Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bananas, Dieting, and Blood Pressure


Bananas are one of my favorite snacks on this low sodium, low fat diet. They are full of flavor, as are most fruits; they are portable, come pre-wrapped, and more importantly are loaded with potassium. As one of my original motivations for going on this diet/exercise regime was to lower my blood pressure without medication, this is an important plus. Bananas are also helpful in preventing leg cramps when exercising in warm weather. One medium banana has 105 calories, .39 g fat, 26.95 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, a single mg of sodium, and 422 mg potassium.

Potassium, a mineral element, works with sodium to regulate blood pressure. People who eat more potassium have lower blood pressure than those who eat less. So, potassium plays an important role, along with weight reduction and exercise, in lowering blood pressure without medication. Foods that have substantial amounts of naturally-occurring potassium are potatoes, spinach, and squashes (cucurbits) like Hubbard, acorn, zucchini, yellow crookneck, and other summer squashes. Fruits, such as melons, bananas, watermelon, oranges and orange juice are also high in potassium. Most of these potassium-rich foods are low in sodium and in calories.

Fortunately these foods are among my favorites and my blood pressure is now stable in the low normal range. Not everyone who has high blood pressure has the type that responds to a sodium restricted diet, but I count myself fortunate that mine does. Eating well with these healthy foods among our choices is not only delicious, but also therapeutic.

Daily Dietary Recap-4/30/2007
Calories Protein Carbohydrates SodiumFat % Calories from Fat
1212 81.62 g 168.84 g574.25 mg 24.76 g 18.31%

19 comments:

david mcmahon said...

Hi Joel,

Hope the jeans are going well. You seem to have achieved an amazing goal in losing weight and finding fitness.

More power to you.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Ho Joel,

I signed off before saying: this post of yours is all the more reason to bring on the banana republic!

Cheers

David

vergspi said...

More information about the food bananas.

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suzan said...

nice article about potassium...very informative and beneficial for me...thanks

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