why do you need potassium in your diet
Why do we need potassium? Potassium has many important roles within the body. It is found in all cells in the body, and levels are regulated by the kidneys. It works alongside sodium to maintain a normal blood pressure. Potassium is known as an electrolyte, and this helps to maintain a healthy balance of fluids in the body. It also helps to transmit electrical pulses to allow for proper nerve and muscle function. and phosphorous, and it is potassium which regulates the levels of these two minerals. This means that potassium is also essential for strong and healthy bones. As potassium is present in almost all fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, it should not be difficult to get all the potassium we need through a healthy and balanced diet. Adults need approximately 3,500 mg of potassium daily. Potassium deficiency is not uncommon, but it often eludes diagnosis. It can have few symptoms to begin with, though mild symptoms of muscle weakness, fatigue, constipation and faintness. It is most common among the elderly, whose kidneys struggle to regulate potassium levels, those on diuretics, or those with eating disorders, such as bulimia.
Potassium deficiency is usually easily corrected by restoring a normal level of potassium into the diet. In particularly severe cases, or in those with complex liver conditions, complications may develop, such as abnormal heart rhythms. Normally, if too much potassium is consumed, the kidneys filter it out and it is excreted in the urine, stool or sweat. However, if the kidneys are not as effective at filtering, the excess levels of potassium can accumulate in the body. Too much potassium is called hyperkalemia. Initial symptoms of hyperkalemia include abdominal cramps, muscle weakness and irritability. Eventually it can lead to inhibition of muscle regulation, and in particular heart problems.
Got Potassium? Experts suggest 4,700 milligrams of dietary potassium a day for adults as part of a. But average intake is lower for U. S. adults. Men average 3,200 milligrams per day of potassium, and women average 2,400 milligrams. БRelying on convenience and restaurants foods and not eating enough is why so many people donБt get enough potassium,Б Heller says. БFresh and lightly processed foods, including dairy and meat, have the most potassium.
Б Home cooking determines potassium levels in produce, too. Boiling depletes potassium. For example, a boiled potato has almost half the potassium of a baked potato. To preserve potassium, eat raw, or roast or lightly steam them. When dining out, increase potassium by ordering a salad, extra steamed or roasted vegetables, bean-based dishes, fruit cups, and low-fat milk instead of soda. Experts say food, not, is the best way to meet potassium needs. БMy preference is food because potassium is found in foods that provide other, such as fiber, that also have beneficial health effects,Б Appel says. HereБs how many milligrams (mg) of potassium you'll get from these potassium-rich foods: Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg Sweet potato, medium, baked with Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg Yogurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg 100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg Milk, 1% low fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg Salmon, farmed Atlantic, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg Chicken, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg Source: U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Besides being linked to the potassium in your diet, potassium levels in your body are influenced by several factors, including function, hormones, and prescription and over-the-counter.
People who take thiazide diuretics, often used to treat, may need more potassium. ThatБs because thiazide diuretics promote potassium loss from the body. Steroids and also deplete potassium. Other drugs used to lower blood pressure, including beta-blockers and, raise potassium levels in the body. People with reduced function may need to limit their daily potassium intake. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how all of the medications you take affect the potassium levels in your body, and if you need more, or less, of the mineral. б 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
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