Potassium

Potassium

(posted by Hopkins Technology)

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 -
  • Eat a Variety of Foods
  • Maintain Desirable Weight
  • Avoid Too Much Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol
  • Eat Foods with Adequate Starch and Fiber
  • Avoid Too Much Sugar
  • Avoid Too Much Sodium
  • If You Drink Alcoholic Beverages, Do So in Moderation
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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.

HOW TO PREPARE FOODS TO RETAIN POTASSIUM

Potassium is lost in cooking some foods even under the best conditions. To retain potassium:

  • Cook foods in a minimal amount of water.
  • Cook for the shortest possible time.

WHAT IS A SERVING?

The serving sizes used on the list of good sources are only estimates of the amounts of food you might eat. The amount of nutrient in a serving depends on the weight of the serving. For example, 1/2 cup of a cooked vegetable contains more nutrients than 1/2 cup of the same vegetable served raw, because a serving of the cooked vegetable weighs more. Therefore, the cooked vegetable may appear on the list while the raw form does not. The raw vegetable provides the nutrient - but just not enough in a 1/2-cup serving to be considered a good source.

WHAT ARE GOOD SOURCES OF POTASSIUM?

FOOD SELECTED POTASSIUM SERVING SIZE PER SERVING(1)

BREADS, CEREALS, AND OTHER GRAIN PRODUCTS

Ready-to-eat cereals:
Oat flakes, fortified with
soy flour 1 ounce +
100-percent-bran cereals(2) 1 ounce ++

FRUITS

Apricots:
Dried, cooked, unsweetened 1/2 cup +++
Dried, uncooked 1/4 cup ++
Banana, raw 1 medium ++
Cantaloup, raw About 1/2 cup diced +
Grapefruit juice:
Canned or reconstituted
frozen, unsweetened 3/4 cup +
Fresh 3/4 cup +
Honeydew melon, raw About 3/4 cup diced +
Melon balls (cantaloup and honeydew), frozen, unsweetened 1/2 cup +
Nectarine, raw 1 medium +
Orange juice:
Canned 3/4 cup +
Fresh or reconstituted
frozen, unsweetened 3/4 cup ++
Peaches:
Dried, cooked, unsweetened 1/2 cup ++
Dried, uncooked 1/4 cup ++
Pears, dried, cooked, unsweetened 1/2 cup +
Pomegranate, raw 1 medium ++
Prunes, dried, cooked, unsweetened 1/2 cup ++
Prune juice, unsweetened 1/2 cup ++
Raisins 1/4 cup +
Watermelon, raw About 1 3/4 cups
diced +

VEGETABLES

Artichoke, globe (french), cooked 1 medium +
Asparagus, cooked 1/2 cup +
Beans:
Green, cooked 1/2 cup +
Lima, cooked 1/2 cup +++
Cauliflower, cooked 1/2 cup +
Chard, cooked 1/2 cup ++
Corn, cooked 1/2 cup +
Jerusalem artichoke, raw 1/2 cup +
Mushrooms, cooked 1/2 cup +
Parsnips, cooked 1/2 cup +
Peas, green, cooked 1/2 cup +
Plantain, green or ripe, boiled 1 medium +++
Potato:
Baked or boiled, with skin 1 medium +++
Baked or boiled, without skin 1 medium ++
Pumpkin, cooked 1/2 cup ++
Rutabaga, cooked 1/2 cup +
Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup ++
Squash, winter, cooked, mashed 1/2 cup +++
Sweetpotato:
Baked 1 medium ++
Boiled 1 medium +
Tomatoes:
Raw 1 medium +
Stewed 1/2 cup ++
Tomato juice, canned 3/4 cup ++
Tomato-vegetable juice or tomato juice cocktail, canned 3/4 cup ++

MEAT, POULTRY, FISH, AND ALTERNATES

Meat and Poultry
Beef:
Brisket, braised, lean only 3 ounces +
Ground; extra lean, lean, or
regular; baked or broiled 1 patty +
Pot roast, braised, lean only 3 ounces +
Roast, rib, roasted, lean only 3 ounces +
Shortribs, braised, lean only 3 ounces +
Steak, lean only:
Baked or broiled 3 ounces +
Braised 3 ounces +
Stew meat, simmered, lean only 3 ounces +
Chicken, without skin:
Breast, broiled or roasted 1/2 breast +
Leg (thigh and drumstick), broiled or roasted 1 leg +
Cornish hen, roasted, without skin 1/2 hen +
Ham, roasted, lean only:
Fresh 3 ounces +
Smoked or cured 3 ounces +
Lamb, lean only:
Chop, shoulder; baked, braised, or broiled 1 chop +
Roast, leg or shoulder, roasted 3 ounces +
Pork:
Chop, baked or broiled, lean only 1 chop +
Cutlet or steak, baked or broiled, lean only 1 cutlet ++
Ground, cooked 3 ounces +
Roast, roasted, lean only:
Loin 3 ounces +
Shoulder 3 ounces +
Turkey, light or dark meat, roasted, without skin 3 ounces +
Veal, lean only:
Chop, braised 1 chop +
Cutlet or steak, pan broiled 1 cutlet ++
Roast, leg, roasted 3 ounces +

Fish and Seafood
Carp, catfish, flounder, or mullet; baked or broiled 3 ounces ++
Haddock, mackerel, or porgy; baked or broiled 3 ounces +
Clams:
Canned, drained 3 ounces +
Steamed or boiled 3 ounces +
Cod, croaker, pompano, or trout; baked or broiled 3 ounces ++
Crabmeat, steamed 3 ounces +
Lobster, steamed or boiled 3 ounces +
Mussels, steamed, boiled, or poached 3 ounces +
Ocean perch, perch, pike, sea bass, or whiting; baked or broiled 3 ounces +
Oysters:
Canned, undrained 3 ounces +
Steamed 3 ounces +
Salmon:
Baked or broiled 3 ounces +
Steamed, poached, or canned; drained 3 ounces +
Scallops:
Baked or broiled 3 ounces +
Boiled or steamed 3 ounces +
Swordfish steak, baked or broiled 3 ounces +
Tuna, canned, drained 3 ounces +

Dry Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Beans, cooked:
Bayo, black, brown, or red kidney 1/2 cup ++
Calico, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mung, or pinto 1/2 cup +
Lima, soybeans, or white 1/2 cup ++
Lentils, cooked 1/2 cup ++
Peas, split, green or yellow, cooked 1/2 cup ++
Soy milk (not baby formula) 1 cup +

MILK, CHEESE, AND YOGURT

Milk:
Buttermilk 1 cup ++
Chocolate, made with whole or skim milk 1 cup ++
Skim 1 cup ++
Whole or lowfat 1 cup ++
Milk-based fruit drinks 1 cup +++
Yogurt:
Flavored, made with lowfat milk 8 ounces ++
Frozen 8 ounces ++
Fruit, made with lowfat or nonfat milk 8 ounces ++
Plain:
Made with whole milk 8 ounces ++
Made with lowfat milk 8 ounces +++

(1) A selected serving size contains at least -

+ 200-349 milligrams
++ 350-499 milligrams
+++ 500 or more milligrams

(2) Most 100-percent-bran cereals contain at least 350 milligrams of potassium.


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