Up with Potassium, Down with Sodium

Sodium chloride and potassium chloride are both simple salts but they have profoundly different effects in the body. In the blood stream, sodium is high (135 mg/dl) and potassium is low (4 mg/dl) but the opposite is true inside cells where potassium is high and sodium is low.

Both sodium and potassium are diet essentials, but in the United States we get far more sodium than we need and barely enough potassium.This causes a significant increase in deaths from heart disease.

The U.S. Government just published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine examining the ratio of sodium to potassium in the diet and the impact on several diseases and death, in more than 12,000 people who were followed for 15 years. During this time there were 2270 deaths.

Those with a high sodium/low potassium intake were compared with those with a low sodium/high potassium intake. The risk of dying from all causes was 46% higher, and the risk of heart attack deaths was 115% higher among those in the high sodium/low potassium group.

It’s important to eat less salt and concentrate on foods that are high in potassium. High potassium foods include most fruits, potatoes and broccoli.

The Bible advocates a high fruit diet. “And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” (Genesis 1:29 NKJV)

Ellen White, an 19th century health reformer, advocated a high fruit diet. “Make fruit the article of diet to be placed upon your table which shall constitute the bill of fare. The pieces of fruit mingled with the bread will be highly enjoyed. Good, ripe, undecayed fruit is the thing we should thank God for because it is beneficial to the health. Try it.” (Spalding Megan Collection, 46)