Lower the salt, increase potassium to lower blood pressure

Less salt equals lower blood pressure. Not news to most of you. But by focusing on increasing potassium in the diet you can offset some of the effects of sodium, the real culprit in salt. Sodium and potassium work together to create balance and promote metabolic processes in the body. Most people don’t get enough potassium and by simply eating more fresh fruit and veggies, you can dramatically increase the amount of potassium in your diet. Choose sweet potatoes, peaches, bananas, spinach, cantaloupe, avocado, red potatoes, berries, oranges for some of the most concentrated sources of potassium. Meats also contain potassium, but lack the antioxidants that fruits and vegetables contain. Remember, antioxidants are the disease fighters, scavenging free radicals that damage our DNA making the body more susceptible to cancers, heart disease, and other inflammatory diseases. Not sure how much salt you are eating? Try this 24 hour experiment to give you a good idea of how much sodium you typically add to food: Measure out 1 tsp of salt and place in a small cup. This is about 1500 mg of sodium which is considered a safe amount to include each day. Use this salt in preparing your food for one day. Avoid packaged and restaurant food and measure how much salt is left at the end of the day. Hopefully, there is a little bit left! If you prepared mostly whole, unprocessed food which is naturally low in sodium, you can feel confidant that you ate a healthy amount of sodium. Conversely, if you needed additional salt or added in several canned, packaged or prepared food items, you are probably exceeding the recommended 1500-2000 mg thought to be best for the body. Take a peek at the packaged foods you eat and try to choose those that have the least amount of salt in them, replacing salty choices with low and no salt options. Adding your own salt in preparation can save 1000’s of milligrams of sodium. And don’t forget to choose more fruits and veggies, striving for 3 servings of fruit each day and 5-7 servings of veggies.