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This Turkish Delight Could Save Your Heart

This Turkish Delight Could Save Your Heart

When you're in the mood for a sweet bite but want to be kind to your heart, feast on this Turkish treat: dried apricots.

Turkey is now the world's leading producer of this wonder fruit, and recent research shows that the heart-healthy potassium in dried apricots gives people a major leg up in the fight against heart disease.

Bowl of This
In the study, researchers found that combining a diet of potassium-rich foods with low-sodium eating was tops for people's hearts. Those in the study who consumed lots of potassium but less than average sodium had a much smaller risk of getting heart disease. And this wasn't a one-off finding: Years of research have suggested the potassium-to-sodium ratio in people's diets is critical to heart health.

Topsy-Turvy
Unfortunately, nutritionists think the average U.S. diet hasn't achieved quite the proper balance of sodium and potassium-rich foods. Many Americans consume 4,000 milligrams of sodium a day (almost twice the government-recommended maximum) and a measly 2,600 milligrams of potassium. The RealAge Optimum for potassium is 3,000 milligrams. Everyday changes to your diet can help tip the scales in a more positive direction. For example, scrap the prepackaged prepared food, and choose whole, homemade foods. As much as three-quarters of the sodium in people's diets may come from prepared foods -- and canned soup is the worst offender. 

Try these cooking tips to lower the sodium and increase the flavor in your diet.

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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