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This issue's Nutrition Hotline addresses concerns about the USDA'S new Food Plate graphic, which implies that certain vegan foods provide adequate calcium but may not supply some other nutrients found in cow's milk.

QUESTION: "The text that accompanies the USDA's new Food Plate graphic says, 'Calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as cereals, orange juice, rice milk, or almond milk may provide calcium, but may not provide the other nutrients found in dairy products.'

"We wondered what the missing nutrients were and how easy it would be to obtain them."

ANSWER: Most foods that can replace milk as a calcium source have more fiber, iron, folate, and niacin than cow's milk. Many of the nutrients that are lower in nondairy sources of calcium--such as potassium, phosphorus, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin [B.sub.6], zinc, and vitamin A--are found in a variety of foods in a vegan diet. These include whole grains, dried beans, potatoes, and deep orange vegetables. Other nutrients, such as vitamin [B.sub.12] and vitamin D, are best obtained from fortified foods or supplements.

A food is identified as 'similar' if it has at least 80 percent of the amount of the nutrient compared to a serving of skim milk.

Thanks to VRG volunteer Sarah Alper, who looked into high-calcium foods and helped us find foods that have as much (or more) calcium as cow's milk does.

Note: The foods mentioned below are part of what you would be eating in your diet anyway, not additional.

The following servings of items each provide the same amount (or more) of calcium as a cup of dairy milk:

8 ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice have a similar amount or more of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, niacin, and folate as cow's milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of protein, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin [B.sub.6], vitamin [B.sub.12], and vitamin D as you'd get from a cup of milk, you can consume 1/2 cup cooked beans, 1 teaspoon Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast, and a small carrot.

* 3/4 cup of calcium-fortified cereal has the same or more fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin [B.sub.6], and vitamin [B.sub.12] as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of protein, phosphorus, and potassium as is in a cup of dairy milk, eat the cereal with a cup of soymilk.

* 8 ounces of calcium-fortified rice milk have a similar amount or more of fiber, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin [B.sub.12], and vitamin D as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of protein, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamin, vitamin [B.sub.6], and folate as is in a cup of dairy milk, eat a couple of Tablespoons of peanut butter and a medium banana.

* 1 3/4 cups of cooked soybeans have a similar amount or more of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin [B.sub.6], and folate as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of vitamin A and vitamin [B.sub.12] as is in a cup of milk, eat a large wedge of cantaloupe and 1 teaspoon Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast.

* 1/2 cup of firm tofu prepared with calcium sulfate has a similar amount or more of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, niacin, and folate as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of potassium, riboflavin, vitamin [B.sub.6], vitamin [B.sub.12], and vitamin A as is in a cup of milk, eat a cup of cooked spinach and 1 teaspoon of Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast.

* 1 cup of cooked collard greens has a similar amount or more of fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, vitamin [B.sub.6], folate, and vitamin A as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of protein, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin [B.sub.12] as is in a cup of milk, eat a cup of whole-wheat pasta, 1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms, and 1 teaspoon of Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast.

* 1 1/2 cups of cooked turnip greens have a similar amount or more of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin [B.sub.6], folate, and vitamin A as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of protein, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamin [B.sub.12] as is in a cup of milk, eat 1/2 cup pinto beans, 1/2 cup brown rice, and 1 teaspoon of Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast.

* 2 cups of cooked Chinese cabbage have a similar amount or more of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin [B.sub.6], folate, and vitamin A as milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of protein, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, and vitamin [B.sub.12] as is in a cup of milk, eat two slices of whole-wheat bread, a Tablespoon of almond butter, and 1 teaspoon of Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast.

* 2 cups of Great Northern beans have a similar amount or more of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamin, niacin, vitamin [B.sub.6], and folate as cow's milk.

To also obtain a similar amount of riboflavin, vitamin [B.sub.12], and vitamin A as is in a cup of milk, eat a cup of kale and 1 teaspoon of Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast.

To replace the vitamin D often found in dairy milk, spend a few minutes in the sun (if it's summer) or take a vitamin D supplement.

And in case you were wondering about which vegan foods to eat to obtain what is missing from cow's milk:

* You can choose beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to provide fiber. (There's none in milk.)

* Beans, grains, and green leafy vegetables provide iron. (There is almost no iron in cow's milk.)

* Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, and broccoli provide vitamin C. (There is none in cow's milk.)

NOTES FROM THE VRG SCIENTIFIC DEPARTMENT

VRG IN THE NEWS

Vegetarian Resource Group Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, spoke to Today's Diet & Nutrition about vegetarian pregnancy and to Maryland Family Magazine about vegan and vegetarian families. In addition, she is writing columns about iodine in a vegan diet, vegan pregnancy, finding a health care provider that works for you, and other topics for onegreenplanet.org.

VRG OUTREACH

Vegetarian Resource Group Food Service Advisor Nancy Berkoff, RD, EdD, CCE, is working with a local Meals on Wheels in Long Beach, CA, to add some vegetarian options for their set menus, which are delivered daily to seniors and homebound clients.
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Title Annotation:Nutrition Hotline
Author:Mangels, Reed
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Words:1062
Previous Article:Vegan Camp Exploration with Dr. Andy Mars.
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