USDA’s database has been updated so that you can now find nutrition information on more than 7,500 food items. The 2009 updates include vitamin D values for many kinds of fish and for foods that are often fortified with vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, yogurt, and margarine.
In addition, nutrient profiles have also been added for dozens of food items from family-style, Latino and Chinese restaurants. You can use the USDA nutrient database to look up how much of a vitamin, mineral, or other nutritive food component is in a specific food. To search for the nutrient profile in a specific food, go to http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ and enter the name of the food in the search text box. Hint: some common food words like “chicken” will yield hundreds of items, so try to be specific (e.g., frozen chicken nuggets).
You can also look up food sources of a specific nutrient. The results can be shown in alphabetical order or in order from highest to lowest in amount per household measure. To find a list of foods that are high in a specific nutrient, click on “nutrient lists” at the same search website mentioned above and click on the “W” in the dark blue circle next to the nutrient of interest. For example, if you ask for a list of high-to-low food sources of total dietary fiber, you’ll find that raw pearled barley, bulgur, and navy beans have the most fiber per household measure. Keep in mind that all the “household measure” amounts are not the same from food to food (e.g., 1 cup, 1 pie shell, 1 mango, 1 oz nuts) and the amount of calories would be very different from food to food in these lists.
Source: Susan Nitzke, UW-Extension Nutrition Specialist