Mélina Lamarche

By Mélina Lamarche

February 17, 2016

Health

Less Salt but More Potassium: for Good Heart Health!

Article revised on 13 June 2017

We have heard it over and over again: To lower blood pressure, you need a low-sodium diet. But did you know that potassium is vital to normal heart function?

Recent studies have shown that lowering your sodium intake while increasing your potassium intake appears to be a win-win strategy! The combined effect of these 2 approaches helps to boost the health of your heart and blood vessels.

If you eat the following 10 foods, you’ll be well on your way to getting the recommended 4,700 mg of daily potassium:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) legumes: 750 – 1,060 mg
  • 1 baked potato with skin: 920mg
  • 13 medium clams (100 g): 625 mg
  • ½ cup (125 ml) •canned tomato puree: 580 mg
  • 3½ oz (100 g) fish (salmon, halibut, tuna, cod…): 400 – 575 mg
  • ½ cup (125 ml) cooked winter squash (butternut, hubbard, pepper…): 300 – 475 mg
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pumpkin seeds: 450 mg
  • 1 banana: 420 mg
  • 2 cups (500 ml) raw spinach: 350 mg
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) plain yogourt: 385 – 430mg

Are you getting enough?

Probably not! Most Canadians over the age of 19 are not getting the recommended 4,700 mg of daily potassium, and they get much more sodium than they need. In general, we are doing the opposite of what we should be doing.

Want to reverse the trend and have the correct potassium-sodium ratio?

Here’s how:

  • Have at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
  • Select fresh foods, and prepare them yourself
  • Limit your consumption of processed foods

Source: National Institutes of Health

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