Dairy-Free Information

Calcium is a vital mineral necessary for forming and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.  When dairy foods are no longer part of your diet, it is important to get the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium from other food sources.  This table will enable you to identify foods rich in calcium, use it the next time you are at the market.   *Please note that calcium does not work alone and needs other vitamins and minerals to aid in its absorption and utilization.  (For more information on calcium turn to the introduction in Recipes For Dairy-Free Living, pages xii – xv).

At a Glance Calcium Table

FDA Consumer Magazine — Living with Food Allergies

At a Glance Calcium Table

Category &

Serving

Calcium

Food

Size

Content (mg)

Fruit -

Orange juice, calcium-fortified

8 fluid oz.

300

Orange tangerine juice, calcium-fortified

8 fluid oz.

300

Orange

1 fresh

111

Tomato

1 cup

107

Tangelo

1 cup

98

Papaya

1 large

91

Strawberry

20 oz.

91

Cantaloupe

1 large

90

Pineapple

4 oz.

88

Raisins

1/2 cup

45

Figs (dried)

1/2 cup

80

Figs (fresh)

5 medium

135

Vegetables -

Collard greens (frozen, chopped, cooked)

1/2 cup

179

Kale (frozen, cooked)

1/2 cup

90

Bok choy (fresh, cooked)

1/2 cup

80

Broccoli (frozen, cooked)

1/2 cup

45

Mustard green (fresh, cooked)

1/2 cup

76

Turnip greens (fresh, cooked)

1/2 cup

99

Okra (cooked)

1/2 cup

88

Butternut squash (fresh)

1/2 cup

42

Sweet potato (baked)

1 medium

32

Brussels sprouts (fresh)

8 sprouts

56

Spinach (frozen, cooked)

1/2 cup

140

Rhubarb (fresh, cooked)

1/2 cup

174

Beet greens

1/2 cup

72

Swiss chard

1/2 cup

50

Cabbage

Kelp, Dulse and other Sea Vegetables

¼ head

80

Legumes -

Soybeans (fresh, cooked)

1/2 cup

88

Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate

1/2 cup

261

Tempeh (fresh)

1/2 cup

77

Wax beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

87

White beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

100

Navy beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

64

Great Northern beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

62

Pinto beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

41

Black beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

40

Garbanzo beans (canned)

1/2 cup

39

Green beans (fresh)

1/2 cup

29

Kidney beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

25

Lima beans (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

26

Lentils (dried or canned)

1/2 cup

19

Green peas (dried)

1/2 cup

22

Grains -

Amaranth, wheat bran, wheat germ buckwheat

Corn bread

1 serving = 2 oz.

133

Calcium-fortified English muffin

1 muffin

175

Calcium-fortified Bread

2 slices

160

Corn tortillas

1 medium

40

Pita bread

1 piece

31

Calcium-fortified cereals

1 cup

150

Calcium-enriched wheat flour

1 cup

238

Oatmeal, fortified-instant

1 packet

164

Fish -

Sardines (canned with bones)

3 oz.

371

Salmon (canned with bones)

3 oz.

167

Mackerel (canned with bones)

3 oz.

160

Anchovies (canned)

3 oz.

125

Oysters (canned)

3 oz.

152

Steelhead

1 medium

130

Whitefish

1 medium

128

Ocean Perch, Atlantic

3 oz.

116

Trout, Rainbow

1 fillet

107

Crab

1 leg

118

Crab, Alaska King

three 12” legs

169

Octopus

3 oz.

106

Orange Roughy

1 cup

167

Herring, Pacific

1 fillet

153

Lobster

1 medium

180

Poultry -

Turkey

1 leg

139

Turkey breast

½ breast

151

Chicken

1 chicken

151

Nuts & Seeds -

Almonds (dry-roasted)

1 oz.

81

Almond butter

2 Tbs.

86

Sesame seeds

1 oz.

281

Tahini

2 Tbs.

128

Poppy seeds

1 oz.

128

Filberts

1 oz.

56

Brazil nuts

1 oz.

50

Chestnuts, European (roasted)

1 cup

41

Mixed nuts (with peanut)

1 oz.

31

Walnuts

1 oz.

27

Additional Sources -

Calcium-fortified, soy, rice, oat & almond milk

6 oz.

250

Soy yogurt

8oz.

200

Blackstrap molasses

2 Tbs.

80

Mineral Waters – such as: Smart Water, Evian,

8 fluid oz.

50

San Pellegrino, Mendocino, Perrier, & Vittel

Mixed vegetable juice

8 fluid oz.

