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Bananas

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So in between bfast lunch dinner I smash down about 6 bananas per sitting. First thing I hear from ppl are potassium poisoning. So anything wrong with this natural food decision.

Curious to hear some serious opinions

(null)

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Moderation is everything.

Why not eat 1 or 2 bananas and eat other fruits?

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Not a serious opinion, but it's my theory that the fruit that Eve gave Adam in the garden was not an apple, it was a banana. Evil fruit...

Ok, more serious opinion. Potassium and sodium need to be in a proper balance so that the body functions normally. Usually the major culprit in an unbalanced diet is too much sodium. So usually folks need to increase the potassium to compensate, and stay nice and hydrated.

http://www.medicinenet.com/electrolytes/article.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/potassium-salt-diet-dangers_n_895124.html

The most important thing is to stay well hydrated.

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So, 6 bananas per sitting, at 3 sittings.

If you're really eating 18 bananas a day, your shit is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s. (Literally.)

Serious answer: if you're worried, eat more salt and stay hydrated. The kidneys are remarkable little organs.

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Moderation is everything.

Why not eat 1 or 2 bananas and eat other fruits?

+1

Holy Chiquita! I can't even fathom eating 18 bananas a day. These are regular sized?

Unless you are posting from a deserted island, I would think you would be better served with some variety of fruit. If on a deserted island, have Mary Ann make you a coconut pie.

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Yay! Biochemistry question! I promise not to go too over-the-top with my nerdy science-ness...

Basics: Potassium (K+) is involved in important pathways surrounding neuron firing/nerve signaling which includes basic brain function as well as a a major role in cardiovascular and skeletal muscle activity. This usually involves regulation of and/or movement through ion channels (which bridge the cell membrane allowing movement of molecules into/out of the cell). The way a lot of these channels work is often based on differences in amount of ions inside and outside of a given cell. So if you have an imbalance in one ion vs another type (or of an ion inside a cell vs. the same ion outside a cell), this can cause a misfire or blockage of the channel (depending on the type).

Risks: Over consumption of K+ can result, least threateningly, in skeletal muscle cramps or muscle fatigue due to misinterpretations (leading to random firing) of the presence of the extra K+ in the cells. More threateningly, it can result in cardiovascular issues because of improper firing of the muscles involved with your heart. In the middle, problems include those associated with actual brain neuron regulation, including dizziness, numbness, etc...

Bottom line: So with a food like bananas, which are high in K+ (relative to other foods) can have a risk depending on how often/much you eat them, as well as how much of other things like sodium and water you are taking in. So like @Frota said, eating more table salt and drinking more water can help balance things out.

Personally, 18 a day is kind of a lot. So while I agree that kidneys are generally "remarkable little organs" you don't want them to be working like crazy all time. Especially since they are also doing a lot of the heavy lifting on processing your protein intake (which I assume is also pretty substantial).

Treating your kidneys better now usually results in largely reducing the chance of needing borrow one from someone else later in life. ;)

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Do you live in a banana plantation or something? Bananas are not that expensive (I think?), but 18/day!?!?!?!

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wow. 18 Bananas every day!? Thats...errr...loads?

Or is it 6 banana's over 3 sittings, which is better but still a lot.

I love banana's but on days I have 2 sometimes, I don't want anymore, and I dont want any the next day either.

There is a multitude of fruit out there as the other guys say, apples, melon, peaches, oranges - get a bit of variety in there.

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There are only two sittings between 3 meals. So 12.

Big bananas.

One day it was lunch since its so easy to bring to work so I ate a few more and skipped the in between meals. Was great. So not many srs comments...

Isn't k another form of salt. consuming sodium only increases your overall salt intake. K:Na ratio should only be managed by what you eat not how much... That would kill your kidneys. K is also easier to remove from the body than sodium

(null)

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Isn't k another form of salt. consuming sodium only increases your overall salt intake. K:Na ratio should only be managed by what you eat not how much... That would kill your kidneys. K is also easier to remove from the body than sodium

Potassium isn't another "form of salt", it is just "a salt" - in that it exists in complex with another ion. What people call "salt" in relation to food is NaCl, or table salt. The real meaning of salt is just a chemical definition for the ion complexes that form as a result of acid/base reactions (There are hundreds of "salts", most of which would probably kill you to ingest...)

And as far as relation to sodium goes, the K+ channels involving Na+ work on an opposing gradient type principle, so if you intended on keeping up the K+ levels in your diet the negative effects on your muscles and brain could possibly be at least somewhat mitigated by increasing the Na+, to keep the balance more in proportion. (This doesn't hold for all the harmful effects of excess potassium since some are in relation to protein interactions that don't involve Na)

And yes, its not really advisable to up the sodium either, which has other deleterious effects in the body (unless you otherwise have a very low sodium intake normally). This is why people need to make sure that they are not over-consuming K in the first place.

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I dont see the need to eat that many bananas. Anymore than 1-2 a day seems like a waste. Mix it up with different fruits, especially berries.

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Bananas are one of the six foods that work!

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Given that current daily recommendation for potassium is 4700mg/day, and that a typical banana has about 450mg, eating twelve a day is not going to come anywhere near poisoning anybody without serious kidney disease.

Frankly, I doubt it is physically possible for a generally healthy person to eat enough bananas fast enough to reach a toxic dose of potassium. I think you'd have to quickly consume quite a lot of something like KCl salt substitute to get into that danger zone.

Interesting tidbit, though --- in the US, KCl (potassium chloride, a common table salt substitute found in groceries) is used as the third drug administered during executions by lethal injection. The first is a sedative, the second a paralytic, but it's the KCl, and specifically the potassium, that actually does the killing by stopping the heart.

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