increasing my potassium intake

When I have a detailed look at my food record, I see that I am rarely getting the recommended amount of potassium during the day (although there is no specific daily recommendation, I have see values ranging from 3500-4700 mg per day).

choose foods rich in Potassium (K)
choose foods rich in Potassium (K)

Potassium (chemical symbol ‘K’) is a mineral required by the body.  The  Dieticians of Canada (http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Minerals/Functions-and-Food-Sources-of-Common-Minerals.aspx) list the befits of Potassium:

  1. regulates blood pressure ( I take medications to control high blood pressure)
  2. keeps fluids balanced between tissues and blood
  3. allows nerves and muscles to work together

what did I eat?
what foods do I need to eat to increase my Potassium???

Since the body does not manufacture Potassium, it needs to obtain Potassium from the food we eat.

Foods rich in Potassium include:

  • bananas, papaya, sweet potato
  • dark leafy greens
  • avocado
  • prune juice, tomato juice, orange juice
  • milk, yogurt
  • dried beans such as navy, pinto and black beans, chickpeas, lentils
  • beef, pork, fish
  • nuts and seeds

Think ORANGE – oranges, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, sweet potato!!!

So, in order to increase the Potassium in my diet, I am going to do the following:

  1. put sweet potato, cantaloupe, dried apricots, spinach, avocado, prune juice and sunflower seeds on my shopping list
  2. have an occasional banana (my husband likes bananas and we always have them on hand)
  3. continue to include nuts as a source of protein in my breakfast
  4. report on my daily potassium intake for one week (to keep track, I use MyFitnessPal‘  (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/).

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Best always, Alexandra

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increasing fruit and vegetables in my diet – results

After five days of tracking my intake of fruits and vegetables, I have discovered getting enough servings in these two food groups can be hard!

I did a few things to increase the availability of fruit and vegetables in our home.  First, I went grocery shopping for vegetables since we never seem to have enough choices.  I bought carrots, kale, snow peas and broccoli.  Then, I filled a fruit bowl in the living room so I would see apples and bananas when I felt the urge to eat.

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Most days, I ate enough fruit and vegetables but it was a challenge.

Foods from these groups make great snack foods!

It is a novelty for me to have to eat something.  Usually I am trying to avoid eating.

Last night, we tried kale chips for the first time. My husband was not a fan, but I thought they were crispy and flavorful!

Best always, Alexandra

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increasing fruits and vegetables in my diet

My first short-term goal was to try to limit my evening eating.  Two days of effort showed me that by planning my evening snack and by keeping an activity nearby to divert my attention from eating, I could avoid an evening of mindless eating.  To put this learning into action, I am going to track my evenings over the next 30 days.  This will help me learn a new behavior.  To follow my progress, just click on the ‘evening eating’ tab above.

Today, I want to set a new short-term goal.  I usually include fruit and vegetables in my diet each day, but I could improve my intake of both.  Canada’s Food Guide recommends that a woman of my age should eat 7 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.  Fruit and vegetables are so important – they provide fibre, nutrients, and compounds to fight cancer and heart-disease.  Dark-green leafy vegetables and colourful fruit are particularly rich in anti-oxidants.  I like the list of benefits provided by the USDA ChooseMyPlate website at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables-why.html

Since I am diabetic, I need to be careful how I include various foods in my diet.  Fruits and vegetables generally have a low glycemic index and help my body to regulate its sugar levels.  I try to eat only whole fruit and vegetables rather than juices because juice makes sugar rapidly available to the body and can result in blood sugar spikes and valleys.

Goal #6: To increase my intake of fruit and vegetable servings in the next four days (Nov. 27 to Nov. 30) to 4 servings of vegetables per day and 4 servings of fruit per day.

Here is the page from my notebook where I will keep track of the vegetables and fruit I am eating.  I can also list ways of including these foods in my menus.  For example, I can add a serving of berries or raisins to my cereal to increase the fruit intake in my breakfast.  And I can make sure my grocery list includes lots of fruit and vegetables.

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Once the four days are over, I’ll show you my completed page so you can see how I did.  You can also use this page to track your own fruit and vegetable intake.

Best always, Alexandra

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