Chromium is widely distributed in the food supply, but most foods provide only small amounts (less than 2 micrograms [mcg] per serving). Meat and whole-grain products, as well as some fruits, vegetables, and spices, are relatively good sources. In contrast, foods high in simple sugars (like sucrose and fructose) are low in chromium.

Dietary intakes of chromium cannot be reliably determined because the content of the mineral in foods is substantially affected by agricultural and manufacturing processes and perhaps by contamination with chromium when the foods are analyzed. Therefore, Table 1, and food-composition databases generally, provide approximate values of chromium in foods that should only serve as a guide.

Table 1: Selected food sources of chromium
FoodMicrograms (mcg)
per serving
Percent DV*
Broccoli, ½ cup119
Grape juice, 1 cup87
English muffin, whole wheat, 143
Potatoes, mashed, 1 cup33
Garlic, dried, 1 teaspoon33
Basil, dired, 1 teaspoon22
Beef cubes, 3 ounces22
Orange juice, 1 cup22
Turkey breast, 3 ounce22
Whole wheat bread, 2 slices22
Red wine, 5 ounces1–131–11
Apple, unpeeled, 1 medium11
Banana, 1 medium11
Green beans, ½ cup11

*DV = Daily Value. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed DVs to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of foods and dietary supplements within the context of a total diet. The DV for chromium on the new Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels and used for the values in Table 1 is 35 mcg for adults and children age 4 years and older [18]. FDA required manufacturers to use these new labels starting in January 2020, but companies with annual sales of less than $10 million may continue to use the old labels that list a chromium DV of 120 mcg until January 2021 [17,19]. FDA does not require food labels to list chromium content unless chromium has been added to the food. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient, but foods providing lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.

Side Effects Of Chromium

Few serious adverse effects have been linked to high intakes of chromium, so the Institute of Medicine has not established a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for this mineral [10,14]. A UL is the maximum daily intake of a nutrient that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. It is one of the values (together with the RDA and AI) that comprise the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for each nutrient.

Dosage Of Chromium

Recommended chromium intakes are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences [14]. Dietary Reference Intakes is the general term for a set of reference values to plan and assess the nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values include the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Adequate Intake (AI). The RDA is the average daily intake that meets a nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98%) healthy individuals [14]. An AI is established when there is insufficient research to establish an RDA; it is generally set at a level that healthy people typically consume.

In 1989, the National Academy of Sciences established an “estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake” range for chromium. For adults and adolescents that range was 50 to 200 mcg [20]. In 2001, DRIs for chromium were established. The research base was insufficient to establish RDAs, so AIs were developed based on average intakes of chromium from food as found in several studies.


Consult your doctor or pharmacist.


All information have been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.