Food and Nutrients

(Published 03/2016)

In meal planning, include foods from five food groups (Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Meat and alternatives, Milk and alternatives) Choose from a variety of foods ensure you and your family get sufficient nutrients. Learn about the major food sources of different nutrients help you to make food choices.

Nutrients Major natural food sources
Protein Dairy (e.g. milk, cheese and yoghurt), meat, fish, seafood, poultry, legumes/ lentils/ dry beans and bean products
Carbohydrates Grains (e.g. baby cereal, bread, rice, pasta/noodles, oatmeal), dairy, legumes/dry beans (e.g. black-eyed beans, Adzuki beans, red kidney beans, lentils/dahl), starchy, root and tuber vegetables, fruits
Essential Fatty Acids:
Alpha-linolenic acid, ALA Vegetable oils (e.g. soy bean oil, canola oil, sesame oil, sunflower seed oil etc.), walnut, flaxseed, nuts and seeds
Linoleic acid, LA Vegetable oils (e.g. safflower seed oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soy bean oil, canola oil, sesame oil, sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil, etc.), nuts and seeds
Omega-6 fatty acids Meat and seafood
Omega-3 fatty acids Fish (Fish with high fat content contains more omega-3 fatty acids: e.g. sardines, salmon, halibut, jade perch, etc.)
Vitamin A /Beta- carotene Vitamin A: Dairy, liver, egg yolk (Our body can turn beta-carotene in foods into Vitamin A)
Beta-carotene: Yellow and orange fruits (e.g. papaya, cantaloupe and peach, etc.), dark orange, yellow and green vegetables (e.g. carrot, spinach)
Vitamin D Oily fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, cod, eel, etc.), egg yolk, liver, vitamin D- fortified dairy products and soy milk
There are few food choices that provide vitamin D naturally and the quantity is low. Most of the vitamin D our body needs is produced by the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.
Vitamin E Vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, corn oil, canola oil, etc.) , nuts, seeds, egg, dark green vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ
Vitamin K Vegetable oil (e.g. soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil, etc.) liver, fish, dark green vegetables, beans, wheat bran
Vitamin C Fresh vegetables (e.g. bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, etc.) and fruits (e.g. orange, kiwi fruits, papaya, cantaloupe, guava, permissions, etc.)
Vitamin B12 Meat, liver, fish, seafood, poultry, egg, dairy, breakfast cereal added with vitamin B12
(Note: vegetables, fruits, legumes/ lentils/ dry beans, nuts/seeds do not contain Vitamin B12)
Vitamin B6 Grains*, meat, liver, beans
Vitamin B1 Grains*, meat, beans, nuts
Vitamin B2 Grains*, meat, egg, dairy
Niacin Grains*, meat, fish, poultry, egg
Biotin Grains*, wheat germ, liver, egg, peanut, nuts, vegetables (e.g. broccoli, mushrooms)
Pantothenic acid Grains*, meat, liver, egg
Folate Dark green vegetables, fruits (e.g. cantaloupe, oranges),legumes/ lentils/ dry beans, liver, peanuts, nuts, folate-fortified breakfast cereals
Calcium Dairy, dark green vegetables (e.g. Choy sum, broccoli), soy beans and bean products, sesame, dried small shrimps
Iron Meat, fish, seafood, poultry, egg, dark green vegetables, legumes/ lentils/ dry beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruits
Zinc Meat, seafood (e.g. oysters, shellfish), liver, peanut, seeds, nuts, dairy
Copper Nuts, seeds, legumes/ lentils/ dry beans, liver, seafood (e.g. oysters, prawns, crabs, etc.)
Iodine Seaweed, kelp, marine fish, seafood (e.g. prawns, mussels, oysters, etc.), egg yolk, dairy
Magnesium Whole grains (e.g. whole-meal bread, brown rice, red rice), meat, nuts, dark green vegetables, soy beans and bean products
Phosphorus Meat, fish, poultry, egg yolk, legumes/ lentils/ dry beans and bean products, dried small shrimps, nuts (e.g. sunflower seed, peanuts, walnuts, etc.), mushrooms, black fungus, whole grains
Selenium Whole grains (e.g. whole-meal bread, brown rice, red rice), meat, seafood
Choline Liver, milk, egg, meat, peanut, nuts, soy bean products, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower
Taurine Fish, animal protein

*Whole grains including red rice, brown rice, whole-meal bread, contain more vitamin B than white rice or white bread

If you would like to know more about the nutrient contents of different foods, you can visit the Centre for Food Safety Nutrient Information Inquiry System website: