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Top 10 Foods Highest in Phosphorus


Phosphorus is an essential nutrient required for proper cell functioning, regulation of calcium, strong bones and teeth, and for making ATP (adenosine triphosphate) a molecule which provides energy to our cells. A deficiency in phosphorus can lead to lowered appetite, anemia, muscle pain, improper bone formation (rickets), numbness, and a weakened immune system. Phosphorus is found in almost every food, and as such, deficiency is rare. Conversely consuming too much phosphorus causes the body to send calcium from the bones to the blood in an attempt to restore balance. This transfer of calcium weakens bones, and can cause calcification of internal organs, increasing risk of heart attack and other vascular diseases. Some scientific research suggests that phosphorus is more easily absorbed from meat products,4 and you can only absorb half of the phosphorus contained in plant foods. The amount of phosphorus absorbed differs from person to person, and as HealthAliciousNess.com considers nutrients from plant sources to be optimal for health, the plant sources of phosphorus are still listed here and recommended. The DV (Percent Daily Value) for phosphorus is 1000mg. Below is a list of high phosphorus foods by common serving size, for more, see the extended lists of high phosphorus foods by nutrient density, and phosphorus rich foods.

#1: Seeds (Pumpkin & Squash)
Phosphorous in 100g Per cup (129g)Per ounce (28g)
1233mg (123% DV)1591mg (159% DV)345mg (35% DV)
Other Seeds High in Phosphorous (%DV per ounce): Sunflower Seeds (32%), Chia Seeds (24%), Sesame Seeds (22%), Watermelon Seeds (21%), and Flaxseeds (18%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Cheese (Romano)
Phosphorous in 100g Per package (142g)Per ounce (28g)
760mg (76% DV)1079mg (108% DV)213mg (21% DV)
Other Types of Cheese High in Phosphorous (%DV per ounce): Parmesan (23%), Goat Cheese (20%), Nonfat Mozzarella (18%), Gruyere and Swiss (17%), Gouda, Edam and Nonfat Cream Cheese (15%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Fish (Salmon)
Phosphorous in 100gPer 1/2 Fillet (154g)Per 3oz (85g)
371mg (37% DV)571mg (57% DV)315mg (32% DV)
Other Fish High in Phosphorous (%DV per 3oz Cooked): Carp (45%), American Shad (30%), Whitefish and Cod (29%), Tuna (28%), and Mackerel (27%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#4: Shellfish (Scallops)
Phosphorous in 100g (Cooked) Per 3oz (85g)Per ounce (28g)
426mg (43% DV)362mg (36% DV)121mg (12% DV)
Other Shellfish High in Phosphorous (%DV per 3oz Cooked): Clams (29%), Shrimp (26%), Mussels and Crab (24%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Nuts (Brazil)
Phosphorous in 100g Per cup (133g)Per ounce (28g)
725mg (73% DV)964mg (96% DV)203mg (20% DV)
Other Nuts High in Phosphorous (%DV per ounce): Pine Nuts (16%), Almonds and Cashews (14%), and Pistachios (13%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Pork (Lean Sirloin)
Phosphorous in 100gPer roast (638g)Per 3oz (85g)
311mg (31% DV)1984mg (198% DV)264mg (26% DV)
A Lean Pork Chop (180g) provides (55%) DV. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#7: Beef & Veal (Lean Beef)
Phosphorous in 100gPer piece (283g)Per 3oz (85g)
286mg (29% DV)809mg (81% DV)243mg (24% DV)
Veal leg provides (25%) per 3oz of phosphorus. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#8: Low Fat Dairy (Nonfat Yogurt)
Phosphorous 100g Per cup (245g)Per container (227g)
157mg (16% DV)385mg (38% DV)356mg (36% DV)
1 cup of Nonfat Milk provides 25% DV of phosphorus. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Soya Foods (Tofu)
Phosphorous in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per ounce (28g)
287mg (29% DV)241mg (24% DV)80mg (8% DV)
Soybeans (Edamame) are Also High in Phosphorous: providing (18%) DV per ounce. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Beans & Lentils (Lentils)
Phosphorous in 100gPer cup (198g)Per tablespoon (12g)
180mg (18% DV)356mg (36% DV)22mg (2% DV)
Other Beans and Lentils High in Phosphorous (%DV per cup cooked): Adzuki (39%), Yellow Beans (32%), White Beans (30%), Chickpeas and Black Turtle Beans (28%), Pinto and Kidney Beans (25%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



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Top 10 High Phosphorus Foods by Nutrient Density (Phosphorus per Gram)

#1: Seeds (Pumpkin) 1233mg (123% DV) per 100 grams345mg (35% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Seeds
#2: Spices (Ground Mustard Seed) 828mg (83% DV) per 100 grams17mg (2% DV) per teaspoon (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spices
#3: Cheese (Parmesan) 807mg (81% DV) per 100 grams40mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cheese
#4: Nuts (Brazil) 725mg (73% DV) per 100 grams203mg (20% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Nuts
#5: Cocoa Powder 734mg (73% DV) per 100 grams37mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cocoa Powder
#6: Edamame (Soybeans) 649mg (65% DV) per 100 grams182mg (18% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Edamame
#7: Bakerís Yeast 637mg (64% DV) per 100 grams26mg (3% DV) per teaspoon (4 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bakerís Yeast
#8: Bacon 533mg (53% DV) per 100 grams43mg (4% DV) per slice (8 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bacon
#9: Liver (Beef) 497mg (50% DV) per 100 grams338mg (34% DV) per slice (68 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver
#10: Canned Sardines 490mg (49% DV) per 100 grams451mg (45% DV) per can (92 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Sardines

