If you’re eating a healthy diet every day with multiple servings of fruits, vegetables and legumes you’re most likely getting enough potassium. But in my 20 years of experience as a personal trainer I have only seen about 10% of my new clients eating enough potassium. Only a small portion of the American population is eating a healthy well balanced diet. I blame the deficiencies in the typical American diet on processed foods which are full of empty calories, and made up of fat, sugar and sodium. If you’re not eating mostly whole natural foods you have to begin today. A good way to get started is to keep track of how much potassium you’re eating. The recommended Adequate Intake (AI) for potassium is 4,700 mg/day for adults. If you start eating 4,700mg of potassium per day, you’re almost guaranteed to be consuming a healthy diet because you’ll have to be eating whole nutritous foods to get up to 4,700mg/per day.
I always try to come up with simple rules to get my clients to eat better. If you follow this simple rule: eat 4,700mg of potassium a day, I know you will feel better and most likely lose some weight.
High Potassium Low Calorie Foods
• Baked Potato (with skin) 690mg of Potassium and 130 calories
• Soybeans ½ cup (cooked) 490mg Potassium and 125 calories
• Spinach ½ cup (cooked) 420mg Potassium and 21 calories
• Banana 1 ( medium) 425mg Potassium and 110 calories
• Cod 4oz (cooked) 540mg Potassium and 129 calories
• Lima Beans ½ cup (cooked) 490mg Potassium and 104 calories
• Yogurt 1 cup (non-fat plain) 568mg Potassium and 153 calories
• Apricots ¼ cup (dried) 378mg Potassium and 78 calories
• Beets 1 cup (cooked) 520mg Potassium and 22 calories
• Winter Squash 1 cup (cooked) 458mg Potassium and 44 calories
• Coconut Water 11oz 680mg Potassium and 60 calories
• Vegetable Juice 1 cup (low sodium) 740mg Potassium and 70 calories
When you start increasing your potassium, do it slowly. You will be eating a lot more fruits and vegetables which are high in fiber and may take a little time for your stomach to get use to it. The only concern with ingesting high amounts of potassium is if you have kidney disease. I have had clients over the years with kidney issues and they were told by their doctors to limit the amount of potassium in their diet.
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Best – Mike Cola