Vitamin D-rich food chooser

Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium, which gives your bones the strength and hardness.

Alongside sunlight, you can get vitamin D from certain foods.

Foods providing around 20 micrograms of vitamin D per average portion

  • Grilled herring* - 1 portion (119g) 19.2 micrograms

Foods providing around 12-13 micrograms of vitamin D per average portion

  • Canned pink salmon in brine* - 1 small can (100g drained weight) 13.6 micrograms
  • Grilled salmon* - 1 portion (170g) 13.3 micrograms
  • Grilled kipper fillet* - 1 portion (130g) 13.1 micrograms
  • Grilled rainbow trout fillet* - 1 portion (155g) 12.7 micrograms
  • Smoked mackerel* - 1 portion (150g) 12.3 micrograms

Foods providing around 3-4 micrograms of vitamin D per average portion

  • Some malted hot drinks (check the label) - 1 mug (25g) 4.6 micrograms
  • Cooked crab* - 1 small can (75g) 3.5 micrograms
  • Tinned sardines in tomato sauce* - 1 small can (100g) 3.3 micrograms
  • Scrambled eggs or plain omelette - 2 eggs (120g) 3.3 micrograms

Foods providing around 1-2 micrograms of vitamin D per average portion

  • Build-up powdered sachet (shake) - 1 sachet (38g) 1.7 micrograms
  • Fortified soya milk - 1 glass (200ml) 1.6 micrograms
  • Boiled chicken’s egg - 1 egg without shell (50g) 1.6 micrograms
  • Fortified cornflakes and bran flakes - 1 portion (30g) 1.4 micrograms

Foods providing around 0.5 micrograms of vitamin D per average portion

  • Grilled pork chop - 1 chop excluding bone (75g) 0.6 micrograms
  • Corned beef - 1 thick slice (50g) 0.6 micrograms
  • Grilled bacon rashers 2 middle rashers (80g) 0.5 micrograms
  • Fortified low-fat spread, polyunsaturated - 1 tsp (5g) 0.4 micrograms
  • Baking fat/margarine 1 teaspoon - (5g) 0.4 micrograms
  • Grilled or fried pork sausages** - 1 sausage (40g) 0.4 micrograms
  • Fried lamb's liver*** - 1 portion (40g) 0.4 micrograms

Wild mushrooms can be high in vitamin D, but this varies.

The number of vitamin D-fortified foods is growing. Check food labels for more information.

*Because of sea pollutants, aim to limit oily fish to four portions a week, or two, if you're pregnant or trying to conceive.

**Aim to limit processed meat such as sausages. Although they contain vitamin D, they are also high in salt and fat.

***Liver is high in a certain type of vitamin A, which can be harmful to bones in excessive amounts. If you're over 50, aim to limit liver products to one portion a week. If you're pregnant, it's recommended that you avoid eating liver, as too much vitamin A can harm your baby.

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