98% of American Diets Potassium-Deficient

98% of American Diets Potassium-Deficient
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Less than 2% of Americans achieve even the recommended minimum adequate intake of potassium, due primarily to inadequate plant food intake.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

If you take any plant, burn it to ash, throw the ash in a pot of water, stir it around, skim it off, and let it evaporate, you’ll be left with a white residue at the bottom known as pot ash—used since the dawn of history for everything from making soap, glass, fertilizers, and bleach. It was not until 1807, though, when a new element was discovered in this so-called vegetable alkali, in pot ash—so they called it pot-ashium, potassium. True story, which I bring up only to emphasize the most concentrated source in our diet: plants.

Every cell in the body requires the element potassium to function. For much of the last three million years or so, we ate so many plants that we got 10,000 milligrams of potassium in our daily diet. Today, we’d be lucky to get 3,000. Less than 2% of Americans even get the recommended minimum adequate intake of 4,700 a day. To get even the adequate intake the average American would have to eat like five more bananas’ worth a day.

98% of Americans eat potassium-deficient diets—primarily because they don’t eat enough plants.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

If you take any plant, burn it to ash, throw the ash in a pot of water, stir it around, skim it off, and let it evaporate, you’ll be left with a white residue at the bottom known as pot ash—used since the dawn of history for everything from making soap, glass, fertilizers, and bleach. It was not until 1807, though, when a new element was discovered in this so-called vegetable alkali, in pot ash—so they called it pot-ashium, potassium. True story, which I bring up only to emphasize the most concentrated source in our diet: plants.

Every cell in the body requires the element potassium to function. For much of the last three million years or so, we ate so many plants that we got 10,000 milligrams of potassium in our daily diet. Today, we’d be lucky to get 3,000. Less than 2% of Americans even get the recommended minimum adequate intake of 4,700 a day. To get even the adequate intake the average American would have to eat like five more bananas’ worth a day.

98% of Americans eat potassium-deficient diets—primarily because they don’t eat enough plants.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Fir0002 and Evan-Amos via Wikimedia; National Portrait Gallery, London: NPG 2546; and Sam Wilkinson

Nota del Doctor

People eating plant-based diets are often asked where they get their protein, and then have to explain that plants are the preferred source—see Plant Protein Preferable. Maybe, they should next ask where people eating conventional diets get their potassium—or their fiber, for that matter: see Relieving Yourself of Excess Estrogen. For more on what we evolved to eat, see Paleolithic Lessons. This is the first video of my three-part series on potassium. We’ll explore its role further, next, in Preventing Strokes with Diet.

For more context, check out my associated blog post: 98% of American Diets Potassium-Deficient.

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