We are all heard the advice that too much salt is bad for our blood pressure. However, more recent research is pointing out that too much sugar might be worse than salt. And now, a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics suggests that adolescents have a better chance of avoiding high blood pressure in adulthood if they ate a diet higher in potassium, and not really worry about their salt intake.
The study examined the eating habits and the blood pressure of over 2000 girls aged 9 and 10, and then later when they were 19 and 20. The results showed that how much salt (sodium) the girls ate during adolescence did not influence their blood pressure. And the girls who ate a high potassium diet had better blood pressure when they reached adulthood.
Potassium is a mineral that is important not only for our blood pressure, but also to regulate our muscles to contract well, and our heart to beat at a steady rate.
Fortunately, many foods that adolescents like are also high in potassium, including bananas, raisins, potatoes, yogurt, and guacamole. Nutritionists recommend an intake of 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day, but few people actually reach that recommended intake.
A banana has about 420 milligrams of potassium, a potato or potato skins has about 700 milligrams, one avocado will yield 900 milligrams and one serving of yogurt has over 500 milligrams, and if fruit is added, the potassium content is even higher. A teenager who a good quantity of leafy green vegetables, like spinach, will be getting a good potassium intake.
Here is a list of foods that are high in potassium, with some with the highest content listed towards the top:
Sweet potatoes (with skin)
Potatoes (with skin)
Beans and Lentils
Salmon and Tuna
While this study was done in adolescent girls, nutritional experts are placing more emphasis on the benefits of a high potassium diet for people of all ages. Most of us are getting too much sodium (salt), and too little potassium in our diets.
While the relationship of salt and blood pressure seems to be rather complicated and controversial, there seems to be little controversy that a diet high in potassium is beneficial for helping to maintain normal blood pressure. All of us would benefit from keeping in mind our potassium intake, especially if we have problems with our blood pressure, or a family history of hypertension.
See also in ProcuraMed:
Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)