Potassium(posted by Hopkins Technology)
Click here for Ranked Table.This is one in a series of fact sheets containing information to help you select foods that provide adequate daily amounts of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber as you follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Guidelines are -
Click here for Water Retention/Edema and an herbal approach.
Click here for general sodium/potassium article.
WHAT IS MEANT BY A GOOD FOOD SOURCE?
A good food source of potassium contains a substantial amount of potassium in relation to its calorie content and contributes at least 200 milligrams of potassium in a selected serving size.
The food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences has estimated the minimum requirements for potassium for men and women over 18 years of age to be 2,000 milligrams per day.
In 1985 and 1986, one-third of the potassium in the diets of women came from fruits and vegetables. Within this food group, white potatoes provided about one-third of the potassium. Meat, poultry, and fish supplied 20 percent of the potassium. Foods that contain small amounts of potassium but are not considered good sources can contribute significant amounts of potassium to an individual's diet if these foods are eaten often or in large amounts.
WHY DO WE NEED POTASSIUM?
Potassium, a mineral, assists in muscle contraction and in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in body cells. Potassium is also important in sending nerve impulses as well as releasing energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates during metabolism.
Adding more potassium to a high-sodium diet might help decrease calcium excretion, particularly in postmenopausal women. Observational and experimental studies also suggest that individuals who eat a vegetarian diet high in minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium) and fiber and low in fat tend to have lower blood pressure
DO WE GET ENOUGH POTASSIUM?
According to recent USDA surveys, the average intake of potassium by women and men 19 to 50 years of age was above the minimum requirements estimated by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
HOW CAN WE GET ENOUGH POTASSIUM?
Eating a variety of foods that contain potassium is the best way to get an adequate amount. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need supplements. The list of foods can help you select those that are good sources of potassium as you follow the Dietary Guidelines. The list of good sources was derived from the same nutritive value of foods tables used to analyze information for recent food consumption surveys of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Information Service.