A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, University of Alberta and McGill University found that high-fiber foods such as bread, pasta, rice, cereals and cereals products, whole grains and beans are among the most vitamin D-rich foods.
“The researchers used a dietary questionnaire and validated food records to determine the nutritional content of the foods, and the foods had an average vitamin D content of 16 ng/mL.
High-fibre foods were also among the highest in vitamin d content.
A similar pattern was observed for magnesium, a mineral that’s important for bone health and well-being,” said Dr. Peter MacKay, the lead author of the study and a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at the university.
“Interestingly, although high-fat foods were the most nutrient dense, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet did not appear to be protective against osteoporosis.”
The findings are not surprising.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoporsosis is a degenerative disease of the bones that leads to poor bone health.
And research has found that low-fat and high-carb diets may have similar effects on bone health as high-intensity exercise.
MacKay and his team used a nutrient profile developed by researchers from the University at Buffalo and the University Hospital in Bordeaux to identify the highest-fIBE foods and the lowest-fNI foods, which is where the vitamin D is located.
The high-FIBE food groups included bread, noodles, pasta and rice, which contain more fiber, a lower amount of cholesterol and other nutrients.
The low-FNI food groups include pasta, white rice, lentils, chickpeas, beans, whole grain breads, rice cakes, baked goods, cereal products and pasta sauces.
Mac Kay said the researchers looked at the nutritional value of these foods in terms of vitamin D, which indicates their high or low vitamin D status.
“As far as high vitamin D levels go, high fiber foods are a great way to start,” he said.
“In terms of magnesium, I think the study found that the highest levels of magnesium in low-fGI foods are in the low-calorie group.”
The researchers said the low vitamin d in these high-rich food groups may have to do with how these foods are prepared.
“We knew from previous studies that high fat foods are generally high in saturated fat, which could be one reason for the low levels of vitamin d,” said MacKay.
“So it could be the case that the high-caloric foods tend to have higher amounts of saturated fat than the low food groups.”
He said there may also be another explanation.
“There may be a certain amount of protein and other components that make it more difficult to digest,” he added.
“These foods may also contain other nutrients that are not found in the foods that are rich and high in vitamin-D, such as vitamin C and magnesium.
And we know that vitamin C is associated with reduced risk of osteopontosis, which we’re really focused on.”
The study was published online February 12 in the journal Nutrition.