High Potassium-to-Sodium Ratio May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

06 May 2011 --- Consuming twice as much potassium as sodium can halve the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease according to a study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

5/6/2011 --- Americans are consuming too much sodium and not enough potassium according to clinical studies, including one by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently covered in Heart Insight. This imbalance is taking a toll in the form of higher rates of heart disease and stroke, the first and third most deadly diseases in the U.S., respectively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Baobab, a superfruit new to North America, is a convenient way to boost dietary potassium.

The baobab superfruit naturally offers the highest overall concentration of this important mineral. While in the past doctors recommended bananas, sweet potatoes and tomato paste as sources of potassium, baobab offers even more of this nutrient – five times the amount of potassium per gram compared to bananas, according to Baobab Foods.

Multiple nationwide studies, such as one published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, have analyzed the risks of a high-sodium, low-potassium diet. The average American ingests just 2,600 mg of potassium a day versus the 4,700 mg recommended by the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. At the same time, Americans consume 4,000 mg or more of sodium daily, far higher than the suggested 2,300 mg recommended maximum. While healthy dietary guidelines proposed in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggest a 2-to-1 ratio of potassium to sodium, the actual average intake is nearly a 2-to-3 ratio. Excess sodium causes the body to retain fluids, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease.

Consuming twice as much potassium as sodium can halve the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease according to a study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This study suggests that simply increasing potassium may mitigate the negative impacts of a high-sodium diet. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at UCLA and member of The American Heart Association, has stated, “Clinical trials have established that a diet high in potassium and low in sodium can significantly lower blood pressure.” In addition to lowering blood pressure, high potassium intake is believed to prevent thickening of artery walls, protecting against the development of vascular damage caused by excessive sodium intake.

Baobab is a raw, whole food which the FDA has recently granted GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status. Baobab Foods of Bellevue, Wash., is the exclusive importer of premium baobab from Afriplex of South Africa, marketing the pure Nutrition Powder and Nutrition Bars, both made with Baobest. The new superfruit was unveiled in the United Stated at the recent Natural Products Expo, where a Delicious Living Magazine editor named it as one of the conference’s “top five foods.”

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