134

Aloe Vera juice

8 fluid oz.

60

Sauerkraut juice

8 fluid oz.

90

This At a Glance Calcium Table was prepared by:

Kazuko Aoyagi, Ph.D., who is a Senior Director of Genotyping Operations at a Bio-

Tech company and an Advanced Study Program Fellow at MIT, where she continues

her study in medicine. Dr. Aoyagi writes articles for various publications, including

Prevention magazine, Impala Racing Team newsletters, and health & fitness Web sites.

January ’2003

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an excellent source of basic information on dairy allergies, intolerances, and nutritional considerations.  Here is an article recently published by the FDA about the labeling of foods containing dairy products. 


FDA Consumer magazine
July-August 2001

Volume 35, Number 4

Observations

Living With Food Allergies: Not As Easy As You Might Think

By Anne Muñoz-Furlong

Imagine that your doctor just gave you the following diagnosis: “You are allergic to milk. Go home and avoid milk.” Sounds easy? It is, until you go home and actually try to avoid milk products.

Currently, there is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to prevent a reaction. And some reactions can land you in the hospital or even cost you your life.

So, how do you “go home and avoid milk”? By reading every ingredient statement for all foods, every time you shop. You’ll have to allow several hours at the grocery store. As one woman put it, “It can be like having a part-time job.” If you find ingredients you don’t understand, you have a couple of choices: not purchase the product, or call the manufacturer and ask, “Does this product contain milk?” You may be surprised to find that manufacturers can’t always give you an answer.

According to current labeling laws, ingredients in flavors or spices don’t have to be listed on the label. Some manufacturers consider this proprietary information and will not answer your question; others can’t get their flavor suppliers to provide the information so that they can pass it along to the consumer. As a result, an already scant number of choices becomes even fewer.

In the milk example, you’ll also have to avoid being fooled by “nondairy” on the front of the package. Every year milk-allergic children have a reaction because their parents, babysitters, grandparents, or friend’s parents believe the “nondairy” description on the front of the package actually means the product does not contain milk proteins or derivatives. Only after a reaction do these caregivers learn that even if a product contains casein, a milk protein, it can currently be legally advertised as “nondairy.”

These days, food ingredient labels are written for food scientists, not consumers. Words such as potassium caseinate, albumin, and semolina all appear on labels. Good for scientists, but for consumers it takes detective work–or the experience of a reaction–before we learn that these words indicate the presence of milk, eggs, and wheat, respectively.

Scientists estimate that food allergies affect close to 7 million Americans, including 3 million who are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Allergic reactions to food account for up to 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,500 hospitalizations and between 150 to 200 deaths each year. Every one of these deaths could have been prevented by awareness and education.

In a recent informal survey, 550 members of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) were polled about their experiences with food labeling. Of these, 80 percent said they have called food manufacturers for more information, 88 percent believed labels are not easy to read, and 98 percent reported that labels don’t give them enough information. FAAN has been working with the FDA and the food industry to write better food labels aimed at consumers.

Specifically, we should see labels written with plain English words, simple enough for a 7-year-old to read. Some companies are already using simple English terms. You’ll see notices such as “Allergy Information: contains milk and wheat products.” To food-allergic consumers, this is a welcome signal that their needs are being recognized and acted upon.

If a product contains milk or milk derivatives, it shouldn’t advertise itself as “nondairy.” If a major allergy-causing food appears in a flavor or spice mix, the label should accurately reflect this.

Additionally, too many “May contain (a food allergen)…” statements are appearing on food products. These types of statements are vague from the perspective of food-allergic consumers, leaving them wondering, “does it or doesn’t it contain the allergen?” Some ask, “How can we determine if the allergen is in there or not?” FAAN’s labeling study showed that 92 percent of food-allergic consumers do not eat a food when it contains this statement. Many believe food companies are using this general statement unnecessarily.

The results are mixed. Some consumers are playing it safe and avoiding the foods, although they are unhappy with the limited choices. Others are simply ignoring it. This can be like playing Russian roulette, and that concerns all of us.

We hope that the food industry and the FDA take a look at ingredient label information with an eye toward that 7-year-old who has been told to avoid milk and who is trying to determine if a piece of candy will be safe to eat. If the label reads: casein, whey, curds, caseinate, ammonium caseinate, potassium caseinate, lactalbumin, and lactoglobulin, that will not be easy. Indeed, the child may need to become a food scientist before he or she learns that these are all milk-containing ingredients. The candy is bound to be stale by then.

Anne Muñoz-Furlong is founder and CEO of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, based in Fairfax, Va.
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