Calcium Myths- Debunked!

Picture of Raw Organic Green Collard Greens

I was prompted to write this blog by an article I read in, “Time Out New York”. “Without dairy, you would have to consume pounds and pounds of greens to get enough calcium,” said a nutritionist they quoted. Eeek…no!!! Not true! I found myself muttering around the house to myself.

So instead of joining the legions of New York self-talkers that I often hear and see in Washington Square Park, ☺ I decided I needed to just write and share this with you guys.

In our country, dairy products are pasteurized, a process that destroys all the dairy’s live enzymes, including the enzyme phosphatase, which is important to the assimilation of calcium.

Furthermore, most adults only have 5-10% of the enzyme lactase they had as a child, which is the enzyme we need to digest diary. With the deficiency of lactase, the undigested milk sugar ends up in the intestine as the perfect culture medium for bacteria to grow on.

Picture of Human stomach with bacteria and other microbes

This can also lead to excess toxins and mucus in the body, an increased tendency for weight gain, and as yogic tradition would say, a clogging of our nadis, our channels of energy that flow in the body.

“Ironically, osteoporosis tends to occur in countries where calcium intake is highest and most of it comes from protein-rich dairy products,” says Dr. Campbell, head of the China Project, the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.

Another yucky fact about dairy is that dairy fat is loaded with different kinds of toxins, such as our country’s super high exposure to dioxin, a highly toxic chemical compound that even the EPA admits can directly lead to serious diseases and cancer.

And there has even been a link between dairy and acne, a shocking truth revealing the detriments of animal product.

The GREAT news is who needs all that dairy anyway?? It is mucus forming, pasteurized, enzyme-stealing and super hard to digest, and definitely fattening (for the overwhelmingly vast majority of people anyway, I believe).

And you already have the best choice available to you for calcium every day: Green vegetables. Greens have calcium absorption rates of over 50%, compared with 32% in milk. I get plenty of calcium from greens by regularly consuming green smoothies, green juices and a multitude of various salads.

Other fruits and veggies are also very high in calcium, such as olives and dates.  Calcium is best assimilated by the body when both magnesium and manganese are present together, as they are in greens. Greens are also very alkaline, which means they don’t cause urinary calcium loss, the way acid-producing dairy products do.

There are so many amazing types of dark leafy greens. Notice its strong, vibrant, living energy. Here I am with one of my most favorite greens of all: collard greens.

Picture of Kimberly's hand on top of a piece of collard greens

Collard greens are so tough and remind me of the jungle, or that they could have survived from the time of the dinosaurs.

Eating collard greens makes me feel almost primal, and definitely connected to the earth.





Last updated: Tuesday, January 5, 2016
  • Jenny

    Hi Kimberly!

    I’ve been enjoying your raw food recipes over my winter break from school. Unfortunately, I have to go back to dorm life soon and that means no kitchen or blender! The only appliance I have easy access to is a tiny refrigerator. I was wondering if you had any suggestions as to how I can maintain raw food in my diet under unconveniant circumstances. Are there any packaged green juices that you would recommend?

    Thanks for your time!

  • kimberlysnyder

    Hi Jenny!
    Eek. No blender!
    Are you eating at the school cafeteria? Do you have access to making/eating great salads every day?
    I like Green Vibrance- which is a powdered green mix you keep in your freezer. You can mix it with water or juice, and have it in the mornings. Or, E3 Live has a good green supplement that you can consume daily.
    I would also keep raw almonds and dried figs on hand to stay away from those dorm vending machines!!
    All my best, Kimberly

  • Kim

    Just a reminder to get enough vitamin D with your calcium–vitamin D is what helps calcium to absorb into the bones! Vit. D is found in sunlight, fortified juices and breads, etc.

  • Nicole

    I recently discovered your blog after purchasing “the solution” after reading that Kristen Bell and Sophia Bush use it. I absolutely love it. I’ve started making the green smoothies daily (although the taste is still a little harsh to me but I suck it up because of the benefits) as well. In any case I just wanted to thank you for the blog.
    And wow you are really beautiful.

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Nicole,
      Thanks so much for reaching out and your kind words! You are so sweet.
      I’m so thrilled to hear that you are loving The Solution! You’ll find that the longer you use it, your skin will keep looking better and better! And between you and me, there are many other actresses you would know that use The Solution, but we are just working on getting permission to use their quotes, since they are all unpaid endorsements. :)
      As for the green smoothie- try adding some ice, and maybe another 1/2 a banana if it tastes really harsh to you. It helps! But yes, keep sucking it up because the benefits are outstanding.
      Please come visit again!!
      All my very best,

  • Jill

    Do you suggest organic milk? I have a small daughter that is not a fruit & veg. eater. How do I get calcium & vit.D in her.

  • Steve Aplin

    Dear Kimberly:

    So nice to see someone else as enthusiastic as me about The Mighty Collard. My reverence for this plant borders on spiritual. I can get collards at any grocery store here in Ottawa Canada, in the dead of winter. If they’re limp, who cares: put them in a sink of water and they’ll spring back to life in an hour — and stay that way after two weeks in the fridge.

    I just quarter the stalks vertically then steam in a quarter-inch of water for not too long. With a bit of margarine and maybe some salt, they’re orgasmic — as good as fresh sweet corn.

    I like your description of their effect: “Primal.” For me, collards are in the elite power-green category, along with watercress, kale, and Chinese broccoli. What an awesome plant.

