Just like sodium and calcium, potassium is an indispensable mineral that is present in many processed foods. Getting an adequate amount of potassium in the diet aids in maintaining health and inhibiting several chronic diseases. The deficiency of potassium can endanger health in many ways. Therefore, it is important to consume lots of potassium-rich diets. Most of the processed foods that people consume already have potassium in them. It is needed to make wholesome food options by selecting some essential foods to supplement the diet and increase potassium in the diet.
Fruits including bananas, oranges.
Prunes, dates, raisins.
Vegetables include cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, leafy greens.
Prune juice, orange juice, apricot juice, tomato juice, grapefruit juice.
Some fish also have potassium in them, including tuna, halibut, cod, trout, rockfish.
Pinto beans, lima beans, soybeans, kidney beans, lentils.
Poultry and meat.
Some fresh vegetables high in potassium include oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, apricots, honeydew, grapefruit, a few dried fruits including dates, prunes, raisins, and cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes, and peas.
Recommended Intake for Potassium and Health Risks Associated with Potassium
The Institute of Medicine has introduced a recommended potassium intake value. Taking the recommended amount of potassium from the food or supplements would be sufficient to keep people in good health.
Excess potassium doses could be fatal. Potassium disorders are categorized into two types namely hypokalemia and hyperkalemia. Hypokalemia is a condition where the potassium level in the blood is below normal. Hyperkalemia is a condition where the potassium levels in the blood are high. Symptoms of a potassium overdose are paralysis, muscle frailty, erratic heartbeat, disorientation, itching sensation in the limbs, and low blood pressure. Additional potential side effects include cardiac conduction deformities and cardiac arrhythmias, such as sinus arrest, sinus bradycardia, ventricular tachycardia, slow idioventricular rhythms, asystole, and ventricular fibrillation. Symptoms of the low dose of potassium include digestive problems, muscle aches, weakness, low blood pressure, and mood swings. Some syndromes that are linked with low potassium are as follows:
Methods of Prevention for Health Risks Associated with Potassium-rich Diets
Excess intake of processed foods containing potassium can lead to many health complications; therefore, some prevention methods are available to lower the risk of potential severe effects. These methods are as follows:
Avoid some salt substitutes: Some salt substitutes are rich in potassium. People undergoing kidney disease should avoid them.
Avoid herbal medications or supplements: Herbal medications or supplements can contain ingredients that can boost potassium levels. Generally, people undergoing kidney disease avoid using herbal supplements. For any doubts, discuss with the physician.
Prescribed potassium binders and water pills: People might further require medication to eliminate excess potassium from the body and including diuretics (water pills) and potassium binders that are usually available in the form of powder.
Other recommendations are curbing processed food diets that contain high amounts of potassium and shifting towards a minimally processed food diet. This will be the best and beneficial way to remain safe from the potential health risks.
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