Healthy Foods

The significance of obtaining adequate vitamin D during the winter months

Question: I KNOW we’re meant to take vitamin D supplements in the winter, but what’s the best way to take them — and does the type of vitamin D matter?

. A MORE than 20 per cent of adults in the UK are deficient in vitamin D, according to the most recent (government-funded) National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

This is because there isn’t enough sunlight to stimulate our skin to produce vitamin D, specifically D3 (also called cholecalciferol).

The other type of vitamin D, D2 (also called ergocalciferol), is produced by certain plants such as mushrooms.

Studies suggest that D3 is more effective at raising your levels of vitamin D, so is the preferred type for supplement form.

In terms of timing, because vitamin D is fat soluble, it’s best to take it with a meal containing fat — such as nuts, seeds, yoghurt, milk, avocado, olive oil or salmon — to maximise absorption.

The key, however, is that you remember to take your supplement — perhaps the best way to do this is by getting into the routine of having it with your first meal of the day.

Low Vitamin D During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis In Offspring

Food for thought

Despite the diversity of colors intended to suggest different fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, apples, cherries, raspberries and blueberries), the breakfast cereal Froot Loops consists of a single same flavor. Neither do the loops derive from actual fruit. Originally, they were called Fruit Loops, but a lawsuit forced the spelling change. The ingredient list for Froot Loops hasn’t changed since they debuted in 1959: Corn flour blend (whole grain yellow corn flour, degerminated yellow corn flour), sugar, wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, modified food starch, 2 percent or less of vegetable oil (hydrogenated coconut, soybean and/or cottonseed), oat fiber, maltodextrin, salt, soluble corn fiber, natural flavor, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6, BHT for freshness. Vitamins and minerals added: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), reduced iron, niacinamide, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin D3, vitamin B12.

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