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Folate Content of Foods

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Food NameFolate 
Milk, human5
Milk5
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole5
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole, low-sodium5
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, whole5
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, 1% fat5
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat5
Milk, cow's, fluid, other than whole ("lowfat")5
Milk, cow's, fluid, 2% fat5
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 1% fat5
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 2% fat5
Milk, cow's, fluid, 1% fat5
Milk, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat, 0.5% or less butterfat5
Milk, cow's, fluid, filled with vegetable oil5
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Usage Note

  • Folate value is in mcg and calculated per 100g of food weight.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by folate content.
  • Pie chart shows relative contributions to total calories from carbohydrate, protein and fat (and alcohol, if exists).
  • The mineral and vitamin charts show the relative contents of minerals and vitamins of each food. The higher the bubble, the higher mineral or vitamin content a food has relative to other foods. The larger the bubble, the greater the mineral or vitamin content relative to the Recommended Daily Allowances.

FOLATE

information from the National Institutes of Health

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements and added to fortified foods.

Folate gets its name from the Latin word "folium" for leaf. A key observation of researcher Lucy Wills nearly 70 years ago led to the identification of folate as the nutrient needed to prevent the anemia of pregnancy. Dr. Wills demonstrated that the anemia could be corrected by a yeast extract. Folate was identified as the corrective substance in yeast extract in the late 1930s, and was extracted from spinach leaves in 1941.

Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folate is also essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.

Folate Sources

Leafy green vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), fruits (like citrus fruits and juices), and dried beans and peas are all natural sources of folate.

In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published regulations requiring the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products. Since cereals and grains are widely consumed in the U.S., these products have become a very important contributor of folic acid to the American diet.


Folate Deficiency

A deficiency of folate can occur when an increased need for folate is not matched by an increased intake, when dietary folate intake does not meet recommended needs, and when folate loss increases. Medications that interfere with the metabolism of folate may also increase the need for this vitamin and risk of deficiency.
Medical conditions that increase the need for folate or result in increased loss of folate include:

•pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding)

•alcohol abuse

•malabsorption

•kidney dialysis

•liver disease

•certain anemias
Medications that interfere with folate utilization include:

•anticonvulsant medications (such as dilantin, phenytoin and primidone)

•metformin (sometimes prescribed to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes)

•sulfasalazine (used to control inflammation associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)

•triamterene (a diuretic)

•methotrexate (used for cancer and other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis)

•barbiturates (used as sedatives)
What are some common signs and symptoms of folate deficiency?

•Folate deficient women who become pregnant are at greater risk of giving birth to low birth weight, premature, and/or infants with neural tube defects.

•In infants and children, folate deficiency can slow overall growth rate.

•In adults, a particular type of anemia can result from long term folate deficiency.

•Other signs of folate deficiency are often subtle. Digestive disorders such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss can occur, as can weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, forgetfulness, and behavioral disorders. An elevated level of homocysteine in the blood, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, also can result from folate deficiency.

Many of these subtle symptoms are general and can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than folate deficiency. It is important to have a physician evaluate these symptoms so that appropriate medical care can be given.

Do women of childbearing age and pregnant women have a special need for folate?

Folic acid is very important for all women who may become pregnant. Adequate folate intake during the periconceptual period, the time just before and just after a woman becomes pregnant, protects against neural tube defects. Neural tube defects result in malformations of the spine (spina bifida), skull, and brain (anencephaly). The risk of neural tube defects is significantly reduced when supplemental folic acid is consumed in addition to a healthful diet prior to and during the first month following conception. Since January 1, 1998, when the folate food fortification program took effect, data suggest that there has been a significant reduction in neural tube birth defects. Women who could become pregnant are advised to eat foods fortified with folic acid or take a folic acid supplement in addition to eating folate-rich foods to reduce the risk of some serious birth defects. For this population, researchers recommend a daily intake of 400 μg of synthetic folic acid per day from fortified foods and/or dietary supplements.

Who else may need extra folic acid to prevent a deficiency?

People who abuse alcohol, those taking medications that may interfere with the action of folate (including, but not limited to those listed above), individuals diagnosed with anemia from folate deficiency, and those with malabsorption, liver disease, or who are receiving kidney dialysis treatment may benefit from a folic acid supplement.

Folate deficiency has been observed in alcoholics. A 1997 review of the nutritional status of chronic alcoholics found low folate status in more than 50% of those surveyed. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of folate and increases the amount of folate the kidney gets rid of. In addition, many people who abuse alcohol have poor quality diets that do not provide the recommended intake of folate. Increasing folate intake through diet, or folic acid intake through fortified foods or supplements, may be beneficial to the health of alcoholics.

