Food With Less Potassium

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Food With Less Potassium It is estimated that 80% of Americans eat too much sodium and salt. While there are a number of reasons for this, one of the most significant factors is that potassium intake is often inadequate. Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance in your body and keeps blood pressure at an optimal level by working with sodium.

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Food With Less Potassium

The following table list foods which are low in potassium. A portion is ½ cup unless otherwise noted. Eating more than 1 portion can make a lower potassium food into a higher potassium food.

Low-Potassium Foods
FruitsVegetablesOther Foods
Apple (1 medium)Alfalfa sproutsRice
Apple JuiceAsparagus (6 spears raw)Noodles
ApplesauceBeans, green or wax
Broccoli (raw or cooked from frozen)
Pasta
Apricots, canned in juiceCabbage, green and red
Carrots, cooked
Bread and bread products (Not Whole Grains)
BlackberriesCauliflowerCake: angel, yellow
BlueberriesCelery (1 stalk)Coffee: limit to 8 ounces
CherriesCorn, fresh (½ ear) frozen (½ cup)Pies without chocolate or high potassium fruit
CranberriesCucumberCookies without nuts or chocolate
Fruit CocktailEggplantTea: limit to 16 ounces
GrapesKale 
Grape JuiceLettuce 
Grapefruit (½ whole)Mixed Vegetables 
Mandarin OrangesWhite Mushrooms, raw (½ cup) 
Peaches, fresh (1 small)
canned (½ cup)
Onions 
Pears, fresh (1 small)
canned (½ cup)
Parsley 
PineapplePeas, green 
Pineapple JuicePeppers 
Plums (1 whole)Radish 
RaspberriesRhubarb 
StrawberriesWater Chestnuts, canned 
Tangerine (1 whole)Watercress 
Watermelon (limit to 1 cup)Yellow Squash
 Zucchini Squash
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Low-Potassium Diet: What to Know

Every time you eat a banana or a baked potato with the skin on (not just the tasty buttered insides), you’re getting potassium. This essential mineral keeps your muscles healthy and your heartbeat and blood pressure steady.

If you have a heart or kidney condition, though, your doctor may recommend a low-potassium diet. Your kidneys are responsible for keeping a healthy amount of potassium in your body. If they’re not working right, you may get too much or too little.

If you have too much potassium in your blood, it can cause cardiac arrest — when your heart suddenly stops beating.

If you have too little potassium in your blood, it can cause an irregular heartbeat. Your muscles may also feel weak.

High-Potassium Foods

Most foods have potassium. To keep your levels low, avoid or eat less than a half-cup a day of these high-potassium foods:

High-potassium fruits:

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dried fruit
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Papaya
  • Pomegranate and pomegranate juice
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Pumpkin
  • Raisins

High-potassium vegetables:

  • Acorn squash, butternut squash, Hubbard squash
  • Avocado
  • Artichoke
  • Beets
  • Baked beans, black beans, refried beans
  • Broccoli (cooked)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lentils
  • Okra
  • Onions (fried)
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes (white and sweet)
  • Rutabagas
  • Spinach (cooked)
  • Tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste
  • Vegetable juice

Other high-potassium foods:

  • Bran products
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Creamed soups
  • French fries
  • Granola
  • Ice cream
  • Milk (buttermilk, chocolate, eggnog evaporated, malted, soy and milkshakes)
  • Miso
  • Molasses
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Potato chips
  • Salt substitutes
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt

Low-Potassium Foods

The list of high-potassium foods may feel a bit overwhelming, but remember, for every high-potassium food to avoid, there’s at least one low-potassium food to enjoy.

The recommended serving size for these low-potassium foods is 1/2 cup. You don’t want to overdo it. Too much of a low-potassium food makes it a high-potassium food.

Low-potassium fruits:

  • Apples (plus apple juice and applesauce)
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Grapes and grape juice
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple and pineapple juice
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerine
  • Watermelon

Low-potassium vegetables:

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Asparagus (6 raw spears)
  • Broccoli (raw or cooked from frozen)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots (cooked)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (1 stalk)
  • Corn (half an ear if it’s on the cob)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans or wax beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • White mushrooms (raw)
  • Onion
  • Parsley

10 Foods That Are High in Potassium

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A vital electrolyte, potassium helps balance sodium and regulate fluid balance in your body.

Canva; iStock

Outside of chemists, athletes, and anyone with high blood pressure, most people don’t give a lot of thought to potassium, a mineral you probably last heard of when learning the periodic table in chemistry class (where its abbreviation is the letter K). But potassium plays a vital role in health: It helps regulate your body’s fluid levels, aids in muscle function, and keeps your nervous system functioning properly, among other functions, according to MedlinePlus.

