Author Topic: Potassium  (Read 6250 times)

marika

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Potassium
« on: July 27, 2009, 10:36:31 AM »
Is anyone else using a nutrition calculator, and finding they keep coming up a bit short in Potassium?

I'm rather confounded - the only way I seem to reach it is if I have 3, 4 oz. serving of meat per day (including one of pork), plus multiple bananas, plus other fruit and an avocado. If I don't have ALL that, every day, I come up short.

I know that potatoes are a very very good source, I'm considering adding in that cheat just to make sure I get my potassium. Also potatoes are cheap too, (cheaper than having meat 3x a day). Also I'm afraid that my rather common foot cramps and calf cramps could be from being low in potassium.

How else are you all getting your potassium?

Offline CHughes

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 10:58:27 AM »
Potassium and Calcium are my 2 that I seem to consistently miss the mark on.

Although today I am doing better than normal, I am at 50%, not sure if that has anything to do with me adding in the paleo crackers or parsley.


marika

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 11:05:06 AM »
Yes, me too, I seem to come up short in both.

I saw here that Spinach has a lot of potassium:

http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food/potassium-foods.htm

Quote
Spinach 1 cup : 839mg potassium
 

From that same site, it says the RDA is: 3,500 mg. That's a lot. No wonder I keep coming up low, in spite of eating a bunch of foods high in it.

I checked my food journal, and it seems the only days I actually reached all the RDAs in everything was when I had a glass or two of milk a day.

The only day that I reached the RDA in Potassium without milk, I had 50g spinach, kale, 4 oz pork, 2.5 bananas, 1/2 avocado, 8 oz beef and 1/4 small box of raisins. It's a bit expensive to re-create that everyday, but that did it. Here's the entry for that day if you want to see what else I had:

http://cavemanforum.com/index.php?topic=1308.msg10865#msg10865
(Look at 7/22/09)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 02:43:53 PM by marika »

Offline samjohn

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 07:33:33 PM »
Isn't potato almost as huge a no no as wheat?

Wlfdg

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 07:49:01 PM »
I pay no attention to RDA's.

If I'm cramping, I need more, so I eat a banana. Generally I eat spinach, cantaloupe/banana, plenty of pork and beef everyday. I don't cramp!


marika

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 04:00:29 AM »
I have been having foot cramps and calf cramps every day, so I'm pretty sure I am low.

I eat multiple bananas or canteloupe, spinach or other greens, pork and beef everyday too.

I was thinking if I just ate the potato skins, that wouldn't be so carb-y. That's where most of the potassium is on the potato apparently. Or, I could start drinking milk.

I don't want to add in cheats but I need to do something about the cramping.

Also I worry that it is problematic to follow a diet that just doesn't provide enough of some nutrients. I was a vegan for 7 years, and would read all the tip sheets and forums for vegans which would say the same thing "Don't worry about B12, your body stores it up, and you can get it from nutritional yeast!" That seems like a rationalization to me....if an exclusionary diet isn't providing all the nutrients your body needs, then perhaps it's wrong to exclude so many things.

I don't know....I'm open to suggestions. If you look at my food journal, I am eating a lot of foods high in potassium already though, which is why I'm so confounded! Is there some incredible source of potassium, that is Paleo, that I've just not come across yet?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 04:49:40 AM by marika »

Wlfdg

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 07:46:51 AM »
How much water do you drink?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 07:52:00 AM »
From that same site, it says the RDA is: 3,500 mg. That's a lot. No wonder I keep coming up low, in spite of eating a bunch of foods high in it.

That seems like a huge amount.  3.5g?  You'd need about 7g of potassium salt to provide that.  I wonder if that amount is based on a standard American diet where a lot of potassium is needed to balance a high salt intake.

I guess I get my potassium from bananas, spinach, and pork.  Mostly I eat more bananas if I think I'm not getting enough potassium.  I do that if I'm cramping, though I'm not certain there's a connection.

With respect to potatoes, they are worse for me than wheat.  The skins sometimes contain substances - alkaloids, I think? - that one might want to avoid.

If you are going to go nonpaleo, you could consider using some "light" salt, which has more potassium salt and less regular sodium salt.

marika

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 08:26:16 AM »
Wlfdg, I drink 2 pint glasses of water at work plus usually 3, 4oz glasses of Appolinaris water or tap water at home.

Warren, yes, isn't the RDA high for potassium? Here they also listed that same amount, and other sites say as you get older you'll need to go higher than that:
http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food/potassium-foods.htm
Quote
Daily Recommended Potassium ( K): 3,500 mg . . . Too much: 18,000 mg

So even I'm eating 3 square meals of meat/pork/fish along with dark greens or carrots every meal, that still only adds up to 2100mg. Throw in a few bananas or some canteloupe and you can see that's still not going to add up to the RDA. And it sounds like the RDA is even a minimum amount too.

I thought about that potassium salt, I even have some because I was making raw food meals for my cat and the recipe called for that. She's since decided she likes processed food better (no accounting for taste!) so I have a whole jar full of that stuff. I should try it, I guess! I'd rather get my potassium from food sources though if possible.

ETA: I wonder if what you say might right about the amount being high to make up for a high sodium SAD. I do notice that I come up low in sodium according to the RDA as well.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 08:35:30 AM by marika »

Wlfdg

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 08:34:07 AM »
Wlfdg, I drink 2 pint glasses of water at work plus usually 3, 4oz glasses of Appolinaris water or tap water at home.
That's not very much water. You might want to bump that up quite a bit. I think you are dehydrated. Do you live someplace warm, dry or even both?

marika

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 08:36:18 AM »
Hm, I can try drinking more water. It is warm here but not dry.

I just tallied it up, and what I drink is roughly 44oz. of water per day. How much do you usually drink?

ETA: It looks like sodium deficiency can also cause muscle cramping:
http://www.annecollins.com/sodium-rda-diet.htm
Quote
Sodium deficiency is not common but can occur during heavy/prolonged exercise, due to loss in sweat and in high temperatures. Signs of sodium deficiency include: cramps, weakness, fatigue, nausea and thirst.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 08:41:38 AM by marika »

Wlfdg

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 08:47:20 AM »
Hm, I can try drinking more water. It is warm here but not dry.

I just tallied it up, and what I drink is roughly 44oz. of water per day. How much do you usually drink?

ETA: It looks like sodium deficiency can also cause muscle cramping:
http://www.annecollins.com/sodium-rda-diet.htm
Quote
Sodium deficiency is not common but can occur during heavy/prolonged exercise, due to loss in sweat and in high temperatures. Signs of sodium deficiency include: cramps, weakness, fatigue, nausea and thirst.

I live at 6,134 ft. in a high alpine desert. I drink roughly 3 gal. per day. High heat here is 87F.

Since starting Paleo I have eliminated added salt from my diet and have had 2 occasions of cramping. On both of those occasions I was dehydrated. Previously I ate a lot of salt and cramped all the time. I don't buy the sodium thing any longer.

marika

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009, 08:52:12 AM »
Huh, wow, you drink a lot of water! I will try that, that makes sense to me.

Also Warren, what you said about the RDA for Potassium being so high because they expect a SAD, makes a lot of sense to me too.

Maybe I will just leave things as they are then and try drinking more water instead! Also I'll keep working on finding comfortable shoes for all the walking that I do that I can wear at work too. It's actually really hard to find good shoes! I think some of my foot cramps might come from my shoes. (And I buy really expensive, dress walking shoes too! But there's always some issue I find out too late to return them: too tight in the pinky toe, or they put stress on the ball of the foot, etc...) I even had a pair of shoes custom made for me by a shoemaker and they still aren't perfect.

I guess there's just some RDA adjustments to be made on Paleo; calcium, sodium and potassium for sure. I just don't want to run into the problem I had as a vegan as I mentioned above, when you start trying to rationalize a diet that is unhealthfully exclusionary.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 08:59:39 AM by marika »

Posy

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2009, 09:34:15 AM »
Marika…weren’t RDA’s partly set up to be a max allowance and just a general guide to cover “most” people because it would be near impossible to cover it all for everyone or every situation?  I don’t know, just seems like there could be a lot of variables to consider.  Could you be getting too much of something for you personally, and that in turn is causing some cramping rather than you‘re getting too little of something?  If you take any kind of medication, maybe you need to adjust for that also?  Food allergies can cause cramping.  Could the canned fish or what ever it’s packed in be causing the trouble…type of salt you‘re using…mineral water.  I wonder about the mineral water because maybe the added minerals are forcing fluids through your system faster than if it were plain water (or minerals as a solid food) putting a heavier load on your kidneys…losing fluid too fast can cause cramping.  Maybe some things to check out before you go back to eating dairy and other non paleo foods. 

I’ve heard that a person can have up 12 years (give or take) of B12 stores which is why vegans do ok for quite some time before having problems.  What I’ve never understood about that diet is that there’s no way it could survive past the first generation.  We’re mammals so vegans couldn’t nurse their offspring cuz the first rule of the diet is to exclude animal products of any kind.  I think a diet should be able to support it’s own offspring.  Not being able to nourish your own offspring is a pretty good clue that the diet is not fit for humans.   

Wlfdg

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Re: Potassium
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 11:46:22 AM »
Huh, wow, you drink a lot of water!

Yea, I do. My house sits at 6,134ft. above sea level. I exercise a lot! Often above 7,000ft.
I'm a big, warm, sweaty person. I'm ready for the next ice age and think summer should be banned from the planet.

As a bodyworker, womens shoes are designed by people frustrated that Chinese Foot Binding is no longer practiced. Function is an after thought or dismissed all together.