Health Watch — Heart Smarts: Potassium

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about being smart with your heart. Keeping your blood pressure under control is important for preventing heart disease. If you need to manage or control your blood pressure, getting plenty of potassium may be helpful. To increase your potassium intake, start by eating more fruit.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says melons such as cantaloupe and watermelon are excellent sources of potassium. You can get 20 percent of the recommended allowance of potassium from a quarter of a cantaloupe and ten percent of your daily needs from two cups of watermelon. Other good sources of potassium include dried apricots, avocados, figs, kiwi, oranges, raisins, dates, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and grapefruit. Most adults need about 4,000 milligrams of potassium a day.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


October 2008

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