News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Importance of Potassium for People with Heart Failure

Potassium is a mineral that helps maintain the normal function of the heart and nervous system. Some people with heart failure need to eat foods high in potassium. Diuretics (water pills) or other medications commonly prescribed for heart failure patients to get rid of excess fluid can cause potassium loss.

But people who have kidney problems or take certain other medications may risk having potassium build up in their systems. And too much potassium can be just as harmful as too little.
Every situation is different, so ask your healthcare team what's right for you.

Potassium-rich foods – which you may either need to eat more of or avoid – include:
  • Dried fruits: raisins, prunes, apricots, dates
  • Fresh fruits: bananas, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges
  • Fresh vegetables: beets, greens, spinach, peas, tomatoes, mushrooms
  • Dried vegetables: beans, peas
  • Fresh meats: turkey, fish, beef
  • Fresh juices: orange
  • Canned juices: grapefruit, prune, apricot
Potassium is necessary for the body to maintain the balance of pH levels in our body fluids. It is also involved in regulating our blood pressure, bone mass, nervous system, muscle function, and heart, kidney, and adrenal functions.

Potassium deficiency can result in hypokalemia. Symptoms include increase in blood pressure, heart irregularities, hypertension, muscular weakness, muscle cramps and constipation.

Foods with Potassium Serving Size Potassium (mg)
Apricots, dried 10 halves 407
Avocados, raw 1 ounce 180
Bananas, raw 1 cup 594
Beets, cooked 1 cup 519
Brussel sprouts, cooked 1 cup 504
Cantaloupe 1 cup 494
Dates dry 5 dates 271
Figs, dry 2 figs 271
Kiwi fruit, raw 1 medium 252
Lima beans 1 cup 955
Melons, honeydew 1 cup 461
Milk, fat free or skim 1 cup 407
Nectarines 1 nectarine 288
Orange juice 1 cup 496
Oranges 1 orange 237
Pears (fresh) 1 pear 208
Peanuts dry roasted, unsalted 1 ounce 187
Potatoes, baked 1 potato 1081
Prune juice 1 cup 707
Prunes, dried 1 cup 828
Raisins 1 cup 1089
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 839
Tomato products, canned sauce 1 cup 909
Winter squash 1 cup 896
Yogurt plain, skim milk 8 ounces 579

No comments: