What do you think is hindering you from achieving your goal weight, even if your diet is spot on?
The problem with diets these days is not the diet itself, but the lack of knowledge, along with nutritional deficiencies that is preventing you from looking and feeling at your ultimate best. Potassium (K+) is a key electrolyte that is needed for bodily functions such as muscle building, blood pressure, brain and nerve function, regulating metabolism and maintaining body fluid balance.
- Body Fluid Balance– Not having enough potassium in your daily diet will make you retain water and that in turn will result in swelling and weight gain. Having balanced electrolyte levels, is critical to maintaining proper levels of water and to ensure that it gets distributed through our tissues evenly. Adequate levels of potassium aid kidneys in flushing out toxins, including excess salt and water.
- Muscle building and recovery – Muscle mass and muscle tissue preservation is of the most important in order to not only loose weight but to maintain your goal weight. The more muscle mass you have the higher your thermogenic expenditure rate is and in turn a higher metabolism and a greater release of stored fat. During exercise there is a release of K+ levels on contracting muscles. If the levels are not replenished properly, your body fluid balance will be off and in turn cause muscle fatigue, cramping, weakness, spasm, and muscle pain. Potassium has a direct correlation in not only providing you with enough energy for stronger muscles, but it also encourages greater calorie metabolism.
- Metabolism-Is a process that converts what you eat and drink into energy. Potassium plays a very important role not only in protein synthesis (muscle preservation and building) but in carbohydrate metabolism, by converting glucose (simple sugar) to glycogen (energy) that can be stored in the liver for future energy. If you want to be successful at loosing weight, you need to insure that your blood sugar levels are stable and that is where glycogen comes into play.
Now, before you start running to the store and emptying the banana isles, did you know that comparing to other nutritional sources, bananas rank actually on a lower scale of potassium per serving consumed. YES! you just read that correctly lower than many of the other food sources that you can consume without having the extra sugar in your diet. If you didn’t know this, but for some SUGAR is NOT your friend when trying to loose weight and maintain a balanced blood glucose level.
If you want to get the best bank for your buck, for ingesting higher potassium levels, out of a natural food source, try eating most sources raw, lightly roasted or lightly steamed. Cooking methods of vegetables will determine the potassium levels in the food consumed and boiling will significantly deplete potassium levels.
Top Potassium Food Sources
- Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg
- Spinach, 1 cup, cooked: 839 mg
- Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin 694 mg
- White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg
- Avocado, 1/2 cup, pureed: 558 mg
- Salmon, 3 oz., fillet: 534 mg
- Beets, 1 cup, cooked, boiled, drained: 519 mg
- Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg
- Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg
- Mushroom, 1 cup, sliced: 428 mg
- Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg
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