D-IMG_0139 Where Has All the Vitamin D Gone?This time of year is hard enough to try to stay on track with our weight loss goals, because of the holiday parties and all of the food and treats associated with them. But to top it off, there is yet another thing getting in our way, the sun. Winter is the time of year when there is little to no vitamin D production due to atmospheric conditions that block UVB rays.  Now you might be thinking, ‘why does this affect my health and weight loss goals just like the holiday parties and food?’ It’s because vitamin D does more than just help us maintain our calcium and phosphorous levels. It has been found to be a key nutrient to weight loss and creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Since the winter months make it more difficult for us to get the vitamin D we need from the sun, Amber Ketchum, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Registered Dietitian for our Texas Resort made a list of 10 foods that can help us receive the essential vitamin D we need.

1. Salmon – This tasty fish is loaded with nutrition!  Just 3 ounces provides over 100% of your daily vitamin D needs.

2. Tuna – Canned tuna is a great option if you’re looking for a healthy, affordable, and versatile food.  One 3-ounce serving of tuna (packed in water) will provide almost half of your daily dose of vitamin D.

3. Fortified Milk – Most cows’ milk these days is fortified with vitamin D since it is essential for absorbing calcium in the body.  If you don’t drink cow’s milk, many milk alternatives such as soy or almond milk are now fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D as well, just be sure to check the label.

4. Fortified Yogurt – Just like milk, many yogurts are fortified with Vitamin D, but just make sure to double check the label on this food to be certain it is fortified.

5. Fortified Orange Juice – This is a great way to increase your intake of vitamin D if you don’t drink any type of milk or consume fish.  1 cup (8 ounces) of 100% orange juice fortified with Vitamin D will provide about the same amount as 1 glass of milk.

6. Sardines – These small fish are an excellent source of both calcium and vitamin D. They may be small, but sardines are considered a fatty fish, which means they provide big nutrition in a tiny package!

7. Liver – Liver may not be one of the most popular food choices, but it is one of the few foods that naturally contains Vitamin D, along with many other essential nutrients.

8. Egg (whole, including yolk) – Sometimes eggs get a bad reputation due to the high cholesterol content of the yolk.  However, eating the whole egg provides many vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin D, that are simply not found in the egg white on it’s own.

9. Ready-to-eat fortified cereal – There are so many breakfast cereals available on grocery store shelves today.  Many of them are good sources of Vitamin D since they are fortified, just make sure your cereal is 100% whole grain and try to choose those with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

10. Mushrooms – There are many varieties of mushrooms that are now grown under tightly controlled conditions with exposure to UV light, which increases their Vitamin D content.  These are a delicious option as a plant source Vitamin D.  The package will say if the mushrooms are Vitamin D enhanced.
Try incorporating these 10 foods into your diet and you’ll be on your way to getting the vitamin D you need for a healthier life and weight loss.