The National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board defines an adequate intake of potassium as 4.7 grams per day. The average American consumes about 3 to 2.5 grams coming primarily from fresh fruits and vegetables,fish and most meats. In fact, most Americans consume too much sodium and not enough potassium leading to higher incidences of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports an ideal Potassium (4700mg) to Sodium (2300mg) Consumption Ratio of 2 to 1. (Presently that ratio is roughly, 2500mg Potassium to 3400mg Sodium or around (0.75 to 1)
So why is potassium and the balance of more potassium to sodium important?
High Blood Pressure
The UK Blood Pressure Association has this explanation in layman’s terms:
“Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure. To remove fluids, your kidneys require a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting chamber leading to the bladder.
Consuming salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wreaks the delicate balance.” Consuming fruits and vegetables and processed foods with higher ratios of potassium to sodium chloride can
also improve this imbalance.
Beyond the osmotic balance in the kidneys, an equally important function of a potassium and sodium balance is the control of muscle contractions including the healthy heart and blood vessel contractions. As explained on the LiveStrong site, “potassium and sodium are essential electrolytes with most potassium in your body inside of cells while most of the sodium is outside the cell. The movement of potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell creates an electrochemical gradient called the membrane potential. Potassium is essential for maintaining the cell’s membrane potential, which enables nerve impulse transmission required of all muscles including the heart and peristaltic movement of the intestines.” Therefore the absence of balance can result in irregular heartbeats and muscle contrictions (Think about potassium the next time you consume a banana after a 5K walk or run to control cramps)
In conclusion, the American Heart Association and others report that hypertension afflicts an estimated one in 3 adults, and reducing sodium to Adequate Intake levels of 2000 to 2300mg daily would reduce cardiovascular events by 30%.
For the culinologist and food technologist,finding a way to improve the potassium/sodium balance is vital as 75% of the sodium consumed by consumers comes from pre-packaged processed and restaurant foods.
One answer is NuTek Salt,which is a revolutionary modified potassium chloride source having none of the negative metallic flavor traditionally associated with crystalline KCL at replacement levels of up to 50% of the NaCl in many processed foods.
Contact us and we will happy to discuss this key ingredient and great source of Potassium with you!!