Food Sources and Dietary Intakes

The Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) has been extensively evaluated to determine dietary sources of vitamin E in the United States. Major food groups contribute the following percentages of total vitamin E: fats and oils, 20.2%; vegetables, 15.1%; meat, poultry, and fish, 12.6%; desserts, 9.9%; breakfast cereals, 9.3%; fruit, 5.3%; dairy products, 4.5%; mixed main dishes, 4.0%; nuts and seeds, 3.8%; soups, sauces, and gravies, 1.7% (1, 33). Data in Table 2.3 reported as mg a-TE show that fortified cereals are the most concentrated source of vitamin E in the U.S. diet. Other excellent sources are salad and cooking oils, instant breakfast and diet bars, mayonnaise and salad dressings, and peanuts and peanut butter. Figure 2.2 shows the distribution of vitamin E intakes for males and females reported as mg a-TE. The distributions were thought to be skewed by a few individuals with very high intakes. According to these data, 69% of men and 80% of women are below the recommended allowance of 10 (men) and 8 (women) mg a-TE per day (33).

Data collected from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII, 1994) are listed in Table 2.4 (34). The tabulation shows that high-oil-content foods are major sources; cereals fortified with a-tocopheryl acetate are also significant sources. Raw tomatoes and tomato products, because of high consumption, are significant sources of vitamin

table 2.3 Vitamin E Content in Usual Servings of Foods Reported by the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1976-1980)
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