It also plays a key role in cardiovascular health. “Potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and keeping your heart beating regularly,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, a New York Times bestselling author and nutrition expert in Brooklyn, New York. Research shows that potassium reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and may lower the risk for stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is also one of a group of electrically charged minerals — magnesium, calcium, and sodium are others — known as electrolytes. You often hear about electrolytes in sports drinks because they aid with fluid balance and we tend to lose them when we sweat, according to MedlinePlus. Potassium and sodium are the main electrolytes involved in regulating fluid balance, and keeping them in balance can be crucial for reducing the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke, according to the CDC. Most Americans, however, consume too much sodium and not enough potassium. In fact, the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans raised the recommended daily intake for potassium to 4,700 milligrams (mg) a day.

For that reason, Largeman-Roth says, “Focusing on adding potassium-rich foods to our diets is smart for overall health.” If your potassium levels are too low, a condition known as hypokalemia, it can result in fatigue, muscle weakness or cramping, and cardiovascular issues such as an abnormal heart rhythm, according to MedlinePlus.

It’s also possible to get too much potassium, which can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia. This is something you need to be especially aware of if you have kidney problems, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The kidneys help regulate the amount of potassium in your body, but if they’re not functioning properly, too much potassium can get into the bloodstream, causing weakness or numbness, and potentially, arrhythmia and heart attack. Research has found that a variety of medications, such as ACE inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and certain diuretics, can also raise potassium levels too high.

Meeting the recommended daily intake of potassium means reevaluating your diet. “Potassium comes from various foods we eat, especially fruits and vegetables,” says Nicole Roach, RD, a registered dietitian with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. And yes, that includes bananas, which have 422 mg per medium-sized fruit, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data. To be considered to be high in potassium, however, a food needs 20 percent or more of the daily recommended value, or 940 mg per serving. We rounded up 10 other colorful, tasty, and potassium-rich foods to add to your diet, and provided serving suggestions that will keep you coming back for more.

Acorn Squash

There are so many varieties of squash, you can find some kind in season no matter what time of year it is. This round, green-skinned, orange-fleshed winter variety is loaded with fiber and other vitamins and minerals — especially potassium. One cup of cooked acorn squash packs 896 mg, per the USDA.

It has a slightly sweet flavor that is heightened by roasting. “Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, slice it into rings, and roast it with a little salt, pepper, and brown sugar,” Largeman-Roth says. “It gets so tender and sweet. Kids will love it — and they can eat it like a slice of watermelon!” Largeman-Roth is also not opposed to drizzling it with some olive oil, which increases the absorption of fat-soluble beta carotene. This compound, which is found in other orange-hued produce such as carrots and pumpkins, is a plant pigment with antioxidant properties, according to a review published in April 2017 in the American Journal of Cancer Research.

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Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Fresh tomatoes contain a decent amount of potassium (one medium tomato has 292 mg, per USDA data), and you’ll get even more bang for your buck from more concentrated forms of tomatoes, such as tomato paste (162 mg per tablespoon) or tomato sauce (728 mg per cup). But sun-dried tomatoes win out with 925 mg of potassium per half-cup, which is 35 percent of the recommended amount for adult women, according to the National Institutes of Health. That’s not all they have going for them, either: Sun-dried tomatoes are high in fiber, with more than 6 grams per cup, vitamin C, and even protein. You can find them plain or packed in heart-healthy olive oil, and either make a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, or pizza. You can also chop them up and add to pesto or sauces.

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Kidney Beans

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Beans are an all-around healthy addition to your diet, as a good source of plant-based protein and filling fiber. One cup of this kidney-shaped variety delivers 713 mg of potassium, per USDA data. You can buy them dried or canned, but if you choose the latter, be sure to drain and rinse them before using — an experiment by the Cook’s Illustrated test kitchen found that doing so can lower the sodium content by roughly 100 mg per half-cup serving, or up to 26 percent. Black beans are another good choice, with 489 mg per half-cup, per the USDA.

Kidney and other kinds of beans are great in soup and chili, and Largeman-Roth recommends adding kidney beans to your salads or mashing them up with salt and pepper to use as a burrito filling.

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Kiwifruit

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Bananas tend to get all the credit when it comes to potassium-rich fruits, but a single small kiwifruit has nearly as much potassium, at 215 milligrams, as an entire banana. 

Other fruit that should be on your shopping list: Oranges, including their juice — an 8-oz glass racks up nearly 500 milligrams of potassium, per the USDA — and cantaloupe. Just 1 cup of this orange melon edges out a medium banana with 427 milligrams, per USDA data. Its high water content also means cantaloupe is super hydrating and its orange color indicates the presence of beta carotene, a plant pigment with antioxidant properties. Fruit salad, anyone?

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Avocado

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Get on the avocado toast train. This creamy, green-fleshed fruit isn’t just high in fiber and heart-healthy fats, it’s also loaded with 690 mg of potassium, per the USDA. That makes it twice as good for your heart. Incorporating healthier monounsaturated fats into your diet via avocados may benefit your heart by raising “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, according to a review published April 2018 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke, notes the CDC.

