October 12, 2011

Low Glycemic High Potassium Foods

Posted in Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Habits, Nutrition at 4:11 PM by lanaholt

Recently someone asked me what are some low glycemic, high potassium foods. So, I decided to do a little research.

Why do we need potassium?

Potassium is a mineral found inside body cells. It is one of several minerals known as electrolytes. These minerals (potassium, sodium, and chloride) are found in the fluids inside and outside of body cells. We need about 4700 mg of potassium per day.

Potassium is important because it helps:

– regulate fluid and electrolyte balance
– maintain normal blood pressure
– transmit nerve impulses
– control muscle contraction, including the heart
– maintain healthy bones.

A food’s glycemic index rates the speed at which your body metabolizes carbohydrates and the food’s ability to increase blood sugar. All foods are rated from 0 to 100, 100 being pure glucose. 55 and below are considered low. Avoiding foods that create too much of an insulin reaction in your body is the key to controlling diabetes. Unfortunately, many foods that are rich in potassium also rate high on the glycemic index.

Here are some foods that are lower on the glycemic index but pack a potassium punch. Sun-dried tomatoes at 3400 mg are an excellent source of potassium. So are baked sweet potatoes with skin at 508 mg, which are on the lower end of the glycemic index. Beet greens have 655 mg in a half cup, celery 300 mg, 1/2 cup of carrots 177 mg, 1 radish 47 mg, 1 cup of tomato 400 mg, 1 cup of Swiss chard 960 mg, 1/2 cup squash 300 mg, and 1/2 cup spinach 300 mg are other good sources. 100 g white beans 561 mg or 1 cup cooked soy beans 972 mg, nuts 100-200 mg, 1 cup of sunflower seeds has 1300 mg.

Imagine if you combined some of the ingredients above in a stew, soup or shake. It would be a yummy potassium super blend.

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