The main groups of high potassium foods are fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, nuts, spices, and grains. Many of us think in terms of the three macronutrient groups of foods – protein, carbohydrates and fats. Balancing the macronutrients with the high potassium foods is easy.
First of all, you do not need to get carried away with counting. Not with counting potassium, protein, carbs, calories or any specific nutrient unless you have a disease that requires limitation of certain foods.
You may want to pick some of the high potassium foods from the multiple tables on this site, and measure their weight or size the first week. This allows you to reassure yourself of how much you need to eat to satisfy your hunger at meals and how much potassium you get. But after a week or so, you should have little need to measure. Under the “Links to Food Potassium Tables” tab at the top of the page, we have tables listed by food type.
How To Estimate Portion Size
If you eat from each of the macronutrient food groups, and include only high potassium foods, you should have a complete diet, easily getting plenty of potassium and limiting sodium. It is also fairly easy to get the right amount of each macronutrient group by having the vegetable/fruit serving (consider it all carb) be the size of your palm, the meat portion (consider it all protein) 1/2 the size of your palm, and the nuts or seed portion (consider it all fat) about 1/2 the size of the meat portion.
Dairy portion size depends on the item consumed. The more solid the food item is, the smaller it should be. Dairy items have a mixed nutrient composition. The item should be nonfat since the fat in a dairy product is mostly saturated. The protein to carbohydrate ratio is 3 to 4, so an 8 ounce glass of nonfat milk gives almost 7 gm of protein, and 9 gm of carbs. Three and a half ounces of nonfat yogurt will have 6 gm protein and 8 gm carbs.
Spice amounts never are large enough to be concerned about how much to use. The amount to use is the amount that gives the flavor you want. If you weigh the amount you use, it may be too little to register on the typical food scale. The serving size column in the spices table usually gives the amount of potassium in a teaspoon or tablespoon of the spice.
Advantage Of Using Hand Size Estimation
The advantage of using your hand to estimate size is that it is always with you, and its size varies with your overall size. A two hundred pound male will have a larger hand than a 110 pound female. A larger person will have a larger hand. If you are overweight but the same height as someone who is a normal weight, your palms will be about the same size, so you will eat about the same amount with this method and gradually become about the same weight.
Food Group Substitution
For those who are hypertensive and overweight, their blood pressure will begin to improve within 2 weeks of being on a high potassium foods diet, and their weight will gradually come down. As their weight comes down, the blood pressure will continue to improve. At first they may feel hungry shortly after a meal. By substituting beans for half the vegetable serving, they will go longer before hunger returns. However, because of the caloric density of beans, the volume should be half the volume of the vegetable.
Also, you can substitute high potassium grains for part of the vegetable portion. However, the grains should be intact grains, and not something produced from grains, such as bread or bagels. Rolled oats and quinoa are examples. Like with beans, the portion should be half the volume of the vegetable substituted.
For those with greater activity levels or different goals for their body than most of us, the proportions of macronutrients can vary from those just discussed. The high potassium foods diet is a diet that you can adjust to provide muscular weight gain or fat loss. However, the above guidelines are a good place to start and will provide a healthy weight for most of us.
Tables Of High Potassium Foods
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. Click on the tab labeled “Links To Food Potassium Tables” at the top of the page to find the tables.