Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nutrition Goals

I am proud of the progress I have made in improving my nutrition.  Although my saturated fat and cholesterol intake are still on the high side, I have lowered them significantly, and perhaps more importantly, I have improved my saturated fat/polyunsaturated fat ratio.  I have also significantly lowered my sodium intake although it is still high.  Quite honestly, on the type of low carb diet I am eating, I am not sure if I can do any better in these areas that I have already done so I am just going to continue with my present program to keep the levels where they are.

My next concern is potassium.  I consistently only get about half the recommended daily allowance.  This is especially bad since I routinely get twice as much sodium as I should.  Potassium blunts sodium's ability to raise your blood pressure.  The problem is that even though most plant based foods (including coffee) include potassium, and salmon which I typically eat once a week, you need to eat a lot of plant based food to add up to enough.  Bananas are known for being high in potassium, but it would take 10 a day to reach my recommended allowance.  A vegetarian would be able to do this more easily.

I have been spending some time today researching good sources of potassium and thinking about solutions to this problem.  I don't think that we should take a supplement.  We are trying to limit supplements in favor of food.  This is timely research also because as we lose weight, we are finding that we have to cut out calories back more, and the easiest way to do that is to substitute veggies (and to a lesser extent fruit) for some of the meat and dairy products that we have been eating.  I want to target those veggies and fruits to be ones that are high in potassium.

Here are the things that I intend to add in greater quantities to our diet - low-sodium V-8 juice,  avocados, brussel sprouts (we already eat a lot of these), and spinach.  I also want to look into the possibility of eating Greek style yogurt which is high in potassium.  It has fewer carbs than other yogurts, and I may like it with the frozen berries that we have been eating off and on this winter.

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