Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Slams Dairy-Free Diets as ‘Ridiculous’

Speaking at the official launch of the Royal Osteoporosis Society in the UK, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, told an interviewer from the Daily Mail that young girls need to avoid “dairy-free” diets.

“It is this ridiculous dieting, cutting out dairy and all the things that are good for your bones,” Camilla told the Daily Mail. “These girls see ‘Skinny Lizzies’ in a magazine and they all want to be thin. It’s about social media, too.”

Camilla’s concern springs from her tragic family history of osteoporosis, a disease that killed her mother and maternal grandmother.  Osteoporosis is a progressive condition which diminishes the density and strength of aging bones over time. When this happens, fractures occur all too easily. Many women have no idea they are suffering from osteoporosis until they’ve broken a bone.

More than 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis. A full 30 percent of all postmenopausal women in the United States and Europe have osteoporosis.

To be fair, Camilla’s larger point is well taken — young girls do need to take care not to fall victim to fad diets. The unrealistic bodies they see every day on social media tend to fuel a desire to do anything to look thin. And some of the ways some young women — and men — choose to get there are not healthy.

“We need to find a way of educating children that they need to take care of their bodies now instead of aspiring to look like someone they see in a picture if they want to protect themselves in old age,” Camilla told the Daily Mail.

All true, to be sure. But why the hate for “dairy-free” diets? Camilla, aren’t you aware that plant-based eaters avoid all dairy and, if they’re eating right, can get more than enough calcium and Vitamin D to meet their bone health needs?

The trick is to focus on calcium and Vitamin D intake, not just assume you’re getting enough because you’re a vegan. However, it seems not enough vegans are actually doing that.

Studies “consistently support the hypothesis that vegans do have lower bone mineral density than their non-vegan counterparts,” according to a 2006 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. Not all medical experts agree, but there are several things we can do to minimize the chance of osteoporosis onset.

Vegans can ensure they’re protected by following these important considerations, according to The Vegan RD:

  • Eat at least three servings per day of legumes — eat four if you’re 50 or over.
  • Eat at least two cups per day of foods rich in well-absorbed calcium: cooked Chinese cabbage, turnip greens, mustard greens, collards, calcium-set tofu and fortified plant milks. You need more — three cups –if you’re over 50.
  • Eat foods fortified with vitamin D and vitamin B12 or take supplements.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables — you’re vegan, how hard is that?
  • Minimize alcohol consumption.
  • Stay active — pump iron to build muscle and exercise to maintain good balance — yoga anyone?

In other words, if you’re eating “dairy-free,” keep exercising and don’t be a junk food vegan. A combination of the right plant-based foods and muscle-building weight training will stand you in good stead as you age.

Camilla, we agree with you that young women need to stop the slavish devotion to painfully thin, over-glamorized internet sensations. We don’t agree that “dairy-free” is a fad diet, though. Whole food plant-based eating can assure optimum health and well being, including being your defense against osteoporosis.

Not only will your bones thank you, the animals you didn’t eat will thank you too.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / John Pannell

126 comments

Martha P
Martha P2 days ago

Thanks for posting

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Christine V
Christine V4 days ago

Many people are lactose intolerant and they do just fine.

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Peter B
Peter B5 days ago

Thank you for posting

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Jan S
Jan S11 days ago

thanks for this

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berny p
berny p18 days ago

IF t help some people why not!

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Louise A
Lara A20 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Jeramie D
Jeramie D24 days ago

Not a fan of the cruelty of dairy or that woman

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danii p
danii p24 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p24 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p24 days ago

Thank you

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