is one of the most important elements in our diets. The primitive, or "natural", diet contains approximately 2 mg. of potassium
for each calorie consumed.
Persons who consume 4,000 mg. of potassium or more per day have a
much lower incidence of all degenerative diseases including:
- insulin resistance syndrome
- adult onset diabetes
The modern food consumer is lucky to get .5 mg. of potassium for each calorie
consumed. All of the dietary programs that lower cholesterol, normalize weight or improve blood pressure contain high amounts
You may choose the sources of potassium that you like but make sure you
get a minimum of 2 mg. per calorie & try to get even more.
Nutritional All-Star: Potassium
Aside from transmitting nerve impulses and helping
muscles contract, this mineral maintains healthy blood
research even shows that, when combined with a healthful diet, an ample supply of potassium may help some women ditch their
blood pressure medication altogether (w/their doctor's permission, of course).
What women need: 3,000 mg daily
for all ages
What women get:
Most women meet their daily requirements
ages 20 to 59 average 2,447 mg per day
Women 60 & older average 2,474 mg per day
Add to your diet:
cup low-fat plain yogurt (573 mg)
banana (450 mg)
cup milk (370 mg)
ozs fish fillet
ozs orange juice (340 mg)
cup raw spinach (312 mg)
ozs turkey (255 mg)
kiwi (252 mg)
ozs skinless chicken (220 mg)
tomato (135 mg)
cup mango (128 mg)
grapefruit (159 mg)
cup bell pepper (90 mg)
don't boil or microwave foods as they lose too
much of their nutritional values!
One potassium trick is to use tomato sauce,
juice, paste or salsa. Tomatoes are very high in potassium.
They can contribute significantly to your daily potassium intake. Tomato based sauce can help balance the lack of potassium
All types of legumes are high potassium:
- black or pinto being the highest
Using beans, in chili, soup or salad, increases the potassium, protein & complex carbohydrate content & beans
add color, flavor & texture.
Good snacks are whole grains w/the bran &
germ &/or fruits & vegetables. While this may sound very restrictive, the good news is:
- the bowel normalizes
- energy increases
- cravings disappear
Weight becomes normal whether you were under
weight or over weight. This occurs without any sense of dieting.
Fresh foods, prepared from scratch are best.
If you must use canned foods use low sodium or sodium free, water-packed. Frozen foods should be purchased w/no salt.
Formula for daily potassium goal:
Your Ideal Body Weight in pounds times 40 mg. =_________ mg. per day.
Your Ideal Body Weight in kilos times 88 mg. =__________ mg. per day.
Example: 130 lbs. equals 5,200 mg. a day.
Example: 70 kilos equals 6,160 mg. a day.
potassium - you are here!
What is meant by a good food source?
A good food source of potassium contains a substantial
amount of potassium in relation to its calorie content & contributes at least 200 milligrams of potassium in a selected
The Food & Nutrition Board of the National
Academy of Sciences has estimated the minimum requirements for potassium for men & women over 18 years of age to be 2,000
milligrams per day.
As you can see, in 1985 & 1986, 1/3 of the
potassium in the diets of women came from fruits & vegetables. Within this food group, white potatoes provided about 1/3
of the potassium.
Meat, poultry & fish supplied 20% of the
potassium. Foods that contain small amounts of potassium but are not considered good sources can contribute significant amounts
of potassium to an individual's diet if these foods are eaten often or in large amounts.
Why do we need potassium?
Potassium, a mineral, assists in muscle contraction
& in maintaining fluid & electrolyte balance in body cells. Potassium is also important in sending nerve impulses
as well as releasing energy from protein, fat & carbohydrates during metabolism.
Do we get enough potassium?
According to recent USDA surveys, the average
intake of potassium by women & ,en 19 to 50 years of age was above the minimum requirements estimated by the Food &
Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
How can we get enough potassium?
Eating a variety of foods that contain potassium
is the best way to get an adequate amount. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need supplements. The list of
foods can help you select those that are good sources of potassium as you follow the Dietary Guidelines. The list of good
sources was derived from the same nutritive value of foods tables used to analyze information for recent food consumption
surveys of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Information Service.
HOW TO PREPARE FOODS TO RETAIN POTASSIUM
Potassium is lost in cooking some foods even
under the best conditions. To retain potassium: .Cook foods in a minimal amount of water. .Cook for the shortest possible
WHAT IS A SERVING?
The serving sizes used on the list of good sources
are only estimates of the amounts of food you might eat. The amount of nutrient in a serving depends on the weight of the
serving. For example, 1/2 cup of a cooked vegetable contains more nutrients than 1/2 cup of the same vegetable served raw,
because a serving of the cooked vegetable weighs more. Therefore, the cooked vegetable may appear on the list while the raw
form does not. The raw vegetable provides the nutrient - but just not enough in a 1/2-cup serving to be considered a good