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    Old 06-13-2007, 04:19 AM   #1
    brutus77
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    Help me understand potassium

    I have high BP and take meds for it. The doctor, and every resource I've read advises against salt consumption in all it's forms including potassium. Yet, bananas are recommended as a beneficial high BP food because of their high potassium content. What am I missing?

    Last edited by brutus77; 06-13-2007 at 05:16 PM.

     
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    Old 06-13-2007, 10:10 AM   #2
    flowergirl2day
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    Re: Help me uderstand potassium

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brutus77 View Post
    I have high BP and take meds for it. The doctor, and every resource I've read advises against salt consumption in all it's forms including potassium. Yet, bananas are recommended as a beneficial high BP food because of their high potassium content. What am I missing?
    Brutus,

    Our bodies need potassium. It's an essential mineral for our cells, tissues, organs and all of the bodily functions. It is found is many food sources. We simply must have it in order to function.

    Salt in any shape or form is bound to draw in fluids and retain them, therefore worsening or contributing to high blood pressure as there's more liquid coursing through the arteries and a greater workload for the heart to handle.

    Reduction in potassium levels happens mainly through the use of diuretics and can lead to salt sensitivity and high blood pressure. (Of course, there are other causes as well). This is why the doctors like to check the potassium levels often.

    Some of the blood pressure medications INCREASE the levels of potassium in the bloodstream, and that is just as bad! There's a potassium-sparing diuretic, some ARB's, ACE inhibitors, such as Ramipril. Having high levels of potassium is extremely dangerous and can be deadly.

    Most diuretics DECREASE the potassium levels. It's important to consume foods rich in potassium as the levels in our bodies should optimally be neither too high nor too low.

    Flowergirl

    P.S. The potassium-sodium connection:
    Potassium levels change depending on the levels of sodium in the body - if sodium is up, potassium levels decrease, and vice versa.

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 06-13-2007 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Adding PS

     
    Old 06-13-2007, 10:44 AM   #3
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    Re: Help me uderstand potassium

    Potassium in the form of food is not a problem unless you are on a medication that causes your body to retain potassium (then you have to limit those foods high in potassium). Perhaps you are talking about low sodium salt which has potassium in it? Fam

     
    Old 06-13-2007, 05:15 PM   #4
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    Re: Help me understand potassium

    I want to replace breakfast and or lunch with one or two bananas a day. This, in an effort to lose some weight. I tried it and it seems like my BP went up. So do you think a couple bananas a day is O.K.? I've always read potassium is salt, or a form of it.

    Last edited by brutus77; 06-13-2007 at 05:17 PM.

     
    Old 06-13-2007, 05:38 PM   #5
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    Re: Help me understand potassium

    Keep in mind that bananas are very high in potassium. You only need to eat 5 of them (@450mg each) to reach your daily recommended amount of potassium.

    Other foods high in potassium are potatoes, cantelope, french fries...
    You can have bananas if you skip other high potassium foods. The recommended daily intake is 2000-3500mg. Many foods contain potassium in smaller amounts, especially fresh fruits, veggies and grains.

    Apples, cranberries, grapes and blueberries are very low in potassium. There are many OTHER fruits you could include in your diet instead of bananas, if you are worried about the potassium content. In any case, I personally would NOT go on a banana diet. (I did once many years ago and lost some weight).

    Flowergirl

     
    Old 06-15-2007, 09:31 PM   #6
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    Re: Help me understand potassium

    Yes they put me on a diuretic and my potassium was at 3.2 and they make me take potassium now..I started to feel weak in my muscles, but my dr. said it has to get lower and that I was nuts!!! so i take the potassium and eat a banana a day and im at 3.6!

     
    Old 06-16-2007, 05:05 AM   #7
    Lenin
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    Re: Help me understand potassium

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brutus77 View Post
    I want to replace breakfast and or lunch with one or two bananas a day. This, in an effort to lose some weight. I tried it and it seems like my BP went up. So do you think a couple bananas a day is O.K.? I've always read potassium is salt, or a form of it.

    Brutus,
    Chemically speaking, potassium IS usually part of a salt (as in potassium chloride, potassium sufate etc.) but for purposes of blood pressure discussions, avoiding salt means avoiding SODIUM salts, as in table salt (sodium chloride, monosodium glutamate.)

    Enjoy the two bananas...if anything they will bring your BP DOWN. (You might want a little protein in that breakfast...bananas have none.)

    Last edited by Lenin; 06-16-2007 at 05:06 AM.

     
    Old 06-16-2007, 05:52 AM   #8
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    Re: Help me uderstand potassium

    Thanks for all responses....I'm in a car all day. I drive around repairing computers. Mainly point of sale in grocery stores, so a lot of temptation in the stores and on the road in rhe form of drive thru fast food. Last summer I had a job doing the same thing but a lot more physical activity. I lost 14 lbs. in 2 months, eating nothing but breakfast cerial with fruit, and bananas 3-5 times a day. I felt pretty good. That job "went away" in mid January this year and gained that weight+, sitting at home for 3 months doing nothing. I lost a couple pounds lately, but my BP is hindering my preformance at work. Headaches, dizzy.

     
    Old 06-17-2007, 04:42 AM   #9
    Lenin
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    Re: Help me uderstand potassium

    Quote:
    I lost 14 lbs. in 2 months, eating nothing but breakfast cerial with fruit, and bananas 3-5 times a day. I felt pretty good.
    Brutus,
    You were eating a low calorie VERY low protein diet. The problem from such a diet is that too much of the weight loss comes from lean flesh rather than from fat. An ideal diet will conserve as much muscle and organ tissue as possible and that takes an adequate protein intake...at least 60 grams/day.

    Eating 10 bananas a day may precipitate hyperkalemia (too much potassium.)

     
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