Avocado is so versatile, you can incorporate it into any meal of the day. In addition to mashing it for toast and guac, you can add slices to tacos, sandwiches (use it in place of butter or mayo, suggests Roach), burgers, and even smoothies. Largeman-Roth recommends using one of her favorite avocado recipes from her cookbook, Eating in Color. “Blend ½ avocado with ½ banana, ¼ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, ¼ cup ice, 1 cup coconut water, 1 teaspoon of agave nectar, and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon,” she says. (Vegans can substitute silken tofu for yogurt.)

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Fish

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There are plenty of reasons to eat more of this lean protein, and here’s one more to add to the list: Many species are a great source of potassium. Certain fish — like wild salmon, some varieties of tuna, halibut, trout, flounder, and Pacific cod — are better sources than others; a 3-oz piece of wild Atlantic salmon contains around 400 mg of potassium, per the USDA. Fatty fish like salmon are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of polyunsaturated fat that may lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises eating at least 8 oz of fish a week, primarily varieties that are low in mercury. If you’re not a seafood lover, red meat (including lean beef), chicken, and turkey also provide good amounts of potassium.

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Potatoes

red potatoes
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Nutritionally, potatoes get a bad rap, but that’s usually because of how they’re prepared (fried in oil as french fries or chips, or smothered in cheese, sour cream, and butter). But your basic spud is a nutritional stud, especially when it comes to potassium. Nearly 900 mg of the nutrient can be found in just one medium russet potato, according to the USDA, and other varieties (red, yellow, and even sweet potatoes) are in the 400 mg and up range. These popular starches are also a good source of including fiber (leave the skin on for the most of this filling nutrient), vitamin C, and iron.

For a healthier way to eat potatoes, try steaming and mashing them with a little chicken stock for flavor, roasting them with olive oil and herbs, or baking them and topping with salsa instead of butter. Their starch makes them a great thickener for soups as well.

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Dairy

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Though fruits and vegetables are among the best food sources of potassium, dairy products can also add the mineral to your diet. A cup of whole milk has more than 350 mg of potassium, while the same amount of nonfat milk contains more than 400 mg. (In general, the lower the fat in the milk, the higher the potassium.) Meanwhile, 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt contains nearly 350 mg — yet another reason to make this protein-packed yogurt (it has a whopping 25 g per cup!) a part of your healthy breakfast or snack. Yogurt also has tons of culinary uses, so you can try it as a marinade, a dip, or use it in place of sour cream to get more into your day.

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Dark Leafy Greens

Dark Leafy Greens
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Some of the best sources of potassium are dark leafy greens such as spinach, which when cooked has an astounding 1,180 mg per cup, per USDA data. Swiss chard is a close second, with almost 1,000 mg per cooked cup, and even bok choy has around 445 mg per cup when cooked. All these foods contain some potassium even when consumed raw, but more when cooked. And a study published in September 2017 in Preventative Nutrition and Food Science found that boiling and frying leafy greens can increase their antioxidant properties as well. This gives you a good reason to eat leafy greens in more than just salad. Add them to stir fries or saute and serve over pasta or with eggs. You can also add them to soups.

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Dried Fruit

dried fruits such as apricots and figs
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Fresh fruits and vegetables are your best bets but when they’re not in season, dried fruit is a good second choice for a potassium-rich snack. Dehydrating fruit concentrates all its nutrients, including potassium. It also concentrates the sugar, however, so be sure to check labels if you’re watching how much of the sweet stuff you eat, and avoid any varieties with added sugars. Dried apricots net you about 750 mg per half-cup. Dried plums and raisins are other good choices. While they’re a great snack, especially with nuts in trail mix, you can also use them to add some sweetness to oatmeal, salads, or puddings.

Low Potassium Diet
What is potassium?
 Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves and muscles work well
 You may need to have less potassium in your diet if you are taking certain
medications, have problems with your kidneys or have a medical condition that
lowers your need for potassium.
What is a normal potassium level?
 A normal blood potassium level for adults is
3.5-5.2mmol/L
 The potassium level in your blood will be monitored by
your doctor
What foods are high in potassium?
Almost all foods contain potassium, but some contain much more than others. Foods
high in potassium include:
 Certain fruits, vegetables, and juices
 Whole grain bread and pasta, brown and
long grain rice,
whole grain cereal and bran products
 Milk products
 Bean and legumes
 Nuts and seeds
 Some processed/seasoned/enhanced/frozen meat, poultry, and fish products
How can I control my potassium levels?
 Limit and avoid foods high in potassium (see tables on the following page)
 Do not use salt substitutes such as potassium chloride instead of salt
 Remember that serving size matters. Even low
potassium foods can make your potassium level high
if you are having too many of them. Speak with your
Registered Dietitian about the number of servings
that is right for you

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