Anti-convulsant medications such as dilantin increase the need for folate. Anyone taking anti-convulsants and other medications that interfere with the body's ability to use folate should consult with a medical doctor about the need to take a folic acid supplement.

Anemia is a condition that occurs when there is insufficient hemoglobin in red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to cells and tissues. It can result from a wide variety of medical problems, including folate deficiency. With folate deficiency, your body may make large red blood cells that do not contain adequate hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body's cells. Your physician can determine whether an anemia is associated with folate deficiency and whether supplemental folic acid is indicated.

Several medical conditions increase the risk of folic acid deficiency. Liver disease and kidney dialysis increase the loss of folic acid. Malabsorption can prevent your body from using folate in food. Medical doctors treating individuals with these disorders will evaluate the need for a folic acid supplement.



Folate-Rich Foods

Most of folate-rich foods are ready-to-eat cereals. These are fortified with folate by their manufacturers. Folate content is in micrograms per 100 grams of food weight.



Foods High in Folate Folate

Yeast extract spread 3786

Leavening agents, yeast, baker's, active dry 2340

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, CAP'N CRUNCH'S Homerun Crunch Cereal 1676

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, CAP'N CRUNCH 1555

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, SWEET CRUNCH/QUISP 1555

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, CAP'N CRUNCH'S PEANUT BUTTER CRUNCH 1554

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER CRUNCHY BRAN 1554

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, CAP'N CRUNCH'S Halloween Crunch 1550

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, CAP'N CRUNCH'S Touchdown Cereal 1539

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, CAP'N CRUNCH with CRUNCHBERRIES 1539

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, Christmas Crunch 1537

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, HONEY GRAHAM OH!S 1515

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, Honey Nut Oats 1500

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, Honey Graham bagged cereal 1500

Cereals, MALT-O-MEAL, plain, dry 1448

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, Maple Brown Sugar LIFE Cereal 1436

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER APPLE ZAPS 1400

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, Toasted Oats/OATMMM'S 1400

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN COMPLETE Wheat Flakes 1379

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, Multi-Grain Cheerios 1379

QUAKER, Cap'n Crunch's OOPS! All Berries Cereal 1353

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN BRAN BUDS 1345

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S Complete Oat Bran Flakes 1345

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, KING VITAMAN 1334

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, TOTAL Corn Flakes 1333

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, Whole Grain TOTAL 1333

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S PRODUCT 19 1333

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER OAT CINNAMON LIFE 1318

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER Honey Graham LIFE Cereal 1311


Foods High in Folate Folate

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN Original 1310

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S SPECIAL K 1290

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER COCOA BLASTS 1273

Cereals ready-to-eat, MALT-O-MEAL, Crispy Rice 1214

Cereals ready-to-eat, KASHI HEART TO HEART, Honey Toasted Oat 1212

Cereals ready-to-eat, KASHI HEART TO HEART, Warm Cinnamon 1210

Cereals, MALT-O-MEAL, chocolate, dry 1208

Cereals ready-to-eat, MALT-O-MEAL, Honey BUZZERS 1059

Formulated bar, LUNA BAR, NUTZ OVER CHOCOLATE 1057

Cereals, MALT-O-MEAL, Farina Hot Wheat Cereal, dry 990

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S CRISPIX 967

Cereals ready-to-eat, MALT-O-MEAL, BERRY COLOSSAL CRUNCH 955

Cereals, KASHI HEART TO HEART, Instant Oatmeal, golden brown maple, dry 930

Cereals, KASHI HEART TO HEART, Instant Oatmeal, Apple Cinnamon, dry 930

Formulated bar, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SNICKERS Marathon Double Chocolate Nut Bar 905

Formulated bar, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SNICKERS Marathon Honey Nut Oat Bar 905

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER Toasted Oatmeal Cereal 896

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, Oatmeal Cereal, Brown Sugar Bliss 889

Cereals ready-to-eat, MALT-O-MEAL, Maple & Brown Sugar Hot Wheat Cereal, dry 882

Cereals ready-to-eat, MALT-O-MEAL, Honey Nut TOASTY O'S Cereal 881

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, Wheat CHEX 851

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, Multi-Bran CHEX 851

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER toasted Oatmeal Cereal, Honey Nut 847

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER OAT LIFE, plain 839

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S Low Fat Granola without Raisins 816

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, TOTAL, Blueberry Pomegranate 816

Formulated bar, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SNICKERS Marathon Energy Bar, all flavors 816

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S SMART START Strong Heart Antioxidants Cereal 800

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, KIX 787

Leavening agents, yeast, baker's, compressed 785

Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, TOTAL Raisin Bran 755

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