Most of the previous posts have been about vegetable and fruit sources of potassium. Among the high potassium foods, these categories have the food items that rank highest, with the greatest ratio of potassium to sodium, and have the greatest amount of potassium in a serving. But many animal sources also rank well, and can provide more protein and some amino acids lacking in plants. Not much is needed, but when animal sources are needed for nutrition, they can be high potassium foods also. Their only shortcoming is a lack of bicarbonate precursors.
Previously we have discussed dairy products, many of which are high potassium foods with a greater than 3 to 1 ratio of potassium to sodium, and a good amount of potassium in a serving. Another animal source discussed previously was poultry. The last two posts were about fish and other seafood. Fish and seafood are excellent sources of protein. Many are high potassium foods, although some of the more popular items, such as Alaskan crab, shrimp and lobster, are too high in sodium to be considered a high potassium food.
The best sources of protein among the seafood category of high potassium foods are clams and many fish, such as cod, halibut, and salmon, to mention a few. In addition, they have no carbohydrate, and very little fat. And except for Florida pompano, the fat they do have is the heart favorable kind. The protein content is over 50 to 90% of calories. And they can supply 12 to 40 gm protein, depending on serving size.
The main caution to be observed is that the fish you eat are fresh. Many of the problems with fish come from older fish. Often they are preserved in salt. That addition of sodium takes the fish out of the high potassium foods category. Also fish that are not fresh decay rapidly, and the breakdown products are harmful to health. In the last post we discussed the induction of cancer in young people in Asia related to consumption of older, salted fish.
Poultry is a high potassium source of protein. It can have more than 80% of its calories from fat if skin is included. Typically only 10 to 20% of calories come from fat if only the poultry meat is eaten. And the fat is mostly favorable, with a third or less being saturated fat.
We will be discussing other animal sources of protein in future posts. Many of these sources should be consumed in small amounts because of the high percentage of saturated fat, which is a major contributor to atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. The wild game animals have a better balance of fats and are less prone to this problem.