08 July, 2011
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Low-Carb, High-Potassium Foods
Foods high in potassium and low in carbohydrates can have several advantages. Not only is potassium a mineral required by the body, but it can also help offset some of sodium's harmful effects on blood pressure, according to MedlinePlus. Low-carb diets are often used as a means to lose weight and body fat. Most of the low-carb, high-potassium foods fall into three categories: lean proteins, vegetables and fruits.
Roles for Potassium
Potassium is a mineral that helps to balance fluids in the body, regulate your heartbeat and keep your muscles functioning properly. It helps nerves and muscles communicate and moves nutrients and waste products in and out of cells. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.
The Atkins website recommends a variety of low-carb foods as a starting point for its low-carb diet. Many of these foods, which are excellent sources of proteins, contain no carbohydrates. Included are all types of fish, fowl, shellfish and meat. MedlinePlus notes that all kinds of meat, including chicken, red meat and fish, are good sources of potassium.
The National Kidney Foundation lists vegetables that contain over 200 milligrams of potassium per 1/2-cup portion. The Atkins website also lists very low-carb vegetables that are appropriate for the intro phase of the Atkins diet. Vegetables on both lists include bamboo shoots, artichoke, brussels sprouts, spinach, pumpkin and tomatoes. According to MedlinePlus, broccoli, another vegetable included on the Atkins low-carb list, is also good source of potassium.
Fruit, in general, isn't as low in carbohydrates as lean proteins or vegetables, but some fruits are relatively low in carbohydrates and rich in potassium. According to the Atkins website and the National Kidney Foundation, these fruits include avocados, kiwi and mango. Bananas are a solid source of potassium, but they do contain a moderate 21.2 grams of net carbs. Net carbohydrates are total carbohydrates minus fiber.
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