When getting started on the high potassium foods diet, your best start is a little at a time instead of changing everything at once. Your first step is the elimination of all the packaged dinners and restaurant food, since they contain so much 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 should 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 get more and more potassium and less and less sodium.
Beef, Fish, And Poultry
For beef, fish and poultry, it means choosing lean cuts and avoiding the items 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, checking the label is the best way to tell if an item is high in sodium. Injected items will show a much higher sodium value on the label. Otherwise check our 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.
Several cheeses that are low sodium have excellent ratios, though. Cottage, cheddar, American, parmesan and Swiss all have low sodium varieties that have favorable ratios. Use the low sodium varieties in meals the same way that you use the high sodium cheeses.
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 they are available in both liquid and frozen forms. You can eat them 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. One or two servings a day will add potassium, as well as other minerals, and healthy fats. You can eat them 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.