Food With Potassium Chloride


Food With Potassium Chloride. Potassium chloride is an important component of the human diet. It plays a key role in balancing your kidneys and blood pressure, managing fluid retention, helping cells send messages and regulating a variety other body functions and processes.

Food With Potassium Chloride

Naturally potassium-rich foods, such as potatoes and bananas, typically contain potassium in the form of potassium citrate. Some supplements and processed foods, however, contain potassium chloride. Both types of potassium may help lower blood pressure, according to a study published in Hypertension in April 2005. Potassium chloride is usually used only in small amounts due to its extremely bitter taste. People with chronic kidney disease should limit foods containing potassium chloride and other sources of potassium. People with Addison’s disease, high potassium levels and those on diuretics should also limit potassium chloride.

Dairy and Egg Products

Potassium chloride’s role as a thickener, stabilizer, firming agent and flavor enhancer causes it to be included in many processed foods. These include dairy-based beverages, such as chocolate milk and eggnog, as well as cheeses, any type of cream, condensed milk, powdered milk, yogurt, pudding, spreads made with dairy fat and products made with whey. Processed egg products, including canned or salted eggs and products made with dried eggs, may also contain potassium chloride.

Grains and Cereals

Read the labels of grain products if you’re trying to limit potassium chloride. Although not all grain products include potassium chloride, it is sometimes used in dried or precooked pastas, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, rice or tapioca puddings and processed rice products.

Fruits and Vegetables

Canned tomato products may contain potassium chloride. Other vegetable products that may make use of this additive include fermented vegetables, dried vegetables, canned or bottled vegetables, pureed vegetable products, fried or cooked vegetable products and vegetables canned or bottled in sauces containing soybean sauce, vinegar, brine or oil. Processed fruits can be another source of potassium chloride.

Protein-Rich Foods

Nuts and nut spreads, protein products, canned or fermented seafood, sausage casings, processed meat or poultry and soybeans can all contain potassium chloride. The breading on some meat and poultry products may also be a source of this additive.

Other Foods

Any reduced-sodium food, including some canned soups, may contain potassium chloride — it is a key ingredient in some salt substitutes. It is also sometimes used to help artificially sweetened jellies and preserves gel. Beverages including coffee, herbal tea, tea, alcoholic beverages and cider can all contain potassium chloride. Other potential sources include artificial sweeteners, condiments, seasonings, broth, sauces, vinegar, mustard, deli salads, yeast and diet foods.

Potassium Rich Foods

Many of the foods that you already eat contain potassium. The foods listed below are high in potassium. If you need to boost the amount of potassium in your diet, make healthy food choices by picking items below to add to your menu.

Many fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium:

  • Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit (some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium)
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cooked broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkins
  • Leafy greens

Juice from potassium-rich fruit is also a good choice:

  • Orange juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Prune juice
  • Apricot juice
  • Grapefruit juice

Certain dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, are high in potassium (low-fat or fat-free is best).

  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Trout
  • Rockfish

Some fish contain potassium:

Beans or legumes that are high in potassium include:

  • Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils

Potassium Chloride Improves its Aftertaste

While vendors tweak the sodium replacer, other mineral salts jockey for position.

Potassium chloride is ionically the closest salt molecule to sodium chloride, therefore it gives a better functional result than other salt combinations. Potassium chloride has been a widely used solution for lowering sodium in products, although the material poses its own problems. Foremost of these is, if used as a one-to-one replacement in formulations, the result is often a bitter, metallic aftertaste.

At the IFT Food Expo in June, Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc. introduced SodiumSense, an “enhanced potassium chloride” salt replacer. The modified crystal structure improves the taste impact in products such as sauces, cheese, processed meats, prepared meals, salted snacks, soups and baked goods. Application-specific blends of the SodiumSense system allow formulators to reduce sodium by up to 50 percent.

SodiumSense brings to 20 the sodium-reduction products in the Cargill portfolio. “Our FlakeSelect products provide potassium chloride, and potassium chloride and sodium chloride agglomerations, with lower bulk density that work well for topical solutions and seasoning blends, as well as many other applications,” says Jesse Van Norden, product line manager for food processing at Cargill.

Cargill also has a number of specialty salts. “Alberger has a unique crystal shape that provides maximum flavor burst and allows manufacturers to achieve sodium reduction while having no change in their ingredient statement,” says Van Norden. “Specialty salts can be used to achieve an incremental reduction in sodium.”

Nu-Tek Salt LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., has a patented process that provides a better tasting potassium chloride, the company claims. Nu-Tek Potassium Chloride tastes and functions like salt, allows for one-to-one replacement for sodium chloride and facilitates up to 50 percent