Foods containing phosphorous

Phosphorous is an essential mineral that your body uses to build healthy bones, create energy and make new cells

The recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults is 700 mg, but growing teens and pregnant women need more. The daily value (DV) was estimated to be 1,000 mg, but was recently updated to 1,250 mg to cover the needs of these groups.

Phosphorus deficiency is rare in developed countries, as most adults eat more than the recommended amounts every day.

While phosphorus is beneficial for most people, it can be harmful when consumed in excess. People with kidney disease can have trouble removing it from their blood and may need to limit their phosphorus intake.

Phosphorus is found in most foods, but some foods are especially good sources. This article lists 9 foods that are particularly high in phosphorus.

1. Chicken and Turkey

One cup (140 grams) of roasted chicken or turkey contains around 300 mg of phosphorus, which is more than 40% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). It is also rich in protein, B vitamins and selenium.

Light poultry meat contains slightly more phosphorus than dark meat, but both are good sources.

Cooking methods can also affect phosphorus content of the meat. Roasting preserves the most phosphorus, while boiling reduces levels by about 25%.

2. Seafood

Many types of seafood are good sources of phosphorus.

Cuttlefish, a mollusk related to squid and octopus, is the richest source, supplying 70% of the RDI in one 3-ounce (85-gram) cooked serving

Other fish that are good sources of phosphorus include (per three ounces or 85 grams)

Some of these foods, like salmon, sardines and mackerel, are also good sources of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that may protect against cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses

3. Dairy

It is estimated that 20–30% of phosphorus in the average American diet comes from dairy products like cheese, milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.

Just one ounce (28 grams) of Romano cheese contains 213 mg of phosphorus (30% of the RDI), and one cup (245 grams) of skim milk contains 35% of the RDI.

Low-fat and non-fat dairy products, like yogurt and cottage cheese, contain the most phosphorus, while whole-fat dairy products contain the least.

4. Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds also contain large amounts of phosphorus.

One ounce (28 grams) of roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds contains roughly 45% of the RDI for phosphorus.

However, up to 80% of the phosphorus found in seeds is in a stored form called phytic acid, or phytate, which humans cannot digest.

Soaking seeds until they sprout can help break down phytic acid, releasing some of the phosphorus for absorption.

Pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be enjoyed as a snack, sprinkled on salads, blended into nut butters or used in pesto, and are a great alternative for people who are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

5. Nuts

Most nuts are good sources of phosphorus, but Brazil nuts top the list. Just a 1/2-cup (67 grams) of Brazil nuts provides more than 2/3 of the RDI for adults.

Other nuts containing at least 40% of the RDI per 1/2-cup (60–70 grams) include cashews, almonds, pine nuts and pistachios.

They are also great sources of plant-based protein, antioxidants and minerals. Eating them regularly is linked with better heart health.

Like seeds, most of the phosphorus in nuts is stored as phytic acid, which is not digestible by humans. Soaking may help, though not all studies agree.

6. Whole Grains

Many whole grains contain phosphorus, including wheat, oats and rice.

Whole wheat contains the most phosphorus (291 mg or 194 grams per cooked cup), followed by oats (180 mg or 234 grams per cooked cup) and rice (162 mg or 194 grams per cooked cup).

Most of the phosphorus in whole grains is found in the outer layer of the endosperm, known as the aleurone, and the inner layer, called the germ.

These layers are removed when grains are refined, which is why whole grains are good sources of phosphorus and why refined grains are not.

However, like seeds, most of the phosphorus in whole grains is stored as phytic acid, which is hard for the body to digest and absorb.

Soaking, sprouting or fermenting the grains can break down some of the phytic acid and make more of the phosphorus available for absorption.

7. Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils also contain large amounts of phosphorus, and eating them regularly is associated with lower risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer.

Just one cup (198 grams) of boiled lentils contains 51% of the recommended daily intake and over 15 grams of fiber.

Beans are also rich in phosphorus, especially Great Northern, chickpeas, navy and pinto beans, which all contain at least 250 mg per cup (164 to 182 grams).

Like the other plant sources of phosphorus, availability of the mineral can be increased by soaking, sprouting and fermenting the beans.

8. Soy

Soy can be enjoyed in many forms, some higher in phosphorus than others.

Mature soybeans contain the most phosphorus, while edamame, the immature form of soy, contains 60% less.

Mature soybeans can be seasoned, roasted and enjoyed as a delicious crunchy snack that provides over 100% of the RDI per 2/3 cup (172 grams).

Fermented soy products, like tempeh and natto, are also good sources, providing 212 mg and 146 mg per 3-ounce (85-grams) serving, respectively .

Most other prepared soy products, like tofu and soy milk, are not as good sources of phosphorus, containing less than 20% of the RDI per serving.

9. Foods With Added Phosphates

While phosphorus is naturally present in many foods, some processed foods also contain large amounts from additives.

Phosphate additives are nearly 100% absorbable, and can contribute anywhere from 300 to 1,000 mg of additional phosphorus per day.

Excessive intake of phosphorus has been linked to bone loss and increased risk of death, so it is important not to consume much more than the recommended intakes.

Processed foods and beverages that often contain added phosphates include:

• Processed meats: Beef, lamb, pork and chicken products are often marinated or injected with phosphate additives to keep the meat tender and juicy

• Cola beverages: Cola drinks often contain phosphoric acid, a synthetic source of phosphorus

• Baked goods: Biscuits, pancake mixes, toaster pastries and other baked goods can contain phosphate additives as leavening agents

• Fast food: According to one study of 15 major American fast food chains, over 80% of the menu items contained added phosphates

• Convenience food: Phosphates are often added to convenience foods like frozen chicken nuggets to help them cook faster and improve shelf life

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient required for bone health and many other bodily functions.

It can be found in many foods, but is especially high in animal proteins, dairy products, nuts and seeds, whole grains and legumes.

Many processed foods also contain phosphorus from phosphate additives used to prolong shelf life or enhance the taste or texture.

Artificial phosphates and animal sources of phosphorus are the most absorbable, while plant-based sources can be soaked, sprouted or fermented to increase the amount of absorbable phosphorus.

While phosphorus is good when consumed in moderation, getting too much from artificial additives may be bad for your health. People with kidney disease also need to limit their intake.

Understanding which foods are highest in phosphorus can help you manage your intake as needed.

References … ( Top 12 Foods That Are High in Phosphorus) Written by Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT on July 3, 2018

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