Healthy Fat-Soluble Vitamin Combinations is my first investigation of the claims made in Healthy Food Combinations Chart. The claims are repeated on many Internet sites, but there does not appear to me much justification for the claims. The original article is light on references, so I am investigating each claim to see if it is relevant to modern healthy eating best practice.
I have to say that my early investigations are not encouraging. I now question the whole idea of healthy food combinations. If you simply say that a variety of healthy food is important, then that is probably sufficient. Of course, that raises questions about what constitutes healthy food. I have some ideas that I will present later, but for now, I am going to look at the claims for fat-soluble vitamin combinations, that was exemplified by almonds and yoghurt.
First, the article claims that “many essential vitamins are activated and absorbed best when eaten with fat.” Unfortunately, there is no reference to support this assertion. The article continues to describe fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E – they forgot K. They list various foods claimed to be vitamin-rich, and lead on to suggest food combinations that will allow you to get the most fat-soluble vitamins from food.
Now, as there is no reference, we do not know whether this combination is actually valid, but that is not important. The important point about fat-soluble vitamins is that our bodies store them in the liver and fat tissue until required.
Also, these vitamins are not lost in cooking, and we only need small amounts. Most people do not need additional fat-soluble vitamins, and mega-doses can be toxic.
Fat Soluble Vitamins and Health
Only in the poorest of poor eaters do we find fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies. They are so widely available that you should not need to worry about them. Here are the main sources of fat-soluble vitamins:
Vitamin A Food Sources
Vitamin A is available from dairy products, fish, and liver. Plant sources are mainly orange and dark green vegetables and fruits including: apricots, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, and winter squash.
Vitamin D Food Sources
Vitamin D is formed in our skins under sunlight. Food sources include milk, oily fish, and cod liver oil.
Vitamin E Food Sources
Vitamin E is available from vegetable oils, and related spreads and dressings. Plant sources include fruit, vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin K Food Sources
Vitamin K is found in many plant sources including: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. It is also found in canola, cottonseed, olive, and sunflower oils.
Healthy Fat-Soluble Vitamin Combinations
There is no need to seek healthy fat-soluble vitamin combinations. If you have a vitamin deficiency through poor diet, a general healthy eating plan is sufficient. Food combinations are not likely to be any healthier. If you have a deficiency through ill health, there may be some advantage from switching some foods to help overcome that deficiency. However, food combinations are unlikely to help.
If you need help with specific vitamin deficiencies, please ask in the healthy eating forum.
Fat-Soluble Vitamin References
Fat soluble vitamin food source information from Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, and K by L. Bellows and R. Moore. Colorado State University Extension