Munson Health
 
Low-Potassium Diet

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by Adams M

What is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral found in many different foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, dried beans, and peas. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure and also helps muscles, including the heart, to contract properly.

Why Follow a Low-Potassium Diet?

Your doctor may recommend following a low-potassium diet if you have kidney problems or are taking certain medicines. If you have kidney problems, excess potassium can build up to dangerous levels in your blood. This can lead to confusion, irregular heartbeats , or a heart attack .

Foods High and Low in Potassium

Food With High Potassium

The high-potassium foods on the table contain more than 200 milligrams of potassium per serving. This is considered to be high in potassium. In general, you should avoid these foods if you need to limit how much potassium you eat. However, you may be able to work with a dietitian to add small portions of your favorite foods.

Food With Low Potassium

The foods in the right-hand column are considered to be low in potassium. Remember, though, that eating more than one serving of any of these foods can make it a high-potassium food. All servings are ½ cup (unless otherwise noted).
Food CategoryFood With High PotassiumFood With Low Potassium
Fruits
  • Apricots—2 medium raw, 5 dry halves
  • Avocado—¼
  • Banana—½
  • Cantaloupe—½ cup
  • Dates—5 whole
  • Dried fruits—½ cup
  • Figs—dried, ½ cup
  • Grapefruit juice—½ cup
  • Honeydew—½ cup
  • Kiwi—1 medium
  • Mango—1 medium
  • Nectarine—1 medium
  • Orange—1 medium
  • Orange juice—½ cup
  • Papaya —½ whole
  • Pomegranate—1 whole
  • Pomegranate juice—½ cup
  • Prunes—½ cup
  • Prune juice—½ cup
  • Raisins—½ cup
  • Apple (1 medium), apple juice, apple sauce
  • Apricots—canned in juice
  • Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Grapes, grape juice
  • Grapefruit—½ whole
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Peaches—1 small fresh, ½ cup canned
  • Pears—1 small fresh, ½ cup canned
  • Pineapple, pineapple juice
  • Plums—1 whole
  • Tangerine—1 whole
  • Watermelon—limit to 1 cup
Vegetables
All portions are ½ cup.
  • Acorn squash
  • Artichoke
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Baked beans
  • Butternut squash
  • Beets, fresh then boiled
  • Black beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots, raw
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Greens, except kale
  • Hubbard squash
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Mushrooms, canned
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes, white and sweet
  • Pumpkin
  • Refried beans
  • Rutabagas
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Tomatoes, tomato products
  • Vegetable juice
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Asparagus—6 spears
  • Beans, wax or green
  • Cabbage, green and red
  • Carrots, cooked
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery—1 stalk
  • Corn—½ ear fresh,½ cup frozen)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Leached potatoes *
  • Lettuce
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Mushrooms, fresh
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas, green
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Water chestnuts, canned
  • Watercress
Other Foods
  • Bran/bran Products—½ cup
  • Chocolate—1.5-2 ounces
  • Granola—½ cup
  • Milk, all types —1 cup
  • Molasses—1 tablespoon
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Nuts and seeds —1 ounce
  • Peanut butter—2 tablespoons
  • Salt substitutes —½ cup
  • Salt-free broth—½ cup
  • Yogurt—½ cup
  • Bread and bread products (not whole grains)
  • Cake—angel food cake, yellow cake
  • Coffee—limit to 8 ounces
  • Cookies (without nuts or chocolate)
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Pies (without chocolate or high-potassium food)
  • Rice
  • Tea—limit to 16 ounces
Other
  • Snuff or chewing tobacco
 

RESOURCES

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

American Society for Nutrition
http://www.nutrition.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
http://www.kidney.ca

 

References


Potassium and your CKD diet. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atozPrint.cfm?id=103. Accessed January 20, 2010.

 

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