Other Phosphorus Rich Foods

Bran (Not well absorbed)*1677mg (168% DV) per 100 gram serving1426mg (144% DV) per cup (118 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bran
Wheat Germ (Not well absorbed)*1146mg (115% DV) per 100 gram serving1295mg (129% DV) per cup (113 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Toasted Wheat Germ
Fortified Cereals**1150mg (115% DV) per 100 gram serving1426mg (144% DV) in 2 cups (124 grams)713mg (72% DV) per cup (62 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
Poppy Seeds849mg (85% DV) per 100 gram serving76mg (8% DV) per tablespoon (9 grams)25mg (3% DV) per teaspoon (3 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Poppy Seeds
Cocoa Powder734mg (73% DV) per 100 gram serving631mg (63% DV) per cup (86 grams)37mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cocoa Powder
Baking Powder 6869mg (687% DV) per 100 gram serving 344mg (34% DV) per teaspoon (5 grams) 206mg (21% DV) per 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Baking Powder
Whey Powder 932mg (93% DV) per 100 gram serving 1351mg (135% DV) per cup (145 grams) 75mg (7% DV) per tablespoon (8 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whey Powder
Caviar 356mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 100mg (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams) 57mg (6% DV) per tablespoon (16 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Caviar
Tempeh 266mg (27% DV) per 100 gram serving 442mg (44% DV) per cup (166 grams) 74mg (8% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tempeh
Sun Dried Tomatoes 356mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 192mg (19% DV) per cup (54 grams) 7mg (1% DV) per piece (2 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sun Dried Tomatoes
Ham (Lean) 322mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving 274mg (27% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) 892mg (89% DV) per piece (277 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Ham
Rice Cakes (Brown) 360mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 65mg (6% DV) per 2 cakes (18 grams) 32mg (3% DV) per cake (9 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Brown Rice Cakes
Popcorn 358mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 29mg (3% DV) per cup (8 grams) 100mg (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Popcorn
Watercress 60mg (6% DV) per 100 gram serving 20mg (2% DV) per cup chopped (34 grams) 15mg (2% DV) per 10 sprigs (25 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Watercress
Shiitake Mushrooms (Dried) 294mg (29% DV) per 100 gram serving 44mg (4% DV) per 4 mushrooms (15 grams) 12mg (1% DV) per mushroom (4 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Shiitake Mushrooms
Portabella Mushrooms 108mg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving 93mg (9% DV) per cup, diced (86 grams) 91mg (9% DV) per mushroom (84 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Portabella Mushrooms
White Mushrooms (Cooked) 105mg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving 113mg (11% DV) per cup, sliced (108 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for White Mushrooms
Tortilla Chips 318mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving 89mg (9% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tortilla Chips
Buckwheat (Cooked) 319mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving 523mg (52% DV) per cup (164 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Buckwheat
Peanut Butter 369mg (37% DV) per 100 gram serving 133mg (13% DV) per 2 tablespoons (36 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Peanut Butter
*While bran and germ (the components of whole grains) are high in phosphorus, they are in a storage form called phytin, which is not absorbed.Ref
**Amount of phosphorus may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of phosphorus from each individual product.
For more high phosphorus foods use the nutrient ranking tool.


People at Risk of a Phosphorus Deficiency

  • Alcoholics - Alcohol can draw phosphorus supplies from the bones, lowering overall levels.3
  • People Taking Salt Substitutes - Salt substitutes which contain potassium may reduce phosphorus levels in the long term.3
  • Long distance athletes - People who exercise over long distances lose electrolytes via sweat and need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Dehydration - People who consume excess alcohol, or suffer diarrhea, or can be otherwise dehydrated need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Drugs which may Lower Phosphorus Levels3
    • Antacids - Antacids with aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, can hamper phosphorus absorption in the digestive system.
    • Anticonvulsants - Anticonvulsants, such as phenobarbital and carbamazepine or Tegretol, can lower levels of phosphorus in the body, and create enzymes which hamper absorption.
    • Bile Acid Sequestrants - Bile acid sequestrants used to lower cholesterol can prevent phosphorus being absorbed by the body.
    • Corticosteroids - Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Medrol), can increase excretion of phosphorus in unrine.
    • Insulin - Insulin in high doses may lower phosphorus absorption.
    • ACE Inhibitors (Blood Pressure Medication) - ACE Inhibitors such as Benazepril (Lotensin), Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Vasotec), Fosinopril (Monopril), Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil), Quinapril (Accupril), and Ramipril (Altace) may lower levels of phosphorus.
    • Cyclosporine (Immune Supressant)
    • Cardiac Glycosides (Digoxin or Lanoxin)
    • Heparins (Blood-thinning Drugs)
    • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (ie: Ibuprofen or Advil)

Recipes High in Phosphorus

How to Cook Oatmeal (Oats)
How to Cook Rye
Blackberry Salad

Warnings

  • Cheese, Bacon, and Whole Milk are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts or avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Pumpkin and Squash Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Flax Seeds, Cheese, and Nuts are high calorie foods and should be eaten in moderate amounts by people with a high body mass index.
  • People with kidney failure should regulate their intake of phosphorus foods, and avoid phosphorus foods if their level is high. Normal phosphorus levels range between 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL. The National Kidney Foundation can provide more guidance on kidney failure and phosphorus foods.

Buy Phosphorus Foods

Parmesan cheese, Sesame Seeds, Almonds, Flax Seeds, Brazil Nuts.



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▼ References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25.
  2. Linus Pauling Institute on Phosphorus
  3. University of Maryland Medical Center Article on Phosphorus
  4. National Research Council, Food and Nutrition Board. Recommended Dietary Allowances. 10th ed. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1989:184-187.
  5. Medline Plus article on Phosphorus in Diet