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hey Steve,
      That is awesome that you are into the collard as well. I have about 20 of them in my fridge right now.

      Just make sure you don’t use margarine with them!!!!!!! That is made of hydrogenated oils that can not break down in your body. Try maybe Earth Balance, or if anything, real butter

      I like your other elite greens also! :)

  • Steve Aplin

    Hi Kimberly,

    Don’t worry… the label on the margarine container says “ain’t no transfats in here, and if there are it’s not our fault” (or something to that effect). Never heard of Earth Balance, but I have heard of butter — it’s to die for, like collards.

    Collards are also not bad done Asian style, fried/steamed with garlic and ginger.

    Also glad you debunked the calcium myth. Next time I run into someone who trots out the old milk nag (and it happens fairly frequently), I’ll refer them to your blog.


  • Kely Costarica

    I saw this in my local supermarket yesterday. Having read your review I’m now going to try some products from this range instead of the more expensive less earth-friendly product that I was going to try.

  • Laura@simplehealthwithLaura

    Hi Kimberley !

    A great book about the calcium conundrum is The Calcium Lie/Robert Thompson.
    Another great book is The Green Foods Bible/David Sandoval

    Take care,

  • Elena

    I found this article very interesting and intriguing! I would have never guessed diary (e.g. milk) is so bad for you. I am so glad I have stopped drinking it since I was younger and currently have no craving for it what-so-ever at this day in age. But my question is how far does NO DAIRY does it go…. is it just milk or is it any diary products like cheese, yogurt, and whipped creme? As well as I do consume some diary but not all the time for example in cereal, coffee hot chocolate is it okay to consume diary sometimes? Or should it be stopped over all.

    thank you
    sincerely Elena

  • barbara

    true US consumes to much dairy and uses to much Cacium supplements.
    Consme a healthy Diet with lots of Veggies and Fruits, limit your Dairy intake .I give that advice to all my patients ,should see their looks on their faces,especially about Dairy,they think you’re are crazy.
    My mother never expierence osteoporosis and we have in Germnay less people who suffer from this either.

  • karen

    Hi Kim!
    I was just telling a friend about how great your diet plan is. Unfortunately I got really discouraged because they told me I look out of shape and that I need to be eating lean protein if I want to be thin. I said look at Kimberly Snyder, she’s so thin like a model, and he said you are probably naturally that skinny. So I am very discouraged and feel a moral dilemna about eating lean protein like turkey or chicken in order to be thin. I have struggled with eating disorders all my life and for the past year or so I have been trying to be healthy and mostly vegetarian, practicing yoga alot, but I’ve put on 20 lbs and I’m feeling very discouraged. Is it necessary to have lean protein if I want to have a six pack? And the idea of eating avocado every single day really scares me! Please, encourage me and ease my fears by telling me I can be thin like you by following the detox diet. How long do you think I should give myself to lose 20 lbs?

    • Alexandra

      Karen, you do not have to eat lean meat. I am very athletic and just lost 10 lbs (en purpose), I haven’t eaten meat or dairy in many many months! In order to understand the bigger picture on what animal products do to your body please read The China Study – Kim mentions it often! Carr’s book “crazy sexy diet” will also help you put the pieces together. If you are healthy you will not be fat! These books are very easy to read and you will get many answers!! Eating High carb, plant based will balance out your body and weight, however you cannot undo many years of bad eating habits in just a couple of months. Good luck!!

  • Melissa

    hi Kimberly just reading all your great info about milk being so so healthy and am wondering what to give my 19 month old .. I currently give him raw jersey milk but am wondering if i should give him something else instead? I was giving him soy milk but heard that wasn’t any good either. My older son is allergic to nuts & dairy so we don’t have nuts in our home so no nut milks. rice milk? or try getting him to drink green smoothies? Are babies tummies able to break down and absorb all the raw veges as adults do? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Melissa

  • Brieana-Leigh

    Hi, Kimberly!

    I’ve hated most dairy for as long as I can remember, especially milk! but I’ve forced myself to consume it so I can get my calcium. This information makes me feel a lot better! I definitely had no idea how bad it was for you! so now I will just stick to greens!
    The one thing I do really like is cheese, is it bad to eat a little bit of it every so often?

    thanks :)

  • Namara

    Hey Kim,

    I was just wondering about your thoughts on soy milk as a dairy replacement?

    Also if you had any good resources about dairy issues I would love to take a look at them, I am doing a nutrition/dietetic course and whenever I mention to other students or even just other people about the possible issues associated with dairy they think I’m being over the top and silly. Even my own mother does not take my advice concerning dairy. Recently she asked me to research diets to decrease inflammation issues and I mentioned cutting out dairy (as well as replacing it with other goodies), to which she replied ” I can’t do that, a woman my age needs her dairy to prevent osteoporosis”. Even with some supporting information she still held strong to her opinion. I think if I had more resources supporting me I could make an even better argument.

    Can you help?

    • Alexandra

      Namath, I have the same problem with the ones I love! So frustrating! I buy books for them documenting these things and that helped! ( Kim’s book, the china study etc)

  • Maria


    I´m Norwegian, and we consume a lot of dairy. Milk is considered very healthy in Norway. Experts say that we need calcium to prevent osteoporosis. BUT: Norway are among the countries cosuming the most milk/dairy AND also the country with the highest percentage of osteoporosis in the world! So I believe you when you say dairy is not good for adults.

    But what about children? I can´t find anything about children and dairy? Do they need calcium from milk to grow?

    Great blog!

    All the best,