Foods high in potassium are important for diabetics taking certain hypertension medications or diuretics that may cause them to loose potassium through excretion by the kidneys. Potassium plays an important role in proper kidney function as well as in maintaining the electrical impulses throughout the body. Both excessively low or high levels of potassium are cause for concern, and proper balance is necessary for good all-round health. Supplementation with potassium is one way of obtaining your body’s needs as is eating those foods known to be rich in this important mineral. Remember to chose foods that are organic to receive the full nutritional benefit found in each food.
Proteins with high potassium content consist mostly of fish and shellfish. The recommended daily intake of potassium suggested by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is 4,700mg. Clams are at the top of the list of foods high in potassium coming in at more than 10 percent of the RDI. Close on their heels are dark colored fish such as salmon, sardines yellowfin tuna and rainbow trout; flounder, cod and haddock also are good sources of potassium. If you like pork, it ranks fairly high on the list of protein foods providing a reliable source of potassium; and red meats, chicken and soy products are also on that list, but are somewhat lower in their potassium content.
Whole yogurt, non-fat yogurt, milk and buttermilk are potassium rich and also sources of proteins and calcium. Cheese can also be included in your list of foods supplying potassium. Best dairy products are those that are from raw milk, including goat’s and sheep’s milk. Fermented dairy products such as yogurt also provide probiotics for digestive health.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services explain that baked sweet potatoes are high in potassium with 694mg per potato, and one of the best vegetable sources for diabetics because they are also low on the glycemic index, so won’t over stimulate the pancreas with glucose. U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health also recommend white potatoes; however, they explain the predominance of potassium is located in the potato skin, so make sure to include the skin when you eat white potatoes. Potassium can also be found in lima beans, spinach, kale tomatoes, Swiss chard, broccoli, peas, winter squash and beet greens.
The two fruits with the highest levels of potassium are bananas and apricots, with dried apricots having even higher levels of potassium than fresh, according to the chart of potassium levels in foods supplied by The United States Department of Health and Human Services. Other recommended fruits that deliver high potassium levels are prunes, prune juice, kiwi, cantaloupe, and all citrus fruit, especially oranges.
Sources for this article include:
United States Department of Health and Human Services: List of potassium rich food
National Institute of Health (NIH): Potassium in diet
The Merck Manual: Problems With Electrolyte Balance
Diabetes Self Management: The Power of Potassium
University of California: Potassium-Rich Foods Can Help Ward Off Osteoporosis
(Photo credit: Public domain)
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.