Low Potassium Diet Guide

1: Introduction

Potassium is a mineral that is present in all fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. It is the kidneys responsibility to maintain the proper amount of potassium in your body. Potassium plays a role in maintaining a regular heartbeat and keeping your muscles working right. Too much potassium can cause an irregular heartbeat or a heart attack. Since people with CKD have damaged or compromised kidneys, they may have trouble maintaining the proper amount of potassium.

Did you know?

High potassium foods are > 200mg (>20%DV) Low potassium foods are < 200mg (<5%DV)

A normal potassium intake is around 3500 to 4500 mg per day. Anyone with a restricted potassium diet such as someone with CKD would typically be restricted to 2000 mg per day. Each individual is different and should consult their doctor or dietitian for their specific scenario.

2: Ways to stay under your daily limit

  • Eat lots of different foods in moderation. Just because you can't eat over a certain amount of potassium doesn't mean you can't eat any at all. Your body still needs its nutrition.
  • Always remember to use portion control. A large amount of a low potassium food can quickly turn into a high-potassium situation.
  • Try and limit foods that are > 200 mg per serving. Below is a list of foods that are > 200 mg and also below 200 mg. Along with you doctor or dietitian, our website will provide recipes that limit high potassium foods, or use low potassium foods.
  • Some high potassium foods can be leached.
  • Potassium leaching is a simple method used to ‘leach’ out some, or the majority, of potassium.
  • If you are on dialysis, be sure to get all the treatment or exchanges prescribed to you.
  • Potassium is not always on nutritional labels. Always do some research of your own. We are very fortunate to have lots of answers at our finger tips. If you don't see potassium on the food label, just look it up quickly.

3: High-Potassium Foods > 200 mg

The portion size is ½ cup unless otherwise stated. Vist out high potassium foods guide to see a full list of foods high in potassium.

Fruits

  • Apricot, raw (2 medium)
  • dried (5 halves)
  • Avocado (¼ whole)
  • Banana (½ whole)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dates (5 whole)
  • Dried fruits
  • Figs, dried
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi (1 medium)
  • Mango (1 medium)
  • Nectarine (1 medium)
  • Orange (1 medium)
  • Orange Juice
  • Papaya (½ whole)
  • Pomegranate (1 whole)
  • Pomegranate Juice
  • Prunes
  • Prune Juice
  • Raisins

Vegetables

  • Acorn Squash
  • Artichoke
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Baked Beans
  • Butternut Squash
  • Refried Beans
  • Beets, fresh then boiled
  • Black Beans
  • Broccoli, cooked
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots, raw
  • Chickpeas (1 cup)
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Dried Beans and Peas
  • Greens, except Kale
  • Hubbard Squash
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • White Mushrooms, cooked (½ cup)

Other Foods

  • Bran/Bran products
  • Chocolate (1.5-2 ounces)
  • Granola
  • Milk, all types (1 cup)
  • Molasses (1 Tablespoon)
  • Nuts and Seeds (1 ounce)
  • Peanut Butter (2 tbs.)
  • Salt Substitutes/Lite Salt
  • Salt Free Broth
  • Yogurt
  • Snuff/Chewing Tobacco

Did you know?

Dried apricots have the highest concentration of potassium by weight of any food.

4: Low-Potassium Foods > 200 mg

The portion size is ½ cup unless otherwise stated.

Fruits

  • Apple (1 medium)
  • Apple Juice
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots, canned in juice
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Grapes
  • Grape Juice
  • Grapefruit (½ whole)
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Peaches, fresh (1 small) canned (½ cup)
  • Pears, fresh (1 small) canned (½ cup)
  • Pineapple
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Plums (1 whole)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerine (1 whole)
  • Watermelon (limit to 1 cup)

Vegetables

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Asparagus (6 spears raw)
  • Beans, green or wax
  • Broccoli (raw or cooked from frozen)
  • Cabbage, green and red
  • Carrots, cooked
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (1 stalk)
  • Corn, fresh (½ ear) frozen (½ cup)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mixed Vegetables
  • White Mushrooms, raw (½ cup)
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas, green
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Water Chestnuts, canned
  • Watercress
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini Squash

5: Leaching Potassium from Vegetables

Leaching is the process of pulling potassium out of certain vegetables using water. It's important to remember that leaching will help pull some potassium out of high-potassium vegetables, but not all of the potassium. Leaching vegetables does not mean you have free range to eat as much as you want. After leaching potassium from your vegetables you must still limit how much you eat. Remember to always ask your dietitian or doctor about the amount of leached vegetables that's safe to have in your diet.

How to leach potassium from potatoes and other vegetables:

  • Peel the vegetable, slice into small pieces (roughly 3mm width).
  • Wash the vegetables thoroughly, and rinse.
  • Fill a pot of water and place the vegetables within to boil (2:1 ratio / water:vegetables).
  • Bring to the boil, and then drain water off.
  • Fill pot again with water (2:1 ratio), and boil until soft, but integrity is retained.
  • And you’re done!

Disclaimer

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