Food Snark

Is potassium a substitute for salt?

June 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends less than 2,300mg of salt a day for a healthy adults and 1,500mg for an elderly person as well as for an African-American or a hypertensive person. About half of the American population is hypertensive. However, an average person regardless of the race, age, or gender uses 3,400mg of salt a day. So, under the new guidelines we all need to cut down our salt intake.

One alternative is potassium, a close cousin of sodium. Potassium is known to contain elements to combat harmful hart-damaging impact of salt. Potassium relaxes walls of blood vessels. It helps to maintain fluid levels in your body especially when you are exercising. According to a Swedish study, intake of 1,000mg of potassium a day reduces stroke risk by 11 percent.

Before taking potassium to counteract salt, you need to understand the ratio of salt to potassium. The recommended daily intake of potassium is 4,700mg per day. Instead of taking a pill to get the required potassium, consider your diet. There are plenty of potassium rich foods out there. Whole foods, bananas (500mg), fruits, 100 percent fruit juices, melons, seafood, beans, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and dairy products are best sources of potassium.

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