A High Potassium Quick Lunch

We have discussed high potassium foods for breakfast and gave a recipe for a quick breakfast. Today we will give a quick lunch consisting of high potassium food.

My criteria are that it be quick as well as high in potassium, balanced in macronutrients, and clean. Today's lunch takes little time. It consists of raw vegetables, either cauliflower or broccoli, macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, an apple, a banana, milk, and a chicken strip.

The chicken strip has not been injected with salt as a preservative, which is important for reducing sodium intake. The difference in sodium between injected and noninjected meat is large. For 3 1/2 oz of chicken, it is as low as 270 mg of sodium with 190 mg of potassium to as much as 799 mg of sodium with 284 mg of potassium for injected and only about 40 to 80 mg of sodium for chicken that has not been injected.

The raw vegetables are delicious. It is interesting how you can notice the flavor of the vegetable when you are no longer used to the high salt and sugar that is part of so many packaged foods. In the featured lunch the vegetable is cauliflower.

The apple is 150 gm. The 28 gm core is not eaten so its weight does not count.

The chicken is simply baked or grilled usually. This time it was baked and spices added for flavor. The spices this time were garlic, paprika, black pepper, turmeric and onion. It was baked for 45 minutes with a batch of other strips to supply the week's lunches. Generally spices will add about 20 to 30 mg of potassium if simply used to coat a piece of meat. For flavoring grains or salads, more spices can be added and supply more potassium.

Dairy is obtained from milk, but can be obtained from yogurt. A glass of milk adds 370 mg potassium with 100 mg sodium, and 3 1/2 oz of yogurt adds 200 mg potassium with 60 mg sodium. The higher amount of potassium from milk is because the milk is 240 grams and the yogurt is only 100 grams.

The potassium count is 1578 mg and the sodium count only 12 mg for the meal. The time to prepare the lunch is only 4 minutes, but the baking of the chicken was done earlier in the week. If the meat is prepared at the time of the meal, it will add quite a bit more time.

Combining the potassium and sodium amounts from last week's breakfast, the total for the first two meals is 3442 mg potassium and 372 mg of sodium. We need only 1300 more mg of potassium to reach the magic 4700 mg and less than 1100 mg of sodium to stay under 1500 mg sodium.

You may notice that the portions shown in the photo have larger amounts of veggies and fruits than in the previous discussion of portions. The exact portions you will settle on over time depend on your weight and other nutritional goals. These portions keep me stable, but may be different for you.

Generally the more veggies, the fewer calories you will take in before you feel full. Some vegetables keep you full longer than others. Beans and certain intact grains also keep hunger away longer.

Nuts will add more calories before becoming full, and can be used in larger portions if you tend to be underweight. The nuts portion in the photo is slightly more than previously described.

The meat is slightly less than previously described, but 70 grams of protein in a day is adequate for most of us. This would be 20 grams at a time for 3 or 4 times a day. If you are very active physically or are trying to build muscle, you would want to get more protein in a day.

The potassium and sodium content of the meal are given in the table below. In the table below, the Serving Weight is in grams and the potassium (K) and sodium (Na) are in milligrams.

The source of data in the table for the K per 100 gm and Na per 100 gm is:
USDA National Nutrient Database Standard Reference – Release 22. The rest we calculated.

If you want to find the calories and macronutrient values, such as protein, total fat, and carbohydrates for these food items, they can be found at the tables that include vegetables, poultry, spices, nuts, dairy, and fruits. Other food items can be found by food category here. The dairy table only listed protein fortified nonfat milk, but in the table below the values for plain nonfat milk are used, and were obtained from the above database.