A High Potassium Quick Lunch

We have discussed high potassium foods for breakfast and gave a recipe for a quick breakfast. Today we will give a quick lunch consisting of high potassium food.

Cauliflower – A High Potassium Food

My Criteria For Lunch

My criteria are that it be quick, as well as high in potassium, balanced in macronutrients, and clean. Today's lunch takes little time. It consists of raw vegetables, either cauliflower or broccoli, macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, an apple, a banana, milk, and a chicken strip.

The chicken strip has not been injected with salt as a preservative, which is important for reducing sodium intake. The difference in sodium between injected and non-injected meat is large. For 3 1/2 oz of chicken, it is as low as 270 mg of sodium with 190 mg of potassium to as much as 799 mg of sodium with 284 mg of potassium for injected and only about 40 to 80 mg of sodium for chicken that has not been injected.

The raw vegetables are delicious. It is interesting how you can notice the flavor of the vegetable when you no longer are used to the high salt and sugar that is part of so many packaged foods. In the featured lunch, the vegetable is cauliflower.

The apple is 150 gm. The 28 gm core is not eaten so its weight does not count.

Food Preparation

The chicken is simply baked or grilled usually. This time it was baked and spices added for flavor. The spices this time were garlic, paprika, black pepper, turmeric and onion. It was baked for 45 minutes with a batch of other strips to supply the week's lunches. The strips are frozen until needed. One is taken out of the freezer to sit in the refrigerator until it is warmed for the meal the next day.

Generally spices will add about 20 to 30 mg of potassium if simply used to coat a piece of meat. For flavoring grains or salads, more spices can be added, and supply more potassium.

Dairy is obtained from milk, but can be obtained from yogurt. A glass of milk adds 370 mg potassium with 100 mg sodium, and 3 1/2 oz of yogurt adds 200 mg potassium with 60 mg sodium. The higher amount of potassium from milk is because the milk is 240 grams and the yogurt is only 100 grams.

Potassium Sodium Count

The potassium count is 1578 mg and the sodium count only 12 mg for the meal. The time to prepare the lunch is only 4 minutes, but the baking of the chicken was done earlier in the week. If the meat is prepared at the time of the meal, it will add quite a bit more time.

Combining the potassium and sodium amounts from last week's breakfast, the total for the first two meals is 3442 mg potassium and 372 mg of sodium. We need only 1300 more mg of potassium to reach the magic 4700 mg, and less than 1100 mg of sodium to stay under 1500 mg sodium.

The size of the portions you use will be different than discussed in the previous discussion of portions. That discussion was to give a rough starting point. The exact portions you will settle on over time depend on your weight goals, and other nutritional goals. These portions keep me stable, but may be different for you.

Portion Size

Generally the more veggies, the fewer calories you will take in before you feel full. Some vegetables keep you full longer than others. Beans and certain intact grains also keep hunger away longer.

Nuts will add more calories before becoming full, and can be used in larger portions if you tend to be underweight. Olive oil can be added to a salad to give more calories for the same goal.

The meat is slightly less than previously described, but 70 grams of protein in a day is adequate for most of us. This would be 20 grams at a time for 3 or 4 times a day. If you are very active physically, or are trying to build muscle, you would want to get more protein in a day.

The source of sodium and potassium data for the above discussion is:
USDA National Nutrient Database Standard Reference – Release 22.

Food Tables

If you want to find the potassium and sodium values for these food items, they can be found at the tables that include vegetables, poultry, spices, nuts, dairy, and fruits. Other food items can be found by food category also. Click on the “Links to Food Potassium Tables” tab at the top of the page to find links to all these tables.

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