Thursday, November 20, 2008

Potassium, Sodium, and Blood Pressure

Low Potassium is linked to high blood pressure

Most of us have heard about the dangers of excessive salt consumption in relation to blood pressure. While salt consumption needs to be carefully monitored it is equally as important to ensure that we receive adequate potassium intake. This can be quite a challenge as recommended potassium intake is quite high. Bananas, potatoes, Tomato juice, orange juice, are all good sources of potassium. This article, from the ever reliable NIH institute, provides a good overview of potassium and its dietary sources. Note the daily requirement for potassium is a whooping 4.7 grams. To achieve this, have a look at this site for more detailed guidelines on potassium dietary sources. Look at the table at the bottom of the page. They have excluded meat sources but these are also valuable sources of potassium.

Remember, the potassium - salt(ie sodium) balance is very important, so if you eat lots of processed food, which is typically far too high in sodium and\or salt, you need to counter balance this with substantial potassium intake.

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