FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

The Future of Food?

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From the Impossible Burger to Ramen Noodles, what is next? The latest offering appears to be the ramen noodle that has been bioengineered to contain certain characteristics that are supposed to make it a “superfood”. Here is the latest creation.

Check out the potassium – even though the U.S. diet may be sadly lacking – do we need that much in one serving of ramen noodles? (over 3,000 mg or 107% of the Daily Value according to the Nutrition Facts Label.)  Over-the-counter supplements and multivitamins cannot contain more than 100 milligrams of potassium because the mineral can cause serious side effects in people with kidney disease and may also interact with certain high blood pressure medications and over-the-counter painkillers, as well as laxatives.

How much potassium should you take?

There is no set upper limit for potassium. So it’s not clear exactly how much potassium you can take safely. However, very high doses of potassium can be deadly.

The Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake for potassium. Getting this amount of potassium from diet, with or without supplements, should be enough to keep you healthy. The FDA has determined that foods that contain at least 350 milligrams of potassium can bear the following label: “Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”

Category

Adequate Intake (AI)

CHILDREN

0-6 months

400 mg/day

7-12 months

700 mg/day

1-3 years

3,000 mg/day

4-8 years

3,800 mg/day

9-13 years

4,500 mg/day

14 years and up

4,700 mg/day

ADULTS

18 years and up

4,700 mg/day

Pregnant women

4,700 mg/day

Breastfeeding women

5,100 mg/day

Always take potassium supplements with a full glass of water or juice.

There is no set upper limit for potassium. So it’s not clear exactly how much potassium you can take safely. However, very high doses of potassium can be deadly. This does not apply to consuming foods that are high in potassium:  Potatoes, winter squash, white beans, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, avocados, meats, milk and milk products, raisins, spinach.

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