The majority of people can get enough vitamin D from a regular diet. However, some restrictive diets that completely exclude a certain group of food from your meal plan can cause a deficiency of several nutrients, including vitamin D.
Here are some diets that can cause vitamin D deficiency.
The best way to get more vitamin D is to get more sun exposure – sunlight helps our body to make its own vitamin D. This can be hard during winter, so you need more of it in your diet. However, eggs, fish, and dairy are among the foods highest in this vitamin, so vegans may need to use supplements.
Another diet that completely cuts out several types of food, paleo is known for the dominant role meat, fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables have in this diet. However, avoiding dairy and grains can put you at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.
People who follow this diet avoid food that’s been heated over around 115ºF. Since this overlaps with veganism, this diet has the same problem – cutting out meat, fish, and eggs increases a chance of getting vitamin D deficiency.
The goal of this diet is to eat alkaline foods to lower the body’s acidity levels. Unfortunately, this excludes eggs, fish, and dairy – all of which are great sources of vitamin D.
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Since the goal of a keto diet is to use fat for energy, this diet reduces carbohydrates to a minimum. This means avoiding yogurt and milk because they contain lactose. However, fatty dairy options like cream cheese contain less vitamin D, so you may need to eat more eggs and oily fish.
If you follow any of these diets that can cause vitamin D deficiency, monitor your vitamin D levels closely. If needed, talk about your doctor about supplementation or increase the amount of food that your diet allows, but that also contains some vitamin D.