Potassium Facts


What is Potassium?

Potassium maintains heartbeat and is important in many metabolic reactions. It balances fluid inside and outside the cells to maintain normal cell function. Potassium blunts the rise of blood pressure in response to excess dietary sodium. A high potassium diet might help prevent bone loss and kidney stones.

Potassium requirements

There is no RDA for potassium. An adequate daily amount of potassium for adults is 4,700 mg/ day. The average American eats too little potassium: Males take in 2,900 to 3,200 mg/day and females get 2,100 to 2,300 mg/day

What happens when Potassium intake is too high?

There is no Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for potassium intake because adverse effects from excess potassium have not been found in healthy adults. Potassium chloride supplements should not be used except on a physician’s advice.

What happens when Potassium intake is too low?

A chronically low potassium intake can lead to high blood pressure, increased risk of kidney stones, and a possible increase in bone loss. Diuretics (water pills) can cause potassium loss, necessitating an increase in dietary potassium.

Which foods are high in Potassium?

Potassium is found in a wide variety of fresh foods. The highest sources are apricots, figs, prunes, bananas, oranges and orange juice, cantaloupe and honeydew, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato products, dried beans and soybeans, low-fat yogurt, skim milk, and beef, chicken, and fish.

List of foods high in Potassium

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