Decreasing sodium consumption is a key a part of stopping or managing hypertension (hypertension) to be able to cut back threat of coronary heart illness and stroke. Extreme sodium consumption can contribute to hypertension in salt-sensitive people, nevertheless it’s additionally vital to verify we’re getting sufficient potassium in our meals.
How potassium impacts sodium
Potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte. An excessive amount of potassium within the blood could cause critical coronary heart issues, so your physique retains blood potassium ranges managed inside a traditional vary. After we get quite a lot of potassium in our diets, our kidneys excrete extra salt and water, which permits for excretion of any extra potassium. After we don’t get sufficient potassium, the physique reabsorbs extra sodium. Due to the kidneys’ position in eradicating extra potassium from the physique, individuals with power kidney illness usually have to stay to low-potassium meals.
Potassium has been designated as a “nutrient of public well being concern” as a result of most individuals don’t get sufficient of it. The Institute of Medication recommends that we get 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day, however common consumption in the US is 2,290 milligrams for ladies and three,026 for males. To place this in perspective, it’s estimated that our prehistoric ancestors received 15,000 milligrams of potassium per day — all from meals, in fact.
Sources of potassium
Many vegatables and fruits are excessive in potassium, with avocados, bananas, potatoes and vegetable juices being a number of the richest sources. Milk, yogurt, nuts, whole-wheat bread, brown rice and plenty of beans and legumes are additionally excessive in potassium.
The Dietary Approaches to Cease Hypertension (DASH) research appeared on the results of consuming a food regimen wealthy in greens, fruits and low-fat dairy. Whereas this food regimen wasn’t designed to be excessive in potassium, it’s. Researchers discovered that the food regimen lowered blood strain no matter whether or not members consumed low, medium or excessive ranges of sodium. The truth is, the DASH food regimen had probably the most affect in individuals consuming the best sodium ranges.
Most Individuals don’t eat sufficient vegatables and fruits, so in addition they don’t get sufficient potassium. Diets that embrace extremely processed meals are larger in sodium and likewise are typically low in potassium. Cooking extra of your meals at house utilizing complete and minimally processed meals and together with fruits or greens at each meal and snack will enable you enhance your potassium consumption whereas lowering sodium consumption.
(Environmental Vitamin is the award-winning impartial publication written by diet specialists devoted to offering readers up-to-date, correct details about well being and diet in clear, concise English. For extra data, go to www.environmentalnutrition.com.)