Once again I find myself rolling up my myth-busting sleeves and tackling misinformation about my favorite seed. This meme claims that quinoa has more calcium than milk.
Make Mine Coconut Milk
As it happens, I quit drinking cow’s milk shortly after this Twitter conversation began last April. I had my concerns with milk and its added growth hormones, and then last spring, when I was tracking my meals and trying to consume all the calcium recommended, I broke out in terrible acne. I have suffered with acne many times over the years when following a “healthy” diet, but this time I came across a suggestion that dairy milk might cause my breakouts.
Dairy milk seemed a likely culprit because whenever I am tracking my meals, I tend to drink more milk than usual in order meet my calcium “needs.” I have since cut back on my milk drinking and replaced dairy milk with almond and coconut milks, and the acne has completely disappeared.
Let’s Be Honest About Quinoa Calcium
I just think that facts matter, especially when you are giving people advice about their diets.
When it comes to quinoa having more calcium than milk, nothing could be further from the truth. Milk not only has more calcium, it has nearly ten times more. You would have to eat about nine cups of cooked quinoa to get the same amount of calcium in a cup of milk.
I worry that a nutritionist will tell a woman she needs at least three servings of dairy and a leafy vegetable or broccoli each day to get a good minimum dose of calcium to combat osteoporosis. This woman will then go online and read that quinoa has more calcium than milk. So she will figure she can replace milk with quinoa at every meal and still meet that minimum goal. However, unless she is eating obscene amounts of quinoa–literally pounds of it every day–she cannot get an adequate daily dose of calcium from this seed.
How Far Can They Stretch the Myth?
What really broils my roaster is that some sites ranking high in this meme claim that one cup of quinoa has more calcium than a quart of milk. A QUART!
Keep in mind, one cup of cooked quinoa has 31 milligrams of calcium while a quart of milk boasts 1112 milligrams.
Wow, I must admit, I get fired up about people circulating that kind of BULL-oney, when the facts are so easily checked at the USDA or on the packages of food at your supermarket. When it comes to calcium, misinformation today can lead to bone fractures later in life. If you come across anyone hocking this fiction, I hope you seek counsel elsewhere.
Looking for Calcium in All the Real Places
Personally, I am still looking for all the natural sources of calcium I can find, just like a lot of other women and men who care about their health and making good food choices. I understand the importance of weight-bearing exercise and eating a balanced diet for building and maintaining strong bones today for my best quality of life tomorrow.
I know quinoa is not an exceptional source for calcium, and that is okay with me. It still has plenty of nutritional benefits to ensure its place beside calcium-rich veggies at my table. No one needs to invent reasons to inflate this seed’s value in my mind, that’s for sure.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite go-to source for calcium in your diet? Share your thoughts in the comments. And please join me in correcting anyone who tries to tell you quinoa has more calcium than milk.