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Are you Getting Enough Vitamin K2?

Graphic explaining if you are getting enough Vitamin K2

Here’s the thing...

Actually 3 things.

  1. When we stopped eating liver and sauerkraut a generation or two ago, our collective Vitamin K2 intake dropped because they were both good dietary sources of K2.
  2. Same thing happened when we switched from full fat foods to low-fat foods
    • Vitamin K2 is fat-soluble and so, it’s found in fatty foods.
    • Now that 90s-style fat phobia is starting to blow over, we’re slowly starting to eat fatty foods again.
    • Popular fat-free greek yogurts have virtually zero Vitamin K2 while full fat greek yogurts have a fair amount of K2. 
    • But not all fatty foods are rich in K2.
  3. We don’t eat chicken dark meat – we prefer white meat. Dark meat is where you’ll find Vitamin K2.

OK, one more thing: cheese.

Cheese COULD be a great source of Vitamin K2, but the kind we eat (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, Kraft Singles, Velveeta) have hardly any K2 in it.

Kraft Singles and Velveeta are not cheese. Well, we don't know exactly what they are but they are cheese-like products that contains cheese. Don’t. Just…don’t.

If you want to get your K2 from cheese, you need to reach for the more obscure, imported types like Muenster, Jarlsberg, Emmental, Camembert, and Gouda.

Oh, our Wisconsin Gouda has very little K2, but the real thing from Holland does. It has to do with the type and duration of fermentation. You take the Gouda with the bad. Sorry.

How much Vitamin K2 do you need?

Even though there is no official Daily Value or ‘RDA,’ experts recommend 100 to 200 micrograms (mcg) per day.

Turns out that this is not easy to do.

The average American diet is not going to provide 100 mcg of Vitamin K2 daily. This isn’t because the experts want us to eat a very high amount, but because we no longer eat foods that are rich in Vitamin K2. 

Our grandparents ate liver and sauerkraut. But not us. 

There is research that suggests that 97% of older people fall under deficiency or insufficiency

If you’re up for eating Natto of Foie Gras, then, sure it is easy.

But for the rest of us eating American fare, you need to consciously work Vitamin K2 rich foods into your routine.

It can be done.

The easiest (and probably tastiest) way is to include chicken dark meat, pork products, and European cheeses.

  • Chicken dark meat is high in the MK-4 form of Vitamin K2.
  • Pork is high in longer chain MK forms like MK-10 and MK-11.
  • European hard cheeses are the richest of these sources with several forms of Vitamin K2.  

Makes you look at a Ham & Cheese sandwich differently, doesn’t it?

But that’s exactly the thing – we have been told to choose chicken breast meat over dark meat because it is supposedly healthier.

Eating ham and cheese daily also goes against what we were told about healthy eating.

You may not need 200 mcg daily. Even if you don't get to half that, if you have a choice between chicken white meat and dark meat, go for the dark. 

If you can afford it, go the Jarlsberg or Gouda instead of Cheddar or Monterey Jack. 

Go for full fat greek yogurt over the fat-free stuff. 

Small changes make a big difference over time. Generally speaking, if you eat 3 of these foods daily, your K2 needs are probably met.

And if you fall short, there is always K2 supplements.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This website is for educational and informational purposes only. The ideas, opinions and suggestions contained on this website are not to be construed as medical advice. If you have, or suspect you may have, a medical condition you should seek advice from a licensed health care practitioner. Readers of this website should not rely on the information provided or contained herein as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions or concerns regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician. You should not start or stop any medications, diet or exercise plan without first consulting with your doctor. We neither encourage you to do so, nor are we liable for the failure to seek medical advice from the appropriate licensed medical health practitioner.

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