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Continued From Last Post
As mentioned earlier,
another important factor that needs to be taken into account is the potassium to
sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension
(high blood pressure) but also contribute to a number of other diseases, including
those highlighted in the featured research, along with a few others:
Heart disease and stroke...Memory decline...Osteoporosis...Ulcers and stomach
cancer...Kidney stones Cataracts...Erectile dysfunction...Rheumatoid arthritis
The easiest way to achieve this imbalance
is by consuming a diet of processed foods, which are notoriously low
in potassium while high in sodium. (And, to reiterate, processed foods
are also loaded with fructose, which is clearly associated with
increased heart disease risk, as well as virtually all chronic diseases.)
Why is potassium so important?
Among other things, your body needs potassium to maintain proper pH
levels in your body fluids, and it also plays an integral role in regulating
your blood pressure. It’s possible that potassium deficiency may be more
responsible for hypertension than excess sodium. Potassium deficiency leads
to electrolyte imbalance, and can result in a condition called hypokalemia.
Raised blood pressure and hypertension
Muscular weakness and muscle cramps
Continual thirst and constipation
According to a 1985 article in The New England Journal of Medicine,
titled "Paleolithic Nutrition," our ancient ancestors got about 11,000 mg of
potassium a day, and about 700 mg of sodium. This equates to nearly 16 times
more potassium than sodium. Compare that to the Standard American Diet where
daily potassium consumption averages about 2,500 mg (the RDA is 4,700
mg/day), along with 3,600 mg of sodium... As mentioned earlier, if you eat a
diet of processed foods, you can be virtually guaranteed that your
potassium-sodium ratio is upside-down.
This may also explain why high-sodium diets appear to affect some people
but not others. According to a 2011 federal study into sodium and potassium
intake, those at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease were those who got a
combination of too much sodium along with too little potassium.
The research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,
was one of the first and largest US studies to evaluate the relationship of salt,
potassium and heart disease deaths. According to Dr. Elena Kuklina, one of
the lead authors of the study at the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), potassium may neutralize the heart-damaging effects of
salt. Tellingly, those who ate a lot of salt and very little potassium were
more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who ate about
equal amounts of both nutrients.
How Can You Ensure Proper Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio?
So, how do you ensure you get these two important nutrients in more
First, ditch all processed foods, which are very high in processed
salt and low in potassium and other essential nutrients.
Eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, ideally organically and
locally-grown to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will
naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.
I do not recommend
taking potassium supplements to correct a sodium-potassium imbalance.
Instead, it is best to simply alter your diet and incorporate more potassium-rich
whole foods. Green vegetable juicing is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting
enough nutrients for optimal health, including about 300-400 mg of potassium per cup.
By removing the fiber you can consume even larger volumes of important naturally
Some additional rich sources in potassium are:
Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
Avocado (500 mg per medium)
Other potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include Fruits:papayas, prunes, cantaloupe, and bananas. (But be careful of bananas as they are
high in sugar and have half the potassium that anequivalent of amount of green
vegetables. It is an old wives tale that youare getting loads of potassium from bananas,
the potassium is twice as highin green vegetables)
Vegetables:broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, asparagus, and pumpkin
Putting Salt Consumption into Proper ContextMore than 80 percent of the salt most people consume is from processed
foods. Indeed, there is far too much sodium in processed foods. But you
shouldn't be eating those foods anyway—sodium is just one of MANY ingredients
in packaged foods that will adversely affect your health. The salt added to
these convenience foods is bleached out, trace mineral deficient and mostly
sodium—as opposed to natural salt, which is much lower in sodium and contains
a myriad of other critical trace minerals. Himalayan salt, for example,
contains about 86 different minerals, and in terms of taste, you cannot
compare it to regular table salt. Natural salt has flavor, over and above
just salty taste.
The more you can move toward
a diet of whole organic foods in their natural state, the healthier you'll be—
whether it's veggies, meat, dairyproducts, or salt. And increasing your vegetable
intake will help insure you’re getting the ideal ratio of sodium-to-potassium,
which may be more crucial for overall health than we currently imagine.
Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend
limiting, or ideally, eliminating processed foods and processed table salt
and switching to a pure, unrefined salt. Generally speaking, it is perfectly
fine to salt your food to taste, provided the salt you're using is natural
and unrefined and you’re eating plenty of vegetables.
Thank You Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
42 S. Sherwood Dr.
Belton, Tx. 76513