Go Bananas

By Beth Bence Reinke

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but if you want to avoid the cardiologist, reach for a banana. Research presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in November linked low dietary potassium with high blood pressure in an analysis of more than 3,300 people. Doctors most often tell their heart patients to cut down on sodium, but “the effect of low potassium on increasing blood pressure may be even greater than the effect of high sodium,” says Julie Stefanski, RD, a clinical dietitian at York Hospital in York, Pennsylvania. She recommends getting plenty of potassium from whole foods. We do love bananas, but some other potassium-rich foods include avocados, prunes, and yogurt. Caution: If you have kidney problems, check with your doctor before significantly increasing your potassium.