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How I Meet My Folate Goals

Are you getting enough FOLATE from your food?! Pretty much everyone knows how important this nutrient is, and especially how important it is when it comes to pregnancy. BUT as you can probably guess, I’m not a fan of supplements. ESPECIALLY folic acid supplements, which I will explain below. First, let’s review folate. The RDA for folate is 400mcg for adults, and women who are in their pre-conception planning phase are recommended to obtain 400 - 1000mcg daily. If we’re not being very intentional about our folate consumption, we are likely not consuming enough. Folate is needed for: ✅Cell growth + function ✅Red blood cell formation ✅Optimal metabolism of carbohydrates For pregnancy, folate is needed for: ✅Preventing neural tube defects ✅Increasing birth weight ✅May prevent miscarriage ✅May prevent mental retardation + deformations Now let’s talk Folate vs. Folic acid. First off, folic acid is synthetic. Unfortunately, in the medical community, “folate” and “folic acid’ are used interchangeably, but they are NOT interchangeable. They enter the metabolic cycle in very different ways, and folate (obviously) is much easier for the body to utilize as opposed to synthetic folic acid. Second, up to 60% of the population isn’t able to convert folic acid into folate due to a genetic variant known as MTHFR. Individuals with MTHFR absolutely *require* the active form of folate, l-methylfolate AKA 5-MTHF, which is the dominant type of folate found in food (@lilynicholsrdn). (MTHFR can be discovered through a blood test). If individuals with MTHFR supplement with folic acid (which is the form of folate in many prenatal vitamins and multivitamins) as opposed to folate, it can can lead to neural tube defects in pregnancy (@lilynicholsrdn). So it’s obvious the best way to get folate is through food. I don’t recommend prenatal vitamins due to the many subpar nutrients that are loaded into those “catch all” supplements. Besides, many of them have folic acid instead of folate anyway. SWIPE ➡️ for the three main reasons why it’s better to get your folate from your food as opposed to a supplement (I couldn’t fit it all in the caption). Also, make sure you are NOT eating foods fortified with folic acid such as many breads, cereals, grains, etc. If you absolutely cannot get enough folate from food, I would recommend a HIGH QUALITY folate supplement. **This is not medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your doctor. Information in this post is from I cannot ensure that it is 100% perfectly spot-on, but it’s a good guideline and great place to start**


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