Potassium-vs-Sodium in Common Foods


By Gerry Aire.

Expressed in approximate percentage of the US Daily Value.
Rounded off to the nearest 5.
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My rating system:

A = potassium percentage is greater than sodium.
B = potassium percentage is almost equal to sodium.
C = potassium percentage is half, or more than half, of sodium.
D = potassium percentage is less than half of sodium.

Eat 3 balanced meals per day, and in each meal, aim to get 33% of your potassium, 33% of your sodium, and 800 calories (for males) or 700 calories (for females). See additional information following the list.
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Combination Main Dishes

A – beef bourguignon, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 10%, cals 300
B – egg foo yung, 1 patty: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 225
B – moo goo gai pan, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 15%, cals 275
B – sushi, cal. roll, 3 pc: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 100
B – sushi, seafood, 3 pc: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 125
C – beef bulgogi, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 30%, cals 400
C – beef stew, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 30%, cals 250
C – beef teriyaki, 1 cup: pot 20%, sod 25%, cals 300
C – chicken teriyaki, 1 cup: pot 20%, sod 25%, cals 300
C – dim sum, 3 pieces: pot 5%, sod 15%, cals 200
C – filipino chicken, 2 cups: pot 10%, sod 20%, cals 550
C – kung pao chicken, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 35%, cals 400
C – moussaka, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 25%, cals 450
D – beef and broccoli, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 25%, cals 250
D – beef chop suey, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 45%, cals 350
D – beef lo mein, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 35%, cals 325
D – chicken chop suey, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 45%, cals 350
D – chicken chow mein, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 45%, cals 200
D – chicken fried rice, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 30%, cals 325
D – chicken lo mein, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 35%, cals 325
D – gen. tso’s chicken, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 35%, cals 400
D – pad thai, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 25%, cals 200
D – shepherd’s pie, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 35%, cals 300
D – sweet/sour chk. w/dip, 6 pc: pot 5%, sod 30%, cals, 350

Main Proteins

B – sashimi, 2 pc: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 75
C – tofu, seasoned, 1/2 cup: pot 10%, sod 20%, cals 175

Starchy Side Dishes

D – fried rice, plain, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 20%, cals 225

Vegetable Side Dishes

C – artichoke, marinated, 2 hearts: pot 0%, sodium 5%, 20
C – beets, harvard, 1/2 cup: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 75
C – eggplant szechuan, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 20%, cals 200
C – str. beans szechuan, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 20%, cals 175
C – hummus, 1 cup: pot 15%, sod 25%, cals 425
C – vegetable tempura, 1/2 cup: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 275

Breads

C – bagel, cinnamon raisin, lg: pot 5%, sod 15%, cals 350
D – bagel, plain/sesm./poppy, lg: pot 5%, sod 30%, cals 350
D – biscuit, med: pot 5%, sod 20%, cals 200
D – muffin, corn/berry, lg: pot 5%, sod 25%, cals 350

Condiments

B – duck sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 10
B – hollandaise sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 75
B – jam/jelly, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 50
B – lettuce, l large leaf: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 5
B – onion, slice: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 5
B – orange marmalade, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 50
B – plum sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 10
B – tomato, 1 slice: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 5
B – vinegar, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 0
B – wasabi paste, 1/2 tsp: pot 0, sod 0, cals 5
C – barbecue sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 10
C – butter, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 100
C – habanero sauce, 1 tsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 5
C – hot sauce, 1 tsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 0
C – ketchup, 1 tbsp: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 15
C – margarine, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 50
C – mayonnaise, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 100
C – mustard, prepared, 1 tsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 5
C – pickle, 2 slices: pot 0, sod 5%, cals 5
C – sauerkraut, 2 tbsp: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 5
C – sweet/sour sauce, 2 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 50
C – taco sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 10
C – tartar sauce, 2 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 100
D – cheese, 1 slc (1/4 cup crmb): pot 0%, sod 15%, cals 100
D – cheese sauce, 1/4 cup: pot 0%, sod 20%, cals 100
D – cocktail sauce, 1/4 cup: pot 0%, sod 35%, cals 100
D – enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup: pot 0%, sod 10%, cals 25
D – hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 10%, cals 25
D – relish, pickle, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 15
D – salad dressing, lite, 2 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 10%, cals 50
D – salad dressing, reg, 2 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 10%, cals 100
D – soy sauce, 1 tsp: pot 0%, sod 15%, cals 5
D – steak sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 10%, cals 5
D – teriyaki sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 25%, cals 15
D – Worchestershire sauce, 1 tbsp: pot 0%, sod 10%, cals 15

Produce

A – apple, fresh, large: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 125
A – apple juice, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 100
A – applesauce, swtened, 1/2 cup: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 100
A – applesauce, unswtened, 1/2 cup: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 50
A – apricot, fresh, medium: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 15
A – apricot, canned/syr, 1/2 cup: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 225
A – apricot, dried, 4 halves: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 25
A – coconut water, 1 cup: pot 20%, sod 0%, cals 50
A – grapefruit, fresh, half: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 25
A – grapefruit juice, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 100
A – grape juice, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 150
A – grapes, fresh, 10: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 25
A – lettuce, fresh, 1/4 head: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 15
A – onion, fresh, 1/2 cup: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 25
A – tomato, fresh, medium: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 25
B – alfalfa sprouts, fresh, 1 cup: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 50
B – almonds, sm handful, salted: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 175
B – arugula, fresh, 1 cup: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 5
B – lettuce, fresh, l large leaf: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 5
B – tomato, fresh, slice: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 5
B – trail mix, sm handful: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 125
C – apple chips, sm handful: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 125
C – artichoke, canned, 2 hearts: pot 0%, sodium 5%, 25
C – beets, cooked w/salt, 1/2 cup: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 75
D – pickle, dill, medium: pot 5%, sod 25%, cals 10

Sandwiches

B – egg roll, medium: pot 10%, sod 10%, cals 200
C – pizza, plain, med. slice: pot 10%, sod 25%, cals 350
C – pizza, veggie, med. slice: pot 15%, sod 25%, cals 375
D – burger, reg, mayo/ktchp: pot 5%, sod 20%, cals 300
D – burger, reg, chse/mayo/ktchp: pot 5%, sod 35%, cals 400
D – pizza, pepperoni, med slice: pot 15%, sod 40%, cals 425
D – sndwch, bacon/egg/cheese: pot 5%, sod 50%, cals 475
D – sndwch, chicken patty, mayo: pot 10%, sod 45%, cals 550
D – sndwch, croque monsieur: pot 15%, sod 40%, cals 750
D – sndwch, fish, tartar/chse: pot 10%, sod 35%, cals 525
D – sndwch, ham, mayo/cheese: pot 10%, sod 35%, cals 450
D – sndwch, rst beef, mayo/chse: pot 10%, sod 65%, cals 400
D – sndwch, salami, cheese: pot 10%, sod 65%, cals 450
D – sndwch, sausage/egg/cheese: pot 5%, sod 50%, cals 500
D – sndwch, tuna melt: pot 10%, sod 50%, cals 675
D – sndwch, turkey, mayo/cheese: pot 10%, sod 50%, cals 500

Soups

C – hot and sour, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 10%, cals 100
D – beef noodle, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 35%, cals 150
D – black bean soup, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 50%, cals 125
D – chicken noodle, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 45%, cals 125
D – cream of celery, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 35%, cals 100
D – cream of chicken, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 40%, cals 125
D – cream of mushroom, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 40%, cals 125
D – cream of potato, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 40%, cals 75
D – egg drop, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 35%, cals 75
D – french onion, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 45%, cals 50
D – gazpacho, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 45%, cals 50
D – green pea, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 40%, cals 200
D – minestrone soup, 1 cup: pot 9%, sod 36%, cals 150
D – tomato, 1 cup: pot 10%, sod 35%, cals 75
D – vegetable, 1 cup: pot 5%, sod 35%, cals 75

Sweets

A – Crystal Light mix/ 16 oz water: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 10
A – smoothie, banana, 2 cups: pot 30%, sod 5%, cals 275
A – chocolate raisins, handful: pot 6%, sod 0%, cals 200
B – sherbet, orange, 1/2 cup: pot 0%, sod 0%
C – candy bar, choc/nuts/caramel: pot 5%, sod 10% cals 275

Cold Breakfast Cereals (per serving)

No letter grade — all listed here are very low in sodium.

Blueberry Morning: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 150
corn flakes, low sodium variety: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 100
granola: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 275
puffed rice: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 50
puffed wheat: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 50
shredded mini wheats, all flavors: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 100
shredded wheat: pot 5%, sod 0, cals 150
Spoon size shredded wheat: pot 5%, sod 0%, cals 175
Cheerios, apple cinnamon: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 125
Fiber One: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 50
GoLean: pot 15%, sod 5%, cals 150
Good Friends: pot 10%, sod 5%, cals 175
Heart To Heart: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 100
All-Bran: pot 10%, sod 0%, cals 75
Apple Jacks: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 125
Smacks: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 100
Pebbles, Cocoa/Fruity: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 125
Golden Crisp: pot 0%, sod 0%, cals 100
Great Grains, all varieties: pot 5%, sod 5%, cals 225
Waffle Crisp: pot 0%, sod 5%, cals 125

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Additional information:

High-rated foods may still have excessive amounts of fat, sugar or cholesterol — remember to choose wisely. Low-rated foods can be made “better” by having smaller portions, and filling up on something with more potassium (like fruit).

Eating right is EASY when you focus on these 5 goals:

- eat plenty of produce
– eat high-fiber carbs
– eat lean proteins
– eat minimally-processed foods
– limit total calories
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Useful facts about potassium and sodium:

- Potassium and sodium have many roles in the body, such as controlling body fluid levels, nutrient transport and heartbeat regularity.

- Potassium and sodium have complimentary roles, balancing each other.

- When there is excess sodium, the body retains excess water to help keep the blood concentration diluted to the proper level.

- The average American carries 2-5 pounds of excess water weight from not controlling sodium.

- Increasing potassium to proper levels causes the body get rid of excess sodium, in order to maintain the proper ratio of potassium to sodium, and water carries the sodium out of the body.

- Although is seems contrary, drinking sufficient water daily is also important to controlling proper fluid levels, since the body will hold onto extra fluid if it appears you’re not drinking enough.

-The US Recommended Dietary Intake for potassium is 4,700 mg a day for adults.

-The US Recommended Dietary Intake for sodium is 2,300 mg a day for most adults, but only 1,500 mg a day for those at risk for heart disease.

- The average American consumes about 4000 mg of sodium a day.

- The body actually only needs about 500 mg of sodium.

- Excess sodium raises blood pressure, leading to tightening and hardening of the arteries and endangering the health of the kidneys; it is also associated with increased risk of stroke.

- Nitric oxide relaxes the arteries, but sodium blocks nitric oxide.

- Potassium activates nitric oxide, helping to loosen the arteries.

- A diet high in sodium has been linked to heart disease.

- Research has shown that, although the total amount of sodium in the diet is important to heart health, it is the ratio of potassium to sodium that is even more important.

- Most of the excess sodium in the typical American diet comes from processed food and restaurant foods, not salt added at the table.

- Draining and rinsing canned vegetables can reduce their sodium content by as much as 40 percent.

- A single meal at a fast food restaurant often contains a full day’s supply of sodium.

- Since 2007, many fast food chains have been participating in a national effort to cut sodium levels in their products about 25 percent by 2014.

- Experts advise increasing potassium intake by dietary means rather than by taking supplements, since excess potassium, although rare, can have serious health risks as well, particularly to the kidneys.

- The kidneys are very effective at removing excess sodium from the body, but overworking them can lead to failure over time.

- Eating a diet high in potassium-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and lean meat, is generally considered a safe and natural way to meet your daily potassium need without exceeding it.

- Those using certain diuretics (water pills) such as Lasix/furosemide or Esidrix/hydrochlorothiazide to lose excess water and sodium may be losing too much potassium as well.

- Symptoms of low potassium include irregular heartbeat, weakness, muscle cramps, lack of energy and stomach disturbances.

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