Foods with Vitamin D
In the 1930s, a vitamin D deficiency disease called rickets was a major public health problem in the United States so a milk fortification program was implemented nearly eliminating this disorder.4,9 Currently, about 98% of the milk supply in the US is fortified with 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per quart.
Although milk is fortified with vitamin D, dairy products made from milk, such as cheese and ice creams, are generally not fortified with vitamin D.
There are only a few foods that are good sources of vitamin D,4 so vitamin D supplements are often recommended unless you are exposed to sunlight on your skin regularly. Suggested dietary sources of vitamin D are listed below.
Table 1: Selected food sources of vitamin D10-12
Pure Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon (Note: most refined cod liver oils today have the vitamin D removed! Check your label to be certain.)
Salmon, cooked, 3Â½ ounces
Mackerel, cooked, 3Â½ ounces
Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1Â¾ ounces
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified, 1 cup
Margarine, fortified, 1 Tablespoon
Pudding, prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk, Â½ cup
Ready-to-eat cereals fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, Â¾ cup to 1 cup servings (servings vary according to the brand)
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in egg yolk)
Liver, beef, cooked, 3Â½ ounces
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce
*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers developed by the Food and Drug Administration to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The DV for vitamin D is 400 IU for adults.