How can I improve the potassium-to-sodium ratio in my diet?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Choose lower sodium foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Foods that are high in potassium are fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy (milk and yogurt). By adding foods high in potassium to your diet you may be able to blunt the effect of sodium on high blood pressure. A good set of guidelines to follow is the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This diet is low in fat, high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium and has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Tips to naturally improve potassium to sodium ratio in the diet:

A) Eat fresh or frozen (plain) vegetables instead of canned, packaged, and frozen with pre-mixed sauces (such as frozen dinners).

B) Choose avocado/guacamole versus cheese on your burrito or on your turkey as a roll-up option; use guacamole as a dip (like spinach dip or ranch dressing or soy sauce based dressing) as avocado is naturally high in potassium and no sodium whereas other dips contain little to no potassium and often have significant sodium. Look for guacamole that contains little added salt or better yet, make your own.

C) Drink a coconut water with unsalted nuts as opposed to a mid-afternoon cookie or bar. Rich naturally in potassium, coconut water is a naturally fat-free, low calorie beverage and it pairs beautifully with the healthy fat and protein that nuts offer. The bar and cookie conversely provide little to no potassium.

D) Make homemade soup from low-sodium broth or purchase a very low sodium soup and flavor it up with your own spices.

E) Eat direct from nature's bounty, skip the packaged: sodium preserves food so it is used to keep foods shelf stable -- almost all of the time packaged foods contain more sodium than the food does in nature.

Note: increasing potassium through supplements/medication can be dangerous and must occur under medical supervision …that said, foods don't run the same risk… Increasing potassium encourages intracellular water (vs extracellular water) which is beneficial for hydration, healthy skin, optimal metabolism and weight loss.

Continue Learning about Healthy Foods & Cooking

The Little-Known Reason You Overeat—And 3 Ways to Stop
The Little-Known Reason You Overeat—And 3 Ways to Stop
Each day, more than 80,000,000 Americans eat fast food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When cruising the drive-thr...
Read More
How can a college student help a roommate learn to eat healthier?
Toby SmithsonToby Smithson
Eating can be a very social activity. Having a friend for advice and discussion can help generate id...
More Answers
7 Affordable Health Food Hacks
7 Affordable Health Food Hacks7 Affordable Health Food Hacks7 Affordable Health Food Hacks7 Affordable Health Food Hacks
Eating nutritiously doesn’t have to break the bank. 
Start Slideshow
Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe
Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.