D is for vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle development and in the prevention of osteoporosis. Many Australians have been found to be vitamin D deficient in winter.
Kellie Bilinski, Accredited Practising Dietitian explains that few foods naturally contain or are fortified with vitamin D in Australia. Oily fish such as salmon and trout are good sources while meats and dairy foods contain very small amounts. Margarine is the only food that is required to be fortified in Australia but again the amount of vitamin D in a serve is very small.
To meet requirements in winter it is safe to go out in the sun in the middle and southern Australian states and territories 15-20 minutes each day with arms and legs if possible exposed to the sun. Early or late in the day, UV light from the sun is inadequate to meet requirements.
Although dietitians recommend we meet our nutrient requirements through diet, there may be a place for supplements because of the difficulty of meeting vitamin D requirements. If you suspect you may have low vitamin D levels speak to your doctor or an Accredited Practising Dietitian who is able to assess your diet.
For more information visit daa.asn.au