Potassium Can Prevent Heart Problems in Diabetics

A diet rich in potassium may help to prevent cardiovascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

The research, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, found that high levels of urinary potassium excretion - which were associated with potassium intake - are linked to a slower decline in kidney function and fewer heart problems.

Since people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for developing kidney failure and heart disease, the study suggests there may be a way to use dietary interventions to reduce these risks.

What to eat?

Too much or too little potassium in the diet can be dangerous, so it's important to consult with your physician about changing what you eat or supplementing with potassium.

Potassium-rich foods are usually those that are fresh - like vegetables, fruits or lean meats. Squash, potatoes, beans, broccoli, bananas, lentils, salmon, tuna and chicken breast are all good sources of dietary potassium.

The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine recommends adults over the age of 19 get 4.7 grams of potassium per day.

"For many individuals with diabetes, the most challenging part of a treatment plan is to determine what to eat," said Dr. Shin-ichi Araki, study author. "The results in our study highlight the importance of a diet high in in diabetes nutrition therapy."

Source: American Society of Nephrology, Web MD

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