Food Sources of Select Nutrients
Current low intakes of nutrient-dense foods and beverages across food groups has resulted in underconsumption of some nutrients and dietary components. Calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D are considered dietary components of public health concern for the general U.S. population. In addition, iron is a nutrient of public health concern for infants, particularly those receiving mostly human milk, and women of childbearing age.
The following lists provide examples of a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages that are some of the highest sources of these dietary components. Health professionals are encouraged to use these lists to help Americans identify foods and beverages they enjoy—those that reflect their personal preferences and cultural traditions—and that also help meet their food group and nutrient needs.
A few notes about these lists:
- Portions listed are not recommended serving sizes.
- Two lists—in ‘standard’ and ‘smaller’ portions--are provided for each dietary component. Standard portions provide at least 130 mg of calcium; 280 mg of potassium; 2.8 g of dietary fiber; 80 IU of vitamin D; and 1.8 mg of iron. Smaller portions are generally one half of a standard portion.
- Some fortified foods and beverages are included. Other fortified options may exist on the market, but not all fortified foods are nutrient-dense. For example, some foods with added sugars may be fortified and would not be examples in the lists provided here.
- Some foods or beverages are not appropriate for all ages, particularly young children for whom some foods (e.g., nuts, popcorn) could be a choking hazard.