can get plenty of calcium in your diet if you include lots of leafy green vegetables, a wide variety of beans and whole grains, and perhaps fortified products such as soy milk, cereals and juices. The RDA for calcium ranges from 800mg for young children to 1500mg for older people and pregnant or nursing women. If you’re not sure you are getting that amount in your diet, it won’t hurt to take a calcium supplement, or to eat calcium-added foods such as fortified cereals, orange juice or soy milk.

Calcium content of typical beans, vegetables and fruits (Portion size is 1 cup, cooked, unless otherwise noted):

Black beans – 103 mg

Chick peas – 80 mg

Pinto beans – 82 mg

Soybeans – 175 mg

White beans – 161 mg

Broccoli – 94 mg

Collard greens – 358 mg

Spinach – 244 mg

Swiss chard – 102 mg

Dried figs (10)- 269 mg

Orange (1) – 56 mg

Raisins – (2/3 cup) – 53 mg

Tofu (½ cup) – 258 mg.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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