As many have noted, food producers are not required to post potassium levels, a problem I also share. I have heart disease, and I have to keep my blood pressure pretty low because of the combination of meds I take. I do a lot more cooking from scratch than I did before my problems, more so because I can get the amount of nutrients in the raw ingredients for many from the USDA database. I have a small database of these foods, for which USDA uses a standard measurement of 100 grams. The highest amounts of potassium per the standard measurement that I use include: potatoes, lima beans, mushrooms, squash, and meats. Blueberries are by far the lowest, then a number of raw vegetables: (eggplant, cucumbers, onions, peppers), and other fruits (raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes). The USDA database is available at http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list.
I was tearing out my hair trying to meet the potassium requirements, when I found an article by searching "potassium" in Sparkpeople. The title is "High Potassium - Low Calorie Food List (avail. for download)." It's third or fourth down under the Ads by Google.
A shout out to ArcSparks for compiling the list!
Also, I have found the USDA's website "http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/" to be useful in providing much more nutrition information than is given on the labels.
Now I tear out my hair trying to meet the potassium requirement without blowing the fiber target.
I find that part of the problem is that food manufacturers are not required to identify the amount of potassium is contained in their products. This is particularly frustrating. I have created a separate "food" called potassium and I search the web to find how much potassium is in a given food. Then I just add the amount of potassium in the food I prepared. Its a bit glitchy but I prefer to be confident that I am gaining the amount of potassium I need and not too much.
Good luck to us all as we continue down this path
Also I find that legumes are high in potassium, But I too use the low sodium v8 juice as a low calorie, 1100 potassium provider.
My nutrition tracker always shows that I didn't take in enough potassium. I asked my doctor, and he said that any problems with a potassium deficiency would show up in my bloodwork, so not to worry.
That being said, I do try to find some foods that are high in potassium. As stated below, low-sodium tomato/V8 juice is an excellent source. Cantaloupe is really high too, but you have to be careful not to eat too much--I find that I don't lose much weight during weeks I eat a lot of it (water retention, maybe?). Lima beans are high, too. Another food that I didn't realize has a lot is a baked potato. Just don't put a lot of 'stuff' on it to raise the calorie count. You get tons more potassium if you eat the skin, too (which is hard for me, because I find it gets tough).
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I have had problems with my pottassium being very low when I was taking a blood pressure med that contains the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide. I tried to correct my low potassium with diet, but wasn't able to raise it to normal until I both stopped the hydrochlorothiazide, and took a prescription potassium supplement for 3 months. I still continue to take the same bp med without the diuretic and my potassium has remained normal. I am amazed how much better and energetic I feel when my potassium is normal.
My latest blood test indicates that I am below normal for potassium. My multi vitamin only provides 80mg. I am going to get supplements and hopefully they will help regulate my BP since I have had very bad results with meds (including hives, memory loss. racing heart and INCREASED BP). So glad I read this discussion.
Fitness Minutes: (129,735) Posts: 6,961 4/29/13 5:19 A
Your best bet with tracking your potassium intake, is by reading labels and adding that up! It is not easy to get in enough potassium. The typical American diet is too LOW in potassium. PLUS potassium is water soluable, thus you need your 3,000-4,000 intake EVERY day.
I see low potassium in folks coming into the hospital regularly. SO important to go on line and get a LIST of high K+ foods and be sure you consume them!
One BIG help to increase K+ is via a 12 ounce can of LOW SODIUM V-8 juice. TASTES GREAT, and is very high in K+!
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Fitness Minutes: (18,820) Posts: 1,117 4/28/13 8:19 P
The tracking on the potassium here is not always accurate -- in many cases, the foods in the tracker have not had the "micronutrients" included. But, that isn't to say you don't have low potassium -- obviously, if they did a blood test and your potassium was low, it IS a real concern! Do use caution in taking over-the-counter potassium, however, as too much can potentially screw up your heart rhythm.
So glad you finally got to the root of the problem, and that SP was able to be part of the solution!
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Some diuretics can cause you to lose potassium. The Mayo Clinic has an article that talks about it. You might want to make sure you're not taking one of them. Also, be careful you don't swing the balance too far the other way. Too much potassium is not good either. Glad you were able to find a solution to the problem.
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Bananas,Yogurt greek and/or Pototos...great source of potassium...........may God bless your positive efforts
Edited by: DONNALEE24 at: 4/28/2013 (17:21)
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Fitness Minutes: (76) Posts: 2,057 4/28/13 5:10 P
Who would think that if your potassium is low this could wreak havoc on your blood pressure. My BP has been high for a very long time and my primary doctor could not figure out what the problem was. She sent me to a Hypertension Neuphrologist, who had me do test after test to find out if something was causing my BP to always be elevated. They found nothing, so she increased my meds. I'm taking all these meds and my blood pressure is still thru the roof. So I was going to wait a while to see if after a few weeks the medication would work. In the mean time I was searching online, trying to find a website to track what I was eating, and I came across Sparkpeople. That was the best search of my life finding Sparkpeople, not only was I able to track my foods I also was able to track my nutrients. That's when I found out I don't come any where close to my daily allowance of potassium. Once I started taking some potassium pills that I had at home, my BP started to come down. So why didn't my doctors test me for low potassium? I don't know, but I do know, I did have the test done with another doctor and it showed my potassium is low. So I will be getting a prescription to remedy this problem. So THANKS Sparkpeople if I wasn't tracking my nutrients I probably wouldn't have found this out.
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