There are more and more people who can benefit from a diet consisting of high potassium foods. It can improve hypertension and osteoporosis, or if you are young and do not have these problems yet, it can reduce your chance of getting them.
One third of American adults have hypertension. Of those with a normal blood pressure at age 50, ninety percent will develop hypertension sometime in their life. Osteoporosis is almost an epidemic in the U.S., with women being especially prone.
Both these conditions can be improved and prevented by getting enough potassium in the diet. There are several varieties of diets that are higher in potassium and lower in sodium than the typical American diet. Typical Americans get over 6 grams of sodium and less than 2300 mg of potassium in a day in their food.
The official recommendation is to get 4700 mg or more of potassium and less than 2300 mg, preferably less than 1500 mg, of sodium in a day. Multiple research studies point to these numbers, including studies of populations naturally eating a diet high in potassium and groups who have been put on such a diet experimentally.
The best way to start is to get food in each of the main categories that has a high potassium to sodium ratio. Tables of such foods in each of the major food categories can be found here.
One of the easiest first steps is to eliminate canned foods. Although not all canned foods are high in sodium, the preservative most commonly added to canned food to prolong shelf life is salt. The difference in the ratio of sodium to potassium is enormous between the canned foods with sodium added and the foods without added sodium.
The next step is to include high potassium vegetables and fruits in your diet. These can improve your daily potassium intake dramatically. Fruit is a great breakfast dish and can be a great dessert for lunch and dinner.
There are also plenty of choices in the categories of meats, nuts and dairy. Each of these categories will provide important macronutrients so you do not need to worry about being deficient. By choosing from the high potassium foods in these categories, you will be getting the recommended amounts of potassium and sodium and will be able to prevent hypertension and osteoporosis. And your other nutritional goals can be easily reached.