On Nutrition: Why you should care about choline

Happy Monday! If you didn’t catch my On Nutrition column in yesterday’s Seattle Times,All about choline, a lesser-known vitamin,” be sure to check it out. (Note: Choline technically is not a vitamin, but I didn’t write the headline.) Choline is a very important nutrient, especially during pregnancy and early childhood. As research on choline continues, it may also prove to be important for preserving optimal brain function as we age, but for now the scientific jury is still out on that question.
It’s worth noting (and I do mention this in the column), but one of the best dietary sources of choline is egg yolks (the very best source if you have no interest in eating liver!). So all these years of demonizing egg yolks has done what to choline intake? Good food for though, no?
In the column, I only had room to talk in very general terms about what foods contribute most to choline intake. If you want to totally geek out on choline levels, check out NutritionData’s ranked list of choline content in 999 foods. Yes, you read that right: 999 foods. You’ll see that there are some big differences within categories of foods (such as various cuts of beef or types of fish), bu this list will be especially helpful if you are a vegan or a non-ovo vegetarian and want to figure out if you are getting enough choline from your diet, or if you may need to consider supplements (again, this is most crucial if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding).