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Yes, We Have No Bananas Stuffed Acorn Squash

Restoring Your Sodium-Potassium Ratio

Are you getting enough potassium? If you are like 98% of all Americans, your diet is deficient in potassium and at the same time contains way too much sodium. No worries -- our deliciously nutty, and hearty stuffed acorn squash is just what the doctor ordered to help rebalance these vital minerals, correct your sodium-potassium ratio and reduce your mortality rate.

When you think of potassium, do you think bananas? A lot of people do. The funny thing is that bananas are actually pretty puny in the potassium department compared to many foods, especially the Herculean winter squash. Whether acorn, butternut, delicata, or one of many other varieties, winter squash is one of the best sources of potassium you can get!

Why should we be concerned about potassium? Because 98% of Americans suffer from severe potassium deficiency! At the same time, 99% of Americans eat way too much sodium (1). Sodium and potassium are two minerals that have a special relationship in the human body and often work together to ensure our health. So instead of thinking about sodium and potassium separately, it is often more useful to think about intake of these vital minerals in terms of the sodium/potassium ratio.

Over most of our 2 million years of evolution, paleolithic humans consumed less than 1000 mg of sodium per day and in the range of 10,000 mg of potassium per day, giving us a sodium/potassium ratio of no greater than 1/10. Today, the average American eats 3400 mg of sodium and only 2500 mg of potassium, making for an inverted ratio of 1.36/1.

The larger the sodium/potassium ratio, the greater the risk of dying not only from a heart attack or stroke but from other causes as well (2). With a sodium/potassium ratio of 1/36 (take that paleo man!! ), our stuffed acorn squash dish is just what the doctor ordered to lower your sodium level, increase your potassium level. And when eaten as part of a diet of whole, unrefined plant foods, it also decreases your chances of dying from all causes (2, 3).

Optimizing the sodium/potassium ratio is just one powerful way we have discovered that acorn squash helps us. Every edible plant contains many natural compounds that are likely to benefit our health in a multitude of ways.

Imagine if you were to combine many different whole plants into a complete diet… You would access a powerful nutritional symphony with many players, capable of preventing and reversing disease. Strive to eat as large a variety of whole plant foods daily, because they all work in concert and in so many wonderful ways, to bring us good health.

- Ron Weiss, M.D.