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.
Your doctor may recommend following a low-potassium diet if you have kidney problems or are taking certain medications. If you have kidney problems, excess potassium can build up to dangerous levels in your blood. This can lead to confusion,
, or a
The high-potassium foods on the table contain more than 200 milligrams (mg) 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
The foods in the right-hand column are considered to be low in potassium. Eating these foods can help keep your potassium level normal. Remember, though, that eating more than one serving of any of these foods can make it a high-potassium food.
|Food Category||Food With High Potassium||Food With Low Potassium|
|Fruits|| ApricotsAvocadoBananaCantaloupeDatesDried fruitsFigsGrapefruit juiceHoneydewKiwiMangoNectarineOrange or orange juiceOrange juicePapaya Pomegranate or pomegranate juicePrunesPrune juiceRaisins|| Apple, apple juice, apple sauceApricotsBlackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberriesCherriesFruit cocktailGrapes, grape juiceGrapefruitMandarin orangesPeachesPearsPineapple, pineapple juicePlumsTangerineWatermelon|
|Vegetables|| Acorn squashArtichokeBamboo shootsBaked beansButternut squashBeets, fresh then boiledBlack beansBrussels sproutsChinese cabbageCarrots, rawDried beans and peasGreens, except kaleHubbard squashKohlrabiLentilsLegumesMushrooms, cannedParsnipsPotatoes, white and sweetPumpkinRefried beansRutabagasSpinach, cookedTomatoes, tomato productsVegetable juice|| Alfalfa sproutsAsparagusBeans, wax or greenCabbage, green and redCarrots, cookedCauliflowerCeleryCornCucumberEggplantKale
*LettuceMixed vegetablesMushrooms, freshOkraOnionsParsleyPeas, greenPeppersRadishRhubarbWater chestnuts, cannedWatercress|
|Protein Foods|| Beans, dried or cannedNutsTofu|| BeefPoultryEggFishPorkPeanut butter|
|Dairy Foods||Dairy items are high in potassium. You can consume these items in moderation by limiting your portion sizes to 1 serving: ButtermilkChocolate milkEggnogEvaporated milkMalted milkMilkshakesSoy milkYogurt|| CheeseIce creamSkim milk2% milkWhole milk|
|Other Foods|| Bran/bran ProductsChocolateGranolaMilk, all types MolassesNutritional supplementsNuts and seeds Peanut butterSalt substitutes Salt-free brothYogurt|| Bread and bread products (not whole grains)Cake—angel food cake, yellow cakeCoffeeCookies (without nuts or chocolate)NoodlesPastaPies (without chocolate or high-potassium food)RiceTea|
|Other|| Snuff or chewing tobacco|
*To leach potatoes: Peel and cut them into small pieces. Soak them in a large amount of water for at least 2 hours. (Use at least 5 cups of water for every 1 cup of potatoes.) Drain, rinse, and cook as desired.
Eat a variety of low-potassium foods. Limit or avoid high-potassium foods.Be aware of the foods that you eat. You may want to keep a food diary or download a food-tracking app on your phone.Most food has some potassium. Read food labels to find out how much potassium a food has per serving.Do not drink juice from canned fruit, canned vegetables, or cooked meat.Work with a dietitian to come up with an individualized food plan. It should list the serving size and amount of low potassium food groups you should consume each day.
Low-potassium (2 grams) diet. Huntsman Cancer Hospital website. Available at: http://www.hci.utah.edu/publicweb/content/nutrition/images/LowPotassium.pdf. Updated June 2011. Accessed June 1, 2015.
Potassium and your CKD diet. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at:
https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium. Accessed June 1, 2015.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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