Diabetic? Potassium-rich diets may protect kidney, heart

Tokyo: If you are a diabetic, having diets rich in potassium may help you protect the heart and kidney health, says a new study.

Individuals with Type-2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing kidney failure and heart disease.

To examine whether higher intake sodium and potassium are associated with these risks, Shin-ichi Araki from Shiga University of Medical Science, in Japan and his colleagues studied a group of 623 patients with Type-2 diabetes and normal kidney function.

Patients were enrolled between 1996 and 2003 and were followed-up until 2013.

Higher levels of urinary potassium excretion, which closely correlate with intake amounts, were linked with a slower decline of kidney function and a lower incidence of cardiovascular complications.

Sodium levels were not associated with kidney or heart health during follow-up.

“For many individuals with diabetes, the most challenging part of a treatment plan is to determine what to eat. The results in our study highlight the importance of a diet high in diabetes nutrition therapy,” Araki pointed out.

All meats and fish such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines are good sources of potassium. Many fruits such as banana kiwi, and apricot contain significant amount of potassium. Vegetables including broccoli, peas and tomatoes and also excellent sources of potassium besides milk, yoghurt and nuts.