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Less Salt and More Vegetables For a Healthy Heart

Author: AboutMyArea HeadOffice Published: 5th April 2013 09:24

elderly couple in kitchenCutting down on salt while increasing levels of potassium in our diet could have major health benefits, research suggests.

Researchers found a modest reduction in salt for four or more weeks led to significant falls in blood pressure in people with both raised and normal blood pressure.

Lower sodium intake was also associated with reduced risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in adults.

Making sure you manage five portions of fruit and veg a day is an easy way to boost potassium levels

On the other hand, increased potassium intake was found to reduce blood pressure and was linked to a 24 percent lower risk of stroke in adults.

Our Senior Heart Health Dietitian, Victoria Taylor, said: "This research suggests holding back on salt and eating more food containing potassium may be a recipe for a healthier heart.

"Making sure you manage five portions of fruit and veg a day is an easy way to boost potassium levels. There are plenty of other potassium-rich foods out there too, such as pulses, fish and shellfish, nuts, seeds and milk.

"But don't forget that what's on your plate isn't the full picture. Keeping an eye on your alcohol intake and keeping physically active will also help to reduce your blood pressure and protect your heart."

This research was published in the British Medical Journal.

Top 10 Foods Rich in Potassium
  1. White Beans
    Potassium in 100g 1 cup cooked (179g)
    561mg (16% DV) 1004mg (29% DV)
    Other Beans High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Adzuki (35%), Soy (28%), Lima (28%), Kidney (20%), Great Northern (20%), Pinto (18%) and others at an average of 15% DV per cup cooked.
  2. Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach)
    Potassium 100g (Raw) 1 Cup (Raw - 30g) 1 Cup (Cooked - 180g)
    558mg (16% DV) 167mg (5% DV) 839mg (24% DV)
    Other Greens High in Potassium (%DV per cup cooked): Swiss Chard (27% DV), Kale (8% DV), and Collards (6% DV).
  3. Baked Potatoes (With Skin)
    Potassium 100g Average Potato (173g)
    535mg (15% DV) 926mg (26% DV)
    Warning: Potatoes are high in simple carbohydrates and not recommended for people with diabetes. Sweet potatoes are actually better for regulation blood sugar, an average baked sweet potato with skin (114g) provides 542mg (15% DV) of potassium.
  4. Dried Apricots
    Potassium 100g 1/2 cup (65g)
    1162mg (33% DV) 755mg (22% DV)
    Other Dried Fruits High in Potassium (%DV per 1/2 cup): Peaches (22% DV), Prunes (20% DV), Raisins (18% DV).
    Warning: Dried fruits are high in sugar.
  5. Baked Acorn Squash
    Potassium 100g 1 cup cubed (205g)
    437mg (12% DV) 899mg (26% DV)
    Other Squash High in Potassium (%DV per cup baked): Hubbard (21%), Butternut (17% DV), Zucchini (14% DV), Average Winter Squash (10% DV).
  6. Yogurt (Plain, Skim/Non-Fat)
    Potassium 100g 1 cup (245g)
    255mg (7% DV) 625mg (18% DV)
    Other Yogurt High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Whole-Fat (11% DV), Chocolate Yogurt (24% DV).
  7. Fish (Salmon)
    Potassium 100g 1 3oz fillet (85g)
    628mg (18% DV) 534mg (15% DV)
    Other Fish High in Potassium (%DV per 3oz fillet (85g)): Pompano (15% DV), Lingcod (14% DV), Halibut (13% DV), Yellowfin Tuna (13% DV), Anchovies (12% DV), Mackerel (10% DV), Herring (10% DV) and most other fish at an average of 10% DV.
  8. Avocados
    Potassium 100g Average Avocado (201g) 1/2 Cup Pureed (115)
    485mg (14% DV) 975mg (28% DV) 558mg (16% DV)
    An average avocado provides 322 calories, half a cup purred contains 184 calories.
  9. Mushrooms (White)
    Potassium 100g 1 cup sliced (108g)
    396mg (11% DV) 428mg (12% DV)
    1 cup cooked sliced white mushrooms contain 28 calories.
    Other mushrooms high in potassium (%DV per cup sliced): Portabella (9% DV), Brown or Crimini (9% DV), Enoki (7% DV), Shiitake (5% DV), Maitake (4% DV).
  10. Bananas
    Potassium 100g Average Banana(118g) 1 Cup Mashed (225)
    358mg (10% DV) 422mg (12% DV) 806mg (23% DV)
    An average banana provides 105 calories, 1 cup mashed contains 200 calories.



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