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Nutrition Basics: Part 3: Fat Soluble Vitamins

March may have come and gone and with that brought about National Nutrition Month, which inspired these posts talking about some of the “basics” of nutrition. However the learning still continues! Notice how basics are in quotation marks given that even this information often gets convoluted by diet culture and becomes tricky to know and understand!

The first two parts in this series can be found here: Nutrition Basics: Part 1: Macronutrients and Nutrition Basics: Part 2: Water Soluble Vitamins. Please refer to part 2 regarding more background information on what micronutrients are and a breakdown of water-soluble vitamins as we are diving right into fat-soluble vitamins today as we work through the different classifications of micronutrients.

Fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A, D, E and K dissolve in fat, but not water, and can be stored in the body for future use.

Vitamin A is considered an antioxidant, which can help to neutralize harmful free radicals. Additionally, Vitamin A plays a role in vision, growth, cell division, reproduction and immunity.

Food sources of Vitamin A:

  • Dairy products

  • Liver

  • Fish

  • Fortified cereals

Vitamin D is known to assist the body with absorption and maintenance of calcium and phosphorus, which plays a vital role in keeping our bones healthy. Vitamin D is also shown to have an important function in regulating cell growth.

Food sources of Vitamin D:

  • Oily fish (i.e. salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel)

  • Red meat

  • Liver

  • Egg yolks

  • Fortified cereals

Vitamin E is a nutrient that plays a crucial role with our vision, reproduction, and the health of blood, brain and skin. Similarly to Vitamin A (and vitamin C from the previous post), vitamin E is also an antioxidant.

Food sources of Vitamin E:

  • Sunflower, safflower, wheat germ, and soybean oil

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Almonds

  • Peanuts and peanut butter

  • Dark leafy greens

  • Pumpkin

Vitamin K serves a role in making numerous proteins that are necessary for the clotting of blood, and the building of bones and healthy bone tissue.

Food sources of Vitamin K:

  • Spinach

  • Broccoli

  • Iceberg lettuce

  • Soybean and canola oil (as well as salad dressings made with these oils)

  • Some fortified meal replacement shakes and bars


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