K [potassium] to Na [sodium] ratios: what the body needs that most of us haven’t heard, or read.

Salt

Except for a brief period-of-time in my mid-20s, I’ve kept up on the latest research into weight lifting, running, and nutrition. We’re responsible for these bodies through our life courses. Yet, for whatever reason, K [potassium] to Na [sodium] ratios escaped me. Until now, I never knew how important they were. As I’ve mentioned in both videos, hypertension reached out, shook my hand, and reminded me age isn’t just a number. It’s a new reality. With all new realities, I had to find ways to adjust and figure out the terrain. Here’s what I’ve found thus far; and, please keep in mind, I’ll keep searching, until I’m over that hill, and far away.

Sometimes, I try to find reputable professional-sites that boil down the voluminous information presented in peer-reviewed articles. For instance, the articles provided no clear picture of ratios. They did support a position for significantly higher K than Na for ‘African-Americans, people in middle age, older people, and anyone with hypertension’. They also clearly stated the greatest reductions in hypertension happen when K’s significantly higher than Na. And after doing a little more digging, the USDA’s average daily requirements for K and Na also fit the referenced studies. After doing the math, the USDA guideline suggests: a 3-1 ratio for anyone in an ‘at risk’ category, but also for others, if we follow the daily-requirement suggestions. [the website’s linked it in the references section].

K to Na ratios have two important facts. One, as entropy begins, and the body starts its less pliant stage, our cardio vascular systems become less efficient. And while, a 3-1 K to Na ratio isn’t a panacea, it will help keep cardio vascular diseases, at bay. Two, in many ways, we can control our quality of life. For instance, making changes in the way we eat, can increase our odds of a longer, healthier life, with less need for pills to keep us going. Less pills means more money we can spend on other things; like a night out with your significant other, leading to an end of the night at home with your significant other.

So, if in some way, this information has helped you to make the decision to increase K ratios in your diet and decrease Na ratios: what now? Here’s a short list of foods that help:

  • Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg 
  • Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin: 694 mg
  • Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg
  • White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg
  • Yogurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg
  • Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg
  • 100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg
  • Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg
  • Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg
  • Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg
  • Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg
  • Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg
  • Milk, 1% low fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg
  • Salmon, farmed Atlantic, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg
  • Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg
  • Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg
  • Chicken breast, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg
  • Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg

With a short search, you can find others to fit your likes, dislikes, and needs.

My suggestions aside, consider how much you can gain: a longer life, a healthier life, more fun, and even more money. Certainly, it’s your choice, but I’m rooting for you.

Love to all: Tony

References

Lambers Heerspink, H. J., Perkovic, V., & de Zeeuw, D. (2009). Renal and cardio-protective effects of direct renin inhibition: a systematic literature review: Journal of Hypertension, 27(12), 2321–2331. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283310f92

Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Hong, Y., Labarthe, D., Mozaffarian, D., Appel, L. J., Van Horn, L., … on behalf of the American Heart Association Strategic Planning Task Force and Statistics Committee. (2010). Defining and Setting National Goals for Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Reduction: The American Heart Association’s Strategic Impact Goal Through 2020 and Beyond. Circulation, 121(4), 586–613. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192703

Perez, V., & Chang, E. T. (2014). Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio and Blood Pressure, Hypertension, and Related Factors. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 5(6), 712–741. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.114.006783

 

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