Potassium contents of northeastern Thai foods

Sriboonlue, P.; Prasongwatana, V.; Suwantrai, S.; Bovornpadungkitti, S.; Tungsanga, K.; Tosukhowong, P.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 81(8): 616-626

1998


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-2208
PMID: 9737115
Document Number: 1836
From our previous nutritional assessment, low potassium (K) intake among northeastern Thai males has been clearly demonstrated. This prompted us to undertake a survey of the K content of local foods. Food samples comprised of 57 animal and 142 plant products which were collected from various places in the northeast of Thailand. The dry ashing method was used to prepare the samples for K analysis using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Foods could be divided into 7 groups according to their K levels. Foods containing K > or = 1000 mg per 100 g fresh food were categorized in group 1. These were mainly foods in the legume group, i.e., soybean, cowpea and mungbean. While rice (polished) and rice products, the main staple, were in group 7, the lowest K group of less than 100 mg per 100 g fresh food. Comparison studies of the natural foods between those collected from the northeast and from the central regions of the country, and between the cooked foods purchased from the rural villages and from the urban areas of Khon Kaen municipality, showed that, for most food items, the K content was similar wherever it came from. However, when the K content in various parts or in different stages of growth of the same kind of plants or animals was compared, a great variation was clearly seen, for example, young tamarind leaves contained K in group 6 whereas ripe tamarind fruit contained K in group 1. According to our food consumption data, the analysis of food components of 48 meals taken during the hot season by 13 rural volunteers revealed that food items eaten with the highest frequencies and in the largest amount were those in the low K food groups, i.e., glutinous rice (group 7) and green papaya (group 6). Our results suggest that the low K intake of these northeast rural Thai people is not due to a low K content of foods in this region, but rather that their food habits and low socioeconomic status restricts consumption of those food items with higher K contents.

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Potassium contents of northeastern Thai foods