Israeli Research: Potassium Helpful for Weight Loss

An aerial view of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.

Weight is an issue that worries many, and solutions to overweight – not all of them successful or even healthy – run the gamut.

To the suggestions on how to lose weight, add one that Israeli researchers conducting long-term studies of weight-loss have made: Over the eight-year period of a study with 64 subjects, researchers at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv have determined that foods high in potassium are a key factor in weight loss. Results of the study are being published in the new edition of the journal Nutrients.

The test subjects were given balanced diets that they were to follow in order to lose weight. All members of the study had a body-mass index of at least 30 – considered obese. At the end of the study, study members had lost an average of 9.4% of their body weight annually.

While all the members lost weight, some lost more and more quickly than others, as various additions and subtractions were made to their diets. An analysis of the results showed that foods high in potassium were a key factor in encouraging weight loss. High levels of potassium are found in many fruits and vegetables, including bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, watermelon, beans, edamame (Japanese-style soybeans), beets, pomegranates, and others.

While there have been many studies showing the roles of protein, carbohydrates, or fat in the weight loss, this is the first one that points out the importance of potassium, said Dr. Bruria Tal, one of the lead researchers. “This is the first study to show a direct connection between potassium consumption and weight loss,” Tal said. “The results show that potassium is indeed a key factor in weight loss.”

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