This fact sheet is one in a series containing information to help you select foods that provide adequate daily amounts of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee just released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 that convey the following nine major messages concerning these topics:
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is an antioxidant vitamin involved in the metabolism of all cells. It protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells and prevents breakdown of body tissues.
A good food source of vitamin E contains a substantial amount of vitamin E in relation to its calorie content and contributes at least 10 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E in a selected serving size. The U.S. RDA for vitamin E is 15 milligrams alpha-tocopherol equivalents per day for both men and women ages 19 and older. Alpha-tocopherol is a form of vitamin E that is easily converted by the body to vitamin E. The U.S. RDA is changed for pregnant or lactating women—consult your healthcare provider.
|Good Sources of Vitamin E|
|Food||Serving Size||Milligrams||% RDA|
|Egg, whole, fresh||1 large||0.88||5.8|
|Almond oil||1 tablespoon||5.3||35.3|
|Corn oil||1 tablespoon||1.9||12.6|
|Corn oil (Mazola)||1 tablespoon||3||5|
|Cottonseed oil||1 tablespoon||4.8||32|
|Olive oil||1 tablespoon||1.6||10.6|
|Palm oil||1 tablespoon||2.6||17.3|
|Peanut oil||1 tablespoon||1.6||10.6|
|Safflower oil||1 tablespoon||4.6||30.6|
|Soybean oil||1 tablespoon||1.5||10|
|Sunflower oil||1 tablespoon||6.1||40.6|
|Vegetable-oil spray||2.5 second spray||0.51||3.4|
|Wheat-germ oil||1 tablespoon||20.3||135.3|
|Tomato juice||6 fluid ounces||0.4||2.6|
|Apple with skin||1 medium||0.81||5.4|
|Mango, raw||1 medium||2.32||15.4|
|Macaroni pasta, enriched||1 cup||1.03||6.8|
|Spaghetti pasta, enriched||1 cup||1.03||6.8|
|Almonds, dried||1 ounce||6.72||44.8|
|Hazelnuts, dried||1 ounce||6.7||44.6|
|Peanut butter (Skippy)||1 tablespoon||3||5|
|Peanuts, dried||1 ounce||2.56||17|
|Pistachio nuts, dried||1 ounce||1.46||9.7|
|Walnuts, English||1 ounce||0.73||4.8|
|Margarine (Mazola)||1 tablespoon||8||53.3|
|Margarine (Parkay, diet)||1 tablespoon||0.4||2.6|
|Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s)||1 tablespoon||11||73.3|
|Miracle Whip (Kraft)||1 tablespoon||0.5||3.3|
|Avocado, raw||1 medium||2.32||15.4|
|Asparagus, frozen||4 spears||1.15||7.6|
|Spinach, raw||1/2 cup||0.53||3.5|
|Sweet potato||1 medium||5.93||39.5|
|Tomato, red, raw||1 tomato||0.42||2.8|
|Turnip greens, raw||1/2 cup chopped||0.63||4.2|
According to recent surveys of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the intake of vitamin E by women 19–50 years of age averages less than 90 percent of the RDA. Americans consume roughly 7–9 milligrams compared to the recommended 15 milligrams. Generally Americans consume two-thirds of their vitamin E intake from salad oils, shortenings, and margarines. Eleven percent is from fruits and vegetables and the other 7 percent is from grains and grain products. The diagram below shows where vitamin E is located on the Food Guide Pyramid.
Eating a variety of foods that contain vitamin E is the best way to get an adequate amount. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need supplements. The table in this fact sheet will help you select foods that are good sources of vitamin E. Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, people on low-fat diets can have trouble getting enough of the vitamin. Therefore, dietary fat should be monitored and not reach below safe limits.
Vitamin E can be lost from foods during preparation, cooking, or storage. To retain vitamin E:
Most ready-to-eat cereals are fortified with vitamin E. Fortified ready-to-eat cereals usually contain at least 40% of the U.S. RDA for vitamin E.
The serving sizes used in the table in this fact sheet are only estimates of the amounts of food you might eat. The amount of a nutrient in a serving depends on the weight of the serving. For example, 1/2 cup canned fruit contains more vitamin E than 1/2 cup of the same fruit served raw, because a serving of the canned fruit weighs more. Therefore, the canned fruit may appear on the list while the raw form does not. The raw fruit provides the nutrient—but just not enough in a 1/2-cup serving to be considered a good source.
Updated and revised November 2004 by Jackie Mosure, Dietetic Intern, College of Human Ecology.
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