When getting started on the high potassium foods diet, it is best to start a little at a time instead of changing everything at once. The first step is to eliminate all the packaged dinners and restaurant food since they are so loaded with sodium. Then pick your favorite high potassium foods. Next begin to substitute the fruits and vegetables, as discussed in the last post.
After that you can begin to substitute foods in the other food categories. By replacing the high sodium varieties with high potassium dairy, nuts, spices and meats, fish and poultry, you will be getting more and more potassium and eliminating sodium.
For beef, fish and poultry it means choosing lean cuts and avoiding the items that have been injected with sodium to preserve shelf life, especially sausages and luncheon meats. The other injected meats are usually the products that come in packages. For the packaged items the best way to tell if an item is high in sodium is to check the label. Those items that have been injected will be much higher in sodium. Otherwise check the tables for beef, fish and poultry.
One group that has almost all high potassium members is dairy. Cheese and butter are generally an exception. Gjetost is the only cheese that is even close to a high potassium food in its natural condition. Its potassium to sodium ratio is 2.35.
There are several cheeses that are low sodium that have excellent ratios, though. Cottage, cheddar, American, parmesan and Swiss all have low sodium varieties that have favorable ratios. The low sodium varieties can be used in meals the same way that the high sodium cheeses can.
In addition to being high in potassium, dairy products are also high in calcium, adding calcium in a very absorbable form. Some studies show a higher absorption rate than with the usual calcium pills.
Since many of the dairy products are high in saturated fat, it is good to get the low or non-fat products that are available. Milk and yogurt are good low or non-fat choices and are available in both liquid and frozen forms. They can be eaten by themselves or by incorporating them into a combined dish, such as a smoothie.
Nuts are a category of high potassium food that adds a lot of potassium in a small volume. The nutrient tables are here. One or two servings a day will add potassium as well as other minerals, and healthy fats. They can be eaten as is, chopped into small bits to add to other dishes or pureed to add as a topping, spread or dessert.
With just the changes mentioned here and in the last post you will have changed your diet for the better, and will have a diet much higher in potassium. The next post will discuss grains and spices.