June 10, 2015

Finding Vitamin D in Your Food

By Editor

It’s pretty hard to get close to 1000 IU (where benefits likely begin) a day of vitamin D eating a typical western diet. Most foods are relatively low in the vitamin, even fortified milk and orange juice. Fatty fish is one of the best sources, but isn’t a regular part of many people’s diets. And although sun exposure can be an incredibly rich source of vitamin D, it’s not a reliable source year round in many parts of the country and has other problems, such as increased risk for melanoma.

Vitamin D supplements are likely the safest and easiest way for most people to boost their vitamin D levels. The amount contained in most supplements varies depending on the type. Look for those that contain vitamin D3, since vitamin D2 isn’t as potent a source. Unless directed by a doctor, stay away from formulations with doses at or over 2,000 IU.

And, when you’re cruising the grocery store and planning your next meal, think about incorporating the following foods, which are good sources of vitamin D.

SOURCE OF VITAMIN D

IUs PER SERVING

Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon

1,360
Salmon (cooked) 3.5 ounces

360

Mackerel (cooked) 3.5 ounces

345

Tuna fish (canned in oil) 3 ounces

200

Sardines (canned in oil, drained) 1.75 ounces

250

Milk, vitamin D-fortified (nonfat, reduced fat, and whole) 1 cup

98

Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon

60

Ready-to-eat cereal (typical)

40

Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in yolk)

20

Liver, beef (cooked) 3.5 ounces

15

Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce

12

Sun exposure on arms and legs (10 – 20 minutes)

(depending on time of day, year, skin color, and latitude)

3,000
Supplements(depending on formulation)

400 – 1,000

 

 

Tags: Nutritional Know-How

CONDITIONS OF THE GI TRACT