If you only get 1g potassium, should you only eat 1/2 gram sodium?

by (3277) Updated June 07, 2012 at 6:53 PM Created June 07, 2012 at 3:00 PM

There's a really neat animation which depicts how the sodium - potassium pump works in the body:


I've always heart that there's an ideal ratio of potassium to sodium (maybe it's 2 parts potassium to 1 part sodium).

Since I'm trying a low histamine paleo diet, I suspect I won't be getting much potassium. (I'll be forgoing my V8, bananas, spinach).

Question: should I limit my sodium intake for a 2:1 Potassium:sodium ratio?

Just Curious,



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285 · June 07, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Be careful about going low potassium. Potassium deficiency can cause seizures. You may want to supplement.

The recommended ratio is 2:1 potassium:sodium for a normal diet, so if you're not lowcarb, then yes, you should try for that.

"Health officials say no one should eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, equal to about a teaspoon of salt. Certain people, such as those with high blood pressure, should eat even less. The recommended amount is 4,700 milligrams a day. The average woman gets only about half that; the average man gets slightly more."

If you cut your sodium, you also need to watch your water intake. Too much water will deplete your sodium levels even more. It's a tough balancing act between sodium/potassium/water, so just pay attention to how you feel.

1977 · June 07, 2012 at 3:40 PM

If you're eating low carbs, you need more sodium to potassium:

"maintaining daily intakes for sodium at 3–5 g/d and total potassium at 2–3 g/d, our adult subjects were able to effectively maintain their circulatory reserve (ie, allowing vasodilatation during submaximal exercise) and effective nitrogen balance with functional tissue preservation." http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/2

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