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 PotassiumThe 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 favoritefoods.
Food With Low PotassiumThe 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 Category||Food With High Potassium||Food With Low Potassium|
|Fruits|| || |
|Vegetables||All portions are ½ cup. || |
|Other Foods|| || |
- 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 log.
- 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.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Society for Nutrition
Dietitians of Canada
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Potassium and your CKD diet. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atozPrint.cfm?id=103. Accessed January 20, 2010.
- Reviewer: Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 05/08/2014