Potassium: The 2010 Dietary Guidelines also noted the nutrients of concern for Americans meaning many Americans are not getting enough of these nutrients. One of the nutrients that many Americans are not getting enough of is potassium. This is really a surprise to me since potassium is in so many foods. But it shows how little fruits and vegetables Americans are eating.
What foods are high in potassium?
The richest sources of potassium are found in fresh, unprocessed foods. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is one of the easiest ways to ensure enough potassium in your diet. Eating whole grains, dairy products, meats and fish also provide potassium in our diets.
Fruit and Juice
Amount of Potassium
544 mg per ½ cup
320 mg / wedge
427 per cup
500 mg per cup
400mg / 2 oz
340 mg/2 oz
374 mg/ 2 0z
Sweet Potato baked
2455 mg / 1 cup
400 mg/ cup
580 mg / cup
(A comprehensive listing of the potassium in foods can be found at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR20/nutrlist/sr20w306.pdf)
Thus, by including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and nuts in your diet, it is easy to get plenty of potassium each day.
Why Potassium? Why should you care if you get enough potassium in your diet? For one, diets low in potassium increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. Having enough potassium in your diet decreases your risk of stroke. Potassium is considered to be "heart-healthy" because diets that are low in potassium and high in sodium raise blood pressure and increase one's risk of heart disease.
How much Potassium? By eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day along with a serving of nuts would provide more than adequate levels of potassium in your diet. An adequate intake of potassium would be 4700 mg a day. However, you don't have to take out a calculator, just eat fresh fruits, vegetables; dairy products and some nuts and you will be getting more than enough potassium each day.