Monday, September 8, 2008

Vitamin D and Healthful Diets

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, "nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. Foods provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have beneficial effects on health. In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts. However, dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a healthful diet."

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that:

-Emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

-Milk is fortified with vitamin D, as are many ready-to-eat cereals and a few brands of yogurt and orange juice. Cheese naturally contains small amounts of vitamin D.
Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

-Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are very good sources of vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in beef liver and egg yolks.

-Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Vitamin D is added to some margarines.

-Stays within your daily calorie needs.

For more information about building a healthful diet, refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/default.htm) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food guidance system, My Pyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov).

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