I feel very strongly about this issue. Americans in general just do not get enough Potassium (along with other nutrients, like magnesium), and we eat WAAAAAAY too much sodium.
More troubling is the FDA's refusal to recognize potassium as an essential nutrient -- it is not currently required on the Nutrition Facts labels.
It's important to limit sodium intake, but it's just as important to watch your potassium intake and make sure it is in recommended range, or at least matching your sodium intake (unless you have kidney issues or are taking a diuretic that limits your ability to process it).
Check out this article just published by NYTimes that cites some pretty major new studies:
Now, the FDA needs to take action. I want to see mandatory labeling of potassium content. I want maximum levels of sodium established per serving--no more labeling it as G.R.A.S. (generally regarded as safe) at high levels (I'm looking at you, ramen).
It's just more motivation to eat less processed food and more fresh fruits and vegetables!
Here are my favorite ways to get potassium:
-coconut water (very refreshing and aids my muscle recovery after runs)
-tomato sauce / paste
-vegetable juice (low-sodium v8)
-potatoes! and sweet potatoes!
-lean meats and fish
-dried apricots and raisins
-orange juice (fresh squeezed for me!)
-beans and lentils
-green leafy vegetables
Do you have a favorite high-potassium food?
EDIT: I am not condoning salt-substitutes or potassium supplements of any kind--only a diet from natural sources of potassium within the recommended range of 3500-4700 mg/day (or at least matching sodium intake).