What Plant-Based Milks Contain Calcium?

Calcium is an essential nutrient that helps maintain the integrity of bones and teeth but is also involved in nervous system control, blood clotting and muscle contractions. Low intakes of calcium have been linked with a condition called osteoporosis, where bones have a low density and are at increased risk of fractures and breaks. There are a variety of factors linked to osteoporosis, including low intake of calcium throughout life, vitamin D status (which we get from the sun) and exercise.

Most Australians will meet their calcium requirements through milk and milk-based products. However, when following a vegan, plant-based or dairy-free diet, these foods are completely omitted. It is therefore essential to ensure that appropriate swaps to calcium-fortified plant based milks are made.

There are a lot of different plant based milks on the supermarket shelves, and the plant-based milk industry is only growing. In the local Coles, Woolworths or IGA you are bound to find soy, almond, rice, oat, coconut and sometimes even macadamia milk. With all these options, and a lot of different branding as to which one is the ‘healthiest’, it can get very difficult which ones we should be picking and choosing,

What Plant-Based Milks Contain Calcium:

 

 

The most important thing to note when we choose our plant-based milks, is to choose ones that are calcium-fortified. This means, calcium has been added into the milk during the production process. We should ideally be aiming for at least 100mg per 100ml of plant milk to provide our bodies with a good source of calcium (check out the nutrition label on the left). I took a quick trip to my local woolies the other day and took a few photos of which brands were calcium-fortified and which ones are not. Please note, these include only the brands that were available at my local Woolworths and this post is not sponsored.

Soy milk:

 

Calcium fortified:

  • Vitasoy: soy milk, original soy, calci-plus soy
  • Woolworths Macro organic soy milk
  • So good Soy milk
  • Woolworths select regular soy milk

Not calcium fortified

  • Bonsoy
  • Pure Harvest Nature’s Soy It’s organic

Almond milk

Calcium fortified:

  • Vitasoy – almond milk unsweetened
  • Almond breeze (has some calcium added, but not a good source)
  • So good – almond milk, almond/coconut mil

Not calcium fortified

  • Australia’s Own Organic Almond milk

 

Coconut milk

 

Calcium fortified:

  • Vitasoy – coconut milk unsweetened

Not calcium fortified

  • Australia’s Own Organic Coconut milk
  • Cocoquench

Oat milk

Calcium fortified:
  • Vitasoy – oat milk unsweetened

Not calcium fortified

  • Pureharvest – It’s organic oat milk

 

Rice Milk

 

Calcium fortified:

  • Pure harvest It’s organic Rice Milk with added organic calcium
  • Vitasoy rice milk unsweetened

 

 

 

For more individualised advice on how you optimise your plant based diet and eat great food,  book in to see our plant based dietitian here. 

 

This article was written by Plant Nutrition and Wellness’s founder Kiah Paetz.

How Do You Get Enough Protein On A Vegan Diet?

How do you get enough protein on a vegan diet? As a vegan, this is honestly one of the most common questions that I get asked. One of the biggest misconceptions in today’s society is that you have to consume meat in order to get enough protein. When in reality, you do not at all!

What Is Protein?

Protein is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. It plays various roles in our body, from synthesis and repair of muscle, as an energy source and also has structural and functional roles in enzyme, hormones and antibodies. Amino acids are the building block of proteins. Of the 20 amino acids that we find in proteins, nine are essential. This means, we need to get them from our diet as our body cannot create them.

How Much Protein Do Vegans Need?

The amount of protein you need depends on your gender, age and activity.

According to Australian Nutritional Reference Values, approximately 15-25% of calories in the diet should be from protein.

This is equivalent to about 0.84g protein per kilogram of body weight for males 19-70 years old, and 0.75g protein per kg of body weight for females 19-70 years old.

Protein requirements for vegans are often 10-20% more than non-vegas. This is due to the differences in protein quality of plant-based proteins versus animal-sourced proteins.

There are several factors that make up the protein quality of food but the two main things are:

  • The protein digestibility – this takes into account how much the protein is absorbed from the total protein quantity of foods
  • The amino acid score or profile – this measures the essential amino acid content present in a protein and the protein is rated based on the most limiting amino acid

Therefore, the every day vegan male and female would need approximately 1g of protein per kg of body weight.

What are the best sources of protein on a vegan diet?

Almost all foods have some degree of protein in them. However when looking for protein rich foods, these foods should be high in protein per 100g.

 

Interested in learning more? Check out our article on How To Build Muscle On A Plant Based Diet.

 

If you’re following a plant-based or vegan diet and want to make sure you’re meeting all your nutritional needs, take control and book in to see one of our expert vegan dietitians.