Contrary to what you may have heard about salt, fewer than 20 percent of people with high blood pressure improve on a low-salt diet. The real problem with salt isn’t salt at all… it’s a lack of potassium.

Your body needs real salt, straight from the earth, and is well-equipped to handle it. But commercial salt producers remove all the good minerals (for sale to industry) and add several harmful chemicals (to bleach the salt white and keep it from caking).

Potassium neutralizes the negative effect of too much sodium. It also lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke. But we just don’t get enough potassium in our diets. The media loves to scare you into thinking that too much salt will cause all sorts of health problems – but the right amount of potassium keeps everything in check.

So where do you find potassium?

Despite what banana growers want you to think, bananas are not the best source. A typical banana gives you just 490 mg of potassium. You’d have to eat 10 bananas to get the 5,000 mg a day I recommend. And when you figure in the glycemic index (GI) of bananas, eating 10 a day would make you put on fat. Instead, try an avocado, which will give you 1,483 mg of potassium with a much lower GI. But your best source of this mineral is nuts. They are quite high in potassium and have a glycemic index of zero.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears, a practicing physician and the author of The Doctor’s Heart Cure and 12 Secrets to Virility, is a leading authority on longevity, physical fitness, and heart health.]

Al Sears has written six books and more than 500 articles in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging and nutritional supplementation. He enjoys a worldwide readership of millions spread over 123 countries and has appeared on more than 50 national radio programs, ABC News, CNN and ESPN. In The Doctor’s Heart Cure, Dr. Sears exposes the real causes of the modern epidemic of heart disease with practical how-to advice for building real heart strength and resistance to disease without drugs. It is available in nine languages and remains a bestseller three years after its publication. His 12 Secrets to Virility sheds light on the huge environmental and nutritional problems with virility in our modern world and gives men a step-by step guide for maintaining health, strength and masculinity as they age. It became a bestseller during its first month of release. His latest book Your Best Health Under the Sun addresses the myths of the sun’s dangers and gives readers an action plan for restoring this important natural resource for better mood, strength, energy and nutritional health.Dr. Sears is board certified as a Clinical Nutrition Specialist and was appointed to the international panel of experts at Health Sciences Institute, (HSI) a worldwide information service for alternative nutritional therapies. A master gardener and herbalist, Dr. Sears maintains an herbal apothecary of more than 250 organic herbs used for research, education and treatments. Dr. Sears is the founder and director of The Wellness Research Foundation, conducting original research evaluating natural alternatives to pharmaceutical therapies.Dr. Sears is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is board certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. As a pioneer in this new field of medicine, he is an avid researcher and sought-after lecturer to thousands of doctors and health enthusiasts. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. As well as being a sports and fitness coach and a lifelong advocate of exercise programs, Dr. Sears is an ACE-certified fitness trainer. He maintains his integrative clinic and research center in Florida, where he has developed novel exercise and nutritional systems transforming the lives of more than 20,000 patients.

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