Stopping dairy and not replacing them with alternative sources of calcium can be harmful to your health

Perhaps influenced by the advice of some bloggers and nutrition gurus, more and more young people are reducing the consumption of milk and dairy products in their diets.

But doing it before age 25 and without replacing those foods with other alternative sources of calcium can be harmful to health, experts warn.

A recent survey by the National Society for Osteoporosis, a British non-profit organization involving 2000 adults, found that 20 percent of children under age 25 had either completely reduced or eliminated their dietary intake of dairy products.

And another survey by the British Food Standards Agency found that nearly half of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 reported being intolerant of milk and dairy products, compared to just 8% of those over 75.

But only 24% of those who said they had lactose intolerance had a medical diagnosis.

“A risky fashion?”

But completely eliminating dairy products can be harmful to health, warns the National Society for Osteoporosis UK, unless the nutrients of dairy are replaced with other foods or supplements.

Diets that eliminate dairy consumption can be “a time bomb” for the health of young people’s bones, experts say from the British organization.

The milk and dairy products such as yogurt or cheese, are important sources of calcium, needed to develop healthy teeth and strong bones.

Although eliminating dairy is not in itself dangerous, following a diet without these products does make it important to ensure that sufficient calcium is ingested from other sources, such as bread, cereals, nuts and almonds, Sesame, spinach, canned sardines (with thorns), tofu, beans or figs, among other foods.

-The importance of calcium before 30-

The bones are at their strongest and thickest point in early adulthood and their density continues to grow until the late twenties.

But from about the age of 35 we begin to lose that density, according to the UK National Health Service (NHS).

And that’s why diet in early adulthood is so important, Professor Susan Lanham-New, director of nutrition sciences at the University of Surrey in England, told the BBC.

“By the time we reach the late twenties, it’s too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutritional deficiencies, so the chance to develop strong bones is over,” Lanham-New said. Advises the national society for osteoporosis.

It is estimated that after 50 half of women and one in five men develop osteoporosis, a disease characterized by weakening of the bones that facilitates their fracture and can cause painful fractures of the hip, wrist or spine.

-Alternative calcium sources to dairy-

The recommended daily dose of NHS by the NHS for adults is 700 mg, but for children between the ages of 11 and 18 it is 1,000 mg.

Dairy is an easy source of calcium: just take three to five servings a day to reach the recommended amounts, according to age.

But you can also do it with other foods. Vegetable alternatives to cow ‘s milk , such as soy, rice or almond milk , are often sold fortified with calcium.

“How much calcium is in dairy?”

  1. A glass of 200 ml cow’s milk  contains about 250 mg of calcium.
  2. A 100 g yogurt contains about 120 mg.
  3. 100 g of fresh cheese contains about 90 mg.

– How much calcium is in other foods?

  1. A can of sardines (with spines) of 100 gr contains about 460 mg.
  2. 100 gr of red beans contains about 80 mg.
  3. A large tablespoon of sesame seeds contains about 80 mg.
  4. 80 g of spinach contains about 130 mg.


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