High potassium foods make up a diet that improves hypertension and the associated heart and vascular diseases and strokes, as well as improving bone density and reducing the chance of kidney stones. More and more medical studies are showing how less sodium and more potassium in our diet improve our health.
Hypertension is high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the amount of force that the blood stream exerts against the arterial walls. It consists of two numbers. The first is the higher number and is produced when the heart pushes more blood into the arteries, temporarily causing more pressure. This is the systolic pressure. The second number is produced when the heart chamber refills, and is called diastolic pressure. Hypertension is when the blood pressure is 140/90 or more.
Below 120/80 is normal blood pressure, and blood pressure between normal and high blood pressure is called pre-hypertension. Those who are pre-hypertensive are more likely to eventually develop hypertension. High potassium foods are especially helpful to hypertensives and pre-hypertensives. The hypertensive person can lower blood pressure, possibly reducing the need for medication, and the pre-hypertensive may be able to put off or avoid the day for the need for medication. However, you should never go off or change your medication until told to do so by your doctor.
There are a few conditions that cause hypertension that will not be helped by a high potassium diet, or any change in lifestyle. Chronic kidney disease, parathyroid or adrenal gland problems, certain pills, a narrowed kidney artery, and some pregnancies can cause hypertension that would not be helped by a high potassium diet.
But in the great majority of cases, changes in lifestyle will have a big impact on blood pressure. Being overweight, smoking, diabetes, and drinking too much alcohol are all aspects of lifestyle that if corrected will improve blood pressure. However, the most often neglected and incredibly common contributor to hypertension in America is a poor ratio of potassium to sodium in the diet.
About one third of American adults have hypertension. Even those who have normal blood pressure at age 50 have a 90% chance of eventually developing it. More and more young people are developing it. A key factor to preventing hypertension from developing is lifestyle.
A change in lifestyle is key. The earlier started, the better. Although much of the damage in the heart and blood vessels is thought to become irreversible, there are increasing reports of objective reversal of the damage. Nonetheless, it is better to prevent the damage than to try to correct it.
Some lifestyle factors that can be changed to improve or prevent hypertension and its damage are often mentioned. Stop smoking, exercise regularly, limit alcohol to one or two drinks a day, lose weight and eat a heart healthy diet. But the details of a heart healthy diet are usually limited to the advice of avoiding saturated fat and limiting salt.
A high potassium foods diet is automatically a heart healthy diet. Although it would be possible to get too much saturated fat on a high potassium foods diet, it would be difficult. There are only a few high potassium foods that are also high in saturated fat.
The high potassium foods diet consists of getting 4700 mg of potassium and less than 1500 mg of sodium a day. This is easily possible by eating a balance of vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, and nuts from the tables on this website. Or sign up at the bottom of the page to have high potassium food tables sent to you. How to start was discussed on this post. By creative use of spices, the meals can be as tasty as they are healthy.