SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

June 25, 2014

Potassium “ratio” – important

Received this from Kelley Herring of the HEALING GOURMET.  This is a wonderful report for she is not suggesting we run right out and buy something  — only that we understand this thing, and if we do get it, we can choose the better foods for our purposes which can have the potential to solve some major problems for many of us. . . e.g., avocados over bananas;  fresh foods  (home-made) over prepared anything.  Many good points here which we have learned to count on from Kelley. 

From what is presented here, makes you wonder why our government agencies aren’t raising the level of potassium in RDA.  When you see how many billions in income are  generated to BIG PhRMA in hypertension and heart disease  alone,  guess its not so mysterious, is it?   Think I aught to add to my usual claim YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT also,   QUESTION MORE  and DIG DEEPER.

 

The Mineral You’re Missing for Healthy Blood Pressure

When it comes to lowering your blood pressure, all you hear is salt, salt, salt…

Most doctors will tell you that too much salt causes high blood pressure. They’ll tell you that it can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. And the mainstream media loves to scare you into thinking that “salt” causes all sorts of health problems.

It is true that Americans consume too much sodium. In fact, the average person consumes about twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sodium. But the real problem is not about salt. It is a lack of potassium that should really concern most of us.

  • The average American consumes only about half the recommended amount of potassium. And most experts believe  the RDA for this essential mineral is already too low. That means we’re not getting nearly the amount of potassium we need.

Potassium is essential for nerve transmission. It helps regulate the fluid balance in your body. It is critical for both voluntary and involuntary muscle function. It assists protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also helps to regulate your blood pressure.

But even more important than consuming the right amount of sodium and potassium is the relative ratio between the two. The ideal ratio is five times as much potassium as sodium in your diet. This ratio is so important it has been called the “vitality ratio.”

One study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine looked at the effects of sodium and potassium on our health. The researchers analyzed over 12,000 adults. Then they followed up with them for nearly 15 years.

They found that a high ratio of sodium to potassium is associated with heart disease. It’s also associated with a significant increase in death from all causes.

The American Medical Association (AMA) found the results to be so compelling that they urged the government to issue new public health recommendations. According to the AMA, these recommendations “should emphasize the simultaneous reduction in sodium and increase in potassium intake.”

Researchers from Johns Hopkins performed another study. They looked at the results of 33 different trials, each one related to potassium and blood pressure. They found that optimal potassium levels are clearly associated with healthy blood pressure levels and that optimizing potassium levels worked nearly as well as drugs for normalizing blood pressure (but without the side-effects).

They also found that those with normal blood pressure levels experienced a benefit. However, the effect was much greater for those who were hypertensive, especially for those who were considered “salt-sensitive.”

  • Another review of studies appeared in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. This study also showed a link between potassium and a healthy heart. Those who got the most potassium in their diets had the healthiest blood pressure levels and the lowest risk of heart disease.

So How Can You Improve Your “Vitality Ratio”?

The key is to reduce the sodium you consume while increasing potassium. Here’s how:

• Eliminate processed foods. Many processed foods contain huge amounts of sodium and very little potassium. The more processed foods you eat, the higher your ratio of sodium to potassium (and the worse your health) will be.
• Eat more whole, natural foods. Fruits and vegetables have an ideal sodium to potassium ratio. Foods that are especially rich in potassium include dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard), Brussels sprouts, broccoli, squash, beans, lentils, and mushrooms.
Forget bananas. Eat avocados! Despite what banana growers want you to believe, bananas are not the best source of potassium. A typical banana gives you just 420 mg of potassium. That means you would have to eat more than 10 bananas daily (that’s more than 140 grams of sugar!) to get the amount of potassium recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Eat avocados instead. They provide more than two times the potassium (and none of the sugar).
• Season with herbs and spices. By adding flavorful herbs and spices to your foods, you won’t need to add as much salt to your food.
• Add real salt to your diet. The producers of commercial table salt remove all the trace minerals and sell them to industry. Then they add bleaching agents and other chemicals to keep the salt from caking. Instead, use an unrefined sea salt that contains a variety of trace minerals (including potassium). AztecSeaSalt is our favorite brand (new harvest available now).
Taking the Pressure Off Your Health Concerns,

Kelley Herring
CEO & Editor-in-Chief
Healing Gourmet

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