Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that helps maintain a healthy body. Following a low-potassium diet menu and cooking low-potassium recipes can help control blood pressure by regulating the effects of sodium. Essentially, the more potassium you consume, the more sodium you process out of the body.
Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte found in each cell of the body that is key for regulating health within the body.
Purpose of Potassium
The Mayo Clinic explains that potassium is an essential part of maintaining the health of the overall body. Potassium helps facilitate the proper function of nerve and muscle cells, such as heart muscle cells, as well as being the primary carrier of electrical signals to other cells within the body. Conversely, having a lower than normal potassium level in your bloodstream, which is also known as hypokalemia, can potentially be dangerous in terms of health and may even require immediate medical attention.
Potassium is an electrolyte that is also important for benefiting and enhancing digestive health. Potassium is also thought to be key when it comes to maintaining and promoting better bone health. However, consuming too much potassium can also be harmful, as this may elevate the heart and nerve rates to unhealthy levels.
On the flip side, a loss in potassium can also cause problems within the digestive tract. For those with certain medical concerns or conditions such as diabetes or kidney issues, following a low-potassium diet menu and making low-potassium recipes may be the best bet for better health.
Read more: Low Potassium Food List
Daily Dose of Potassium
The American Heart Association says that while most adults should get 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day, on average, most men eat about 3,000 milligrams/day and women eat about 2,300 milligrams/day. Potassium is one part of an overall heart-healthy eating plan, as lower levels of potassium can cause an irregular heartbeat.
Low levels of potassium can lead to health conditions. This can be caused by several factors, including excessive alcohol use, diuretics, diarrhea, diabetic ketoacidosis, excessive sweating, chronic kidney disease and folic acid deficiency. Alcohol can also affect potassium, making it a necessity to be mindful while drinking beverages.
Read more: Low Potassium Meat and Fish
Benefits of Low-Potassium Meals
The importance of healthy potassium levels is that they keep your muscles, nerves and heart working at their prime, explains the Cleveland Clinic. A low-potassium diet is helpful for those with certain medical issues such as heart or kidney conditions.
Examples of low-potassium foods include apples, apricots, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, rice, noodles, pasta, carrots, salmon, eggplant, pineapple, cauliflower, grapefruit, green beans, kohlrabi, leafy greens with the exception of kale, mango, yogurt, berries, white rice, bread and pasta, along with many other options.
Take care to avoid foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, potatoes and other higher starch foods, milk and other dairy products, prunes, lentils, pumpkin, apricots, low-sodium cheese, nuts, beef, chicken, tuna, spinach and split peas, among others.
Consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet, including a low-potassium diet, or if you are concerned about your potassium levels.