Once you are aware of the main categories of high potassium foods discussed in the last post, you can begin to plan a transition to a diet of high potassium foods. Most people cannot change all at once. The change in taste may be too much. Most Americans are used to the high salt and high sugar taste. They have been tasting food with those tastes their entire life. And if you are in charge of the meals for the entire family, you don't have to please just yourself, but you have to please the kids also.
Plan to just change a few things at a time. For many of us the easiest place to start is to eat out less. Fifty percent of meals in America are eaten out.
If you eat restaurant food, whether at the restaurant or by taking it home, you will be getting such a large load of sodium that it will be almost impossible to get enough potassium to satisfy the 3 to 1 ratio of potassium to sodium that is healthy. The problems with fast foods are discussed here and sit-down restaurants here. Of 357 fast foods listed in the National Database, only 17 are high potassium foods. Sit-down restaurants did no better.
If you reduce the number of times you eat out, the sodium load will be much easier to overcome. More restaurants are starting to provide local food that does not have to be loaded with sodium as a preservative, but they are still in the very small minority. Even salads at the average fast food place will have a load of sodium when the dressing is added.
You also should eliminate the prepared, packaged meals at the grocery, such as Stouffer's, Healthy Choice, Campbell or other prepared meals and entrees that are in the USDA National Nutrient Database. They are all high in sodium to extend shelf life. None of those in the National Database have a favorable ratio of potassium to sodium.
The second step is to find what foods you like. By looking at the tables on this website, you can note the foods you like and begin to think of ways to introduce them into your meals by substituting them for high sodium foods. The last two posts have multiple links to the tables. Or you can download many of the tables by signing up below.
The food groups that will provide the biggest change in potassium and sodium are the fruits and vegetables. These foods would be the best place to start. Substitute some of the high potassium fruits and vegetables for those you eat that are not in the tables in the above links. By eating them uncooked, steamed, grilled or baked, depending on the exact food, you will not lose the potassium in the food. By not using salt in a marinade or sauce, you will keep the sodium content down.
By going step by step and not changing everything at once, you can transition to a healthier and healthier diet. You will discover new ways to prepare foods and new tastes while reducing your chances of osteoporosis and high blood pressure, as well as their associated health problems.