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Can you get enough vitamin D from your diet?
Tuesday, 13 October · 2 min read

Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and the best way to get it is from sunlight. Your skin uses energy in the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays to create vitamin D.

But this means that during the winter months, your skin may not create enough of it.

So is it possible to get enough from your diet instead?

The following foods provide some vitamin D:

  • oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon
  • egg yolk
  • milk and cheese
  • red meat and liver
  • some breakfast cereals with added vitamin D

Oily fish contains the most, with between up to 17 micrograms of vitamin D per portion. Eggs, meat and milk contain less, with 1 cup of whole milk containing around 3.2 micrograms of vitamin D and a hard boiled egg just 1 microgram.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can get vitamin D from breakfast cereals, vegetables spreads and some yoghurts that contain added vitamin D.

But if you live in a country with colder climates, it's likely you will need to take supplements to top up your vitamin D levels during the autumn and winter months.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) recommends all adults and children over the age of 1 consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

But you're at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency if:

  • you live in a country where summers are short
  • you cover your skin when you’re in the sun
  • you’re aged 65 or over
  • you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you have darker skin and live in a colder country

If you do take supplements daily during colder months, each should contain 10 micrograms of vitamin D — this should be enough tp keep your bones healthy.

Find out more about why you need vitamin D and how to get enough of it.

Quote of the day

Proper nutrition is the difference between feeling exhausted and getting the most out of a workout.

Summer Sanders, Olympic Swimming Champion

Quick Quiz
Which type of fish contains the most vitamin D?