It's More Than Just the Salt (Continued)

So how can you get the 2:1 ratio?

"People should try to reduce sodium by consuming less processed food, but they should also increase potassium intake, and this is easily done by eating more fruit and vegetables and dairy products, which are a good source of potassium and low in sodium," writes study coauthor Elena V. Kuklina in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Check out some high-potassium, low sodium foods in the chart below.

*NOTE: People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are usually prescribed a diet that is lower in sodium, protein, and phosphorus. Some people with kidney disease may also need to restrict their potassium intake for better health. If you have kidney disease, talk to you doctor about potassium intake before altering your diet.

potassium sodium chart


Click here for a diabetes-friendly menu that keeps sodium intake below 1,500mg and is packed with potassium, achieving the golden ratio.

The bottom line: If you eat a varied diet full of fruits and vegetables and limit processed foods, you will increase your potassium intake and limit your sodium intake naturally. Plus you'll get the added benefits of fiber, antioxidants, and more. 

Every choice you make when eating meals or snacks counts. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that bread is a leading culprit in the high sodium American diet. One slice of white sandwich bread can deliver 250 grams or more. Cutting back on bread is an easy way to cut down on carbs and sodium.

Here are some dLife recipes that are high in potassium and low in sodium:

Reviewed by Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN. 05/12.


1 – American College of Emergency Physicians. High sodium potassium ratio ramps up mortality risk. (Accessed 8/1/11).

2 – CDC feature. Americans consume too much sodium (salt). (Accessed March 2012).

3 – CDC press release. (Accessed July 2011).

4 – CDC press release. (Accessed July 2011).

5 – D'Elia, Lanfranco, Barba Gianvincenzo, Francesco P. Cappuccio, and Pasquale Strazzullo. 2011. Potassium intake, stroke and cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 57: 1210-1219.

6 – Graudal N.A., T. Hubeck-Graudal, G. Jurgens. 2011. Effects of low sodium diet versus high sodium diet on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterol, and triglyceride. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD004022. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004022.pub3. 6 – Houston, Mark C. and Karen J. Harper. (2008). Potassium, magnesium, and calcium: Their role in both the cause and treatment of hypertension. Journal of Clinical Hypertension 10: 2–11.

7 – National Institutes of Health. 2012. Bread a culprit in Americans eating too much salt. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus. (Accessed February 2012).

8 – Weinberger, M.H. (2002). Salt sensitivity is associated with an increased mortality in both normal and hypertensive humans. Journal of Clinical Hypertension 4(4): 274-276.

9 – Yang, Quanhe, Tiebin Liu, Elena V. Kuklina, Dana Flanders, Yuling Hong, Cathleen Gillespie, Man-Huei Chang, Marta Gwinn, Nicole Dowling, Muin Khoury, and Frank B. Hu. 2011. Sodium and potassium intake and mortality among US adults. Prospective data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med 171: 1183-1191.


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Last Modified Date: February 25, 2014

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