High Potassium Foods

High potassium foods, low potassium foods and associated potassium symptoms info

 

Hidden Sugar Video

There are plenty of places that sugar can be readily seen. Everyone knows it is in soda, candy, cookies and desserts. However this only accounts for one half the sugar that we eat every day. The other half is hidden sugar in places you may never suspect. This Ted-Ed video from Dr. Lustig points out how to become aware of this hidden sugar.

The places sugar often hides include such foods as ketchup, spaghetti sauce, soy milk, sports drinks, and peanut butter. In fact added sugar is in three fourths of the items in a grocery store. Most packaged foods have hidden sugar.

Hidden Sugar In Plain Sight

Part of the reason that sugar is so hard to see is that it has so many names. Don’t expect to see “sugar” on the label. The label may list any of 56 aliases for sugar. And even the aliases have nicknames. If you want to know the 56 aliases, watch for them across the bottom of the screen.

When several different types of sugar are used in a product, you may think that you’re not getting so much sugar. You may not notice some of the aliases on the label. But if you add them all up, you will see how much you really are getting.

Upper Limit For Sugar

There is no FDA recommendation on an upper limit for sugar. However the World Health Organization recommends that sugar only account for 5% of your total calories in a day. For most people this is about 25 grams (about an ounce). One of the problems not mentioned in the video, but which has been pointed out by Dr. Lustig in some of his talks is that in 1900 the average American only got 15 grams of fructose (a worrisome form of sugar) in a day, but today gets 55 grams a day. And many people exceed the 55 grams. Just one soda can contain 40 to 60 grams of sugar, more than half as fructose.

Difference Between Two Types Of Sugar

There is a big difference between glucose and fructose, and it is fructose that really needs to be limited. The video points out the chemical difference between glucose and fructose. It shows that glucose has a 6 carbon ring, whereas fructose has only a 5 carbon ring. This different structure means that these two sugars are processed differently in the body.

Fructose in the diet is an area that Dr. Lustig has written about in the medical literature. His work has shown the damage that fructose may be responsible for. However this aspect of sugar is only slightly referred to in the video. To read an abstract of an article he wrote in the medical literature, click here.

The video points out that glucose can be used by all organs in our body. But fructose is metabolized in the liver where it is turned into fat molecules. The main problem occurs when the liver gets too much fructose too quickly. It then starts to form fatty deposits in the liver cells. Eventually the fatty deposits cause the liver to stop working.

Fructose is also found in fruit. But in fruit fructose is bound to fiber. Fiber slows the absorption so that liver cells are not overwhelmed. For more discussion of fructose, click here. For a Table showing how much fructose is in different fruit, as well as a discussion, click here.

Why Is Sugar Added To Food?

Part of why sugar has become present in so many foods is that it is used as a preservative which allows food to be shipped and stay on the shelf longer. This is the same reason salt came to be used in so many packaged foods. On this post you will find a video that discussed another reason sugar is added – its effect on our brain.

The video then discusses what foods added sugar is not in. This is the 25% of food in the grocery store that you should be eating – the natural, unprocessed foods.

Evaluate Scientific Studies In The News – Video

This latest herb reduces blood pressure. This latest drug stops osteoporosis. This superfood prevents cancer. All are backed up by scientific studies. Every day we are presented with these kind of headlines in the news. This Ted-Ed video provides some very nice basic information about how to evaluate scientific studies in the news.

It starts out by pointing out that studies on animals or cells only point the way for further research. These studies provide hypotheses that can be tried on humans. Only human studies can tell you about the effects on humans. The video discusses the gold standard for scientific studies as a randomized clinical trial. Many experts would add that the trial should be double blinded so that neither the participants nor the researchers know which group is which.

FDA Criteria

It points out that for drugs and medical devices the FDA usually requires two randomized controlled trials for approval. However because this is not practical in all circumstances, epidemiological studies are sometimes needed. Epidemiological studies compare two groups that differ concerning the variable that is being studied.

Overcoming Flaws

However an epidemiological study has inherent flaws. It can only show a correlation and not causation. For this reason multiple studies are required. The strongest evidence of causation is found by satisfying Hill’s criteria. See the post here for a discussion of Hill’s criteria. To read the original article by Hill click here.

The video discusses that there are many confounding variables that may coexist in epidemiological studies and give some good examples. Many times the studies will try to correct for the confounding variables with statistical methods. Even so, to satisfy Hill’s criteria multiple studies by multiple researchers in multiple locations under multiple circumstances are needed.

To seriously evaluate an epidemiological study, Hill’s criteria need to be satisfied. However as a good way to evaluate all the scientific studies presented in the news on a daily basis, this video gives you good guidelines.

Ice Cream Softness Video

If you are into making your own ice cream, this video will show you how to control ice cream softness. It’s a fun video from the American Chemical Society about what makes ice cream hard or soft. Ice cream and most other dairy products are high potassium foods that can help you lower blood pressure, strengthen bones, and reduce your chances of kidney stones. If you are interested in finding out how much potassium and sodium are in ice cream and other dairy products, click here for a table of high potassium dairy foods and here for ice cream.

The video has a fun demonstration of three ways to make ice cream of different hardness. It explains that the hardness of the ice cream is related to the size of the ice crystals that form when it is being made. The smaller the ice crystals the softer the ice cream. The two main ways to keep ice crystals small are to use an emulsifier and to freeze the crystals quickly.

The three ways that they demonstrate start with the older method that I learned as a kid, using an ice cream maker and slow freezing. This results in a hard ice cream because of the size of ice crystals that it makes. They also discuss using salt to freeze the ice cream at a lower temperature, which makes it a little bit softer. And then finally they use liquid nitrogen to freeze it at a very low temperature so that the ice crystals form extremely quickly resulting in a very soft ice cream. Not very practical for most of us.

Because ice cream is cold the taste buds do not taste its ingredients as much as if it were warm. For this reason, often sugar is added. So be sure to check the label of ice cream you do not make yourself, and be careful about how much sugar a serving contains. The video also talks about how the rating of ice cream depends on its fat content. In order to be called ice cream it must have at least 10% fat. To be called premium ice cream it needs 20% fat. Personally I go for ice milk or frozen yogurt when I don’t make it myself.

Garlic’s Effects – Video

It is delicious, healthy, and can ward off werewolves and vampires. What more do you need to know? Find out in two minutes with this video about garlic’s effects from the American Chemical Society.

Although it does not discuss that garlic is one of the high potassium foods with a potassium sodium ratio of 34, it does discuss other facts about garlic, such as why you get garlic breath. Most compounds with sulfur have a bad smell. For example, hydrogen sulfide is what gives rotten eggs their bad smell. Some of the sulfur containing compounds in garlic change to bad smelling compounds when the garlic clove is chopped. One of these bad smelling compounds is broken down in the body at a much slower rate than the rest, diallyl disulfide. It is excreted in bodily fluids such as sweat and the water vapor in our breath.

GarlicsEffects Garlics Effects   VideoBut the video also tells you how to combat garlic breath. Drink some milk or eat some parsley at the same time as eating garlic. The video doesn’t mention that the milk should be mixed in the mouth with the garlic containing dish. It does not work as well when drunk afterward. The parsley only works for a short time. So another alternative is to take a sauna to sweat out the compounds.

The video mentions that garlic is good for your health, but then goes into how some of the compounds in garlic can kill bacteria. This is not the basis for the favorable health effects. Garlic had been used before the modern era of antibiotics to try to prevent gangrenous infections and as a disinfectant, but there are better alternatives today.

There have been many clinical trials with garlic’s effects in medical conditions. It has been found to reduce the formation of cholesterol plaques in arteries, to improve blood lipid profiles (reducing cholesterol and triglycerides), to lower homocysteine levels, and to reduce blood pressure in treated but uncontrolled hypertension.

The sulfur containing compounds may have something to do with these effects, but many of the same effects are associated with an improved dietary potassium sodium ratio also. It is difficult to separate the effects of the sulfur compounds from the effects of the improved ratio.

What about werewolves and vampires? We are unaware of any controlled studies, so you will have to research this on your own.

To go to Youtube to watch the video, click here.

Tables Of Spices And Other Foods

To find a table with the potassium and sodium content of garlic and other spices, click here. To find a list of posts containing tables of other foods and their potassium and sodium content, click here.

Sugar’s Brain Effect- Video

Another TED-Ed video – about sugar’s brain effect. Why sugar is so desired. Why food companies put it in so many foods. How our brain works to have us seek it out almost addictively and not get bored of it like we do with many healthy foods.

First it explains the kinds of molecules that are sugar. And it goes into the different types of sugar and the different names that sugar has. These are the words that you would look for on the food label to know if sugar has been added.

It also discusses some of the foods that sugar is added to, so that you are not looking just at desserts and other foods that you expect sugar to be in. In fact it is added to almost all of our packaged foods. It’s in “healthy” granola and “healthy” yogurt. You really cannot go by descriptive words such as healthy, organic, or natural. You have to look at the labels to check the amount of sugar.

Sugar’s Brain Effect

However, the best part of the video is when it begins to discuss how sugar affects our brain. This explains why companies so often add it to foods in ever-increasing amounts, and why added sugar should be avoided except on occasion.

SugarsBrainEffect Sugars Brain Effect  VideoIt gives a good general explanation of the brain’s reward system. Without too much scientific wording it explains that we have receptors in various parts of the brain which communicate with each other to give varying amounts of reward sensations. It also explains that there are also sugar receptors in our gut that signal the feeling of fullness and signal the secretion of insulin. The insulin is needed to push the sugar in our bloodstream into our cells.

The video goes into how the neural signaling molecule dopamine is found throughout this reward system, and discusses how it works. A healthy meal with a low level of sugar leads to a reward spike of dopamine. But with repeated healthy meals there is less and less dopamine secreted when the food is the same.

Some foods do not lead to any spike at all in dopamine. These are the foods we have little craving for. Broccoli hardly causes a blip. Now you know why our kids don’t want broccoli.

This reward spike is followed by less secretion of dopamine when each meal is the same. To keep getting dopamine spikes we seek a variety of foods. Overall this is a healthy desire. By getting a variety of foods, we get a variety of nutrients. This way we are more likely to get all the essential nutrients we need.

Sugar on the other hand causes a spike every time just like a new meal. No matter how often we eat sugar, every time is like the first time. We get a big spike of dopamine in our brain’s reward system. Sugar never gets boring to our brain.

With this knowledge we can come up with a better plan for our meals. We can avoid the boredom that occurs when eating the same basic food items, when avoiding added sugar, or when avoiding salt. By using a different spice or flavor combination at each meal we can add enough variety that we should continue to get a strong spike of dopamine to keep our brain happy.

Potassium Tables

If you are looking for tables with the potassium content of a food item, click on the List Of Posts tab at the top of the page. Figure out what food group your food of interest is in. Then look for the post that mentions that food group and has the word “table” in it. Click on the link to that post and look for your food of interest in the table.

Hot Spices – Video

Here’s a video from TED–Ed about hot spices. It does not discuss cool or neutral heat spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. The video explains how spices provide the flavor effect of heat. It tells why some of the hot spices make you tear up and others make your nose run. And you can find out why some make you sweat and some make your heart race. If you are wondering what the hottest peppers are, you can find out here.

Spices are high potassium foods. They have some of the highest ratios of any food group. Most of them have ratios from about 5 to almost 100. The main exceptions are capers, chili pepper, horseradish, prepared mustard, vanilla extract without alcohol, distilled vinegar, and of course salt.

Spices are generally used in small amounts so any one spice does not provide a lot of potassium. However if used several times a day in different dishes, they can still provide a few hundred milligrams of potassium in a day.

If you are using high potassium foods to try to reduce your chance of hypertension, osteoporosis or kidney stones, you should be trying to get a high potassium sodium ratio. In order to do this you should eliminate or cut back on your sodium intake as much as possible.

Since the main source of sodium in the diet is salt, you should avoid salt. Spices are a great way to make up for the missing salt flavor. They add tons of flavor. If you experiment around, you will be able to find combinations of spices that you like even better than salt.

Tables Of High Potassium Foods

Tables of high potassium foods can be found by clicking the List of Posts tab at the top of this page. Look for the food group your food of interest is in and click on that link. The link should have “table” in the title. The table with spices is here.

Local Food – Portlandia Video

Another great skit from Portlandia. We feel local food has lots of advantages – from increased likelihood of a favorable potassium sodium ratio to freshness to less fuel use in shipping. Surprisingly, Carrie and Fred miss these points, but point out some important factors we didn’t realize. They are quite serious about their local food. Prepare to take notes so you will be prepared the next time you eat out.

Locally produced food is becoming more and more common. More restaurants and groceries are providing local food. Although not mentioned in the video, this means less need for preservatives, especially sodium. It means the food is more likely to have a favorable potassium sodium ratio. In the past it was almost impossible to get a high ratio meal eating out. Although still difficult, it is possible at some restaurants today.

Pomegranate Juice And Coconut Water

We have previously discussed the advantages of coconut water. It has become quite popular with various celebrities being featured using it. But it becomes even better with pomegranate juice added.

Pomegranate Pomegranate Juice And Coconut WaterBy itself coconut water has a 2.5 to 1 ratio of potassium to sodium, which is far better than any of the popular sports electrolyte drinks. When you mix it half and half with pomegranate juice the ratio goes up to over 4 to 1. You are helping your daily ratio and are replenishing your body with a better balanced fluid.

Coconut water brands vary in their taste. Some people that love one brand hate another because of the difference in taste. Pomegranate juice helps with providing a more consistent taste.

Pomegranate juice also has polyphenol antioxidants. The main antioxidants are in the group called ellagitannins, which have scavenged free radicals in the laboratory. This has made pomegranate juice popular in its own right. However the finding is difficult to know the significance of. Blood levels only reach very low levels and whether it is active is doubtful. As of last year, there were 44 clinical trials registered with the NIH looking at the effects of pomegranate juice or extract. A little more will be known when the reports are finished.

But it will be a drop in the bucket in comparison to how much is known about the potassium to sodium ratio and how the ratio affects cellular processes and hypertension. Most of these registered studies will not try to sort out the effect of the improved potassium sodium ratio from the antioxidant effect. Remember, a higher potassium sodium ratio intracellularly increases the free radical scavenging just by itself. It will be very difficult to determine how much improvement is added by the polyphenols. It will take a great many more studies of antioxidants before we will know their role.

Still, the improvement of the potassium sodium ratio and the change in taste of the coconut water make pomegranate-coconut water a great combination no matter what the findings of the antioxidant studies. Enjoy the taste and the knowledge that you are lowering your chances of hypertension, osteoporosis, cardiac disease and all the bad effects of those diseases.

Four Food Tips In Under Three Minutes – Video

Four food tips in under 3 minutes. The first tip is about how to improve the taste of bitter coffee. The second tip is about how to ripen green bananas quicker. The third is how to soften that hard cookie. And finally, learn how to get rid of the rust on that cast-iron skillet you left out without scrubbing forever. Another quick and fun video from the American Chemical Society. We added a tip in the text below the video on keeping produce fresher for a longer time.

Of course coffee gets bitter if it’s left on the heating element too long. But if it comes out bitter just after you made it, it’s because the water was too hot. A way to correct bitter taste is to add a pinch of salt. Since one of the big problems with the American diet is too much salt we think a better solution would be to use water that’s a little bit cooler to brew your coffee. But sometimes that’s not an option and this can improve the coffee’s taste. Just be sure you limit the salt as much as possible.

The second tip is how to ripen green bananas quickly. And we love bananas. A great way to speed up their ripening is to put them in a brown bag with ripe tomatoes. As fruits and vegetables ripen they put out a gas called ethylene. Ethylene causes them to ripen even quicker. Ethylene collects in the brown bag and can double the speed of ripening of the bananas.

Something not mentioned in the video is a way to keep your produce fresher longer. This is also based on what ethylene does to fruits and vegetables. It works just the opposite of placing the fruits and vegetables in a brown bag. Shaped like a little blue apple, it absorbs ethylene so the fruits and vegetables don’t ripen as quickly. Put it in your food container or crisper and the produce will last much longer – up to three times as long as they would otherwise. And you can just put the inner packet in a house plant or outdoor plant as fertilizer when it is full after 3 months. If interested, find it here at Amazon.

The third tip is how to save cookies that dried out and got hard. Just put the cookies in a plastic Ziploc bag with a fresh piece of bread. The cookies will absorb the moisture given off by the bread and soften up.

The final tip is how to get rust off the cast-iron skillet you left out overnight without scrubbing for hours. Pour some Coca-Cola on it and let it sit for a bit. Coca-Cola has phosphoric acid in it. The acid is in the drink to add a little tartness to counter the sweetness of so much sugar. But the phosphoric acid is strong enough to react with the rust and produce ferric phosphate. You can then just wipe off the ferric phosphate.

If You Are Looking For Food Tables

If you’re looking for tables of high potassium foods, including the amount of potassium they have, you can click on the List of Posts tab at the top of the page. Look for the food group that your food would be included in and look for the word “table” in the link. Clicking on that link should take you to the post that has the table you’re interested in.

Three Food Tips – Video

Three great food tips in this short and fun video. The first keeps you from stinking up the place. The second stops those tears. The final food tip keeps your green veggies looking good and filled with an important mineral when cooked. From the American Chemical Society, it also includes a tip for performing a quick sewing repair.

 

The first tip is about how to figure out if your eggs are rotten before opening them and getting that horrible stench. Eggs are almost a high potassium food, and when combined with a few high potassium choices can be part of a high potassium meal.

Onions are a great high potassium food that adds a terrific taste. They go well with so many different dishes, but they need to be cut up first. The second tip is about how to avoid so much tearing up when cutting them. Other tips on reducing eye irritation are to cut them up in a basin of water and to leave the root end intact, since the irritating compounds are more concentrated there. More about onions can be found on Wikipedia.

You will enjoy the third tip if you need help threading a needle in a hurry. Otherwise skip through to the fourth tip to find out how to avoid the yucky green color you can sometimes get from cooking vegetables. It will also help you keep the magnesium in the vegetable, so you get the maximum nutrition. Important since the average American has a blood level of magnesium that is too low.

If you are looking for tables of foods, you will find a list of them by clicking on the List of Posts tab. It lists all the tables by food groups and potassium content. If you are looking for onions or broccoli for example, you can click on the raw vegetables table link on the List of Posts page.

Archives

Recommended

Two excellent books about high potassium foods and blood pressure reduction are available on Amazon. The first is a practical guide to changing your diet to a high potassium foods diet. It is helpful even if you do not have hypertension. The second is a scientific explanation of the diet. It discusses the changes to your body that occur with high potassium foods.

Practical Guide

Scientific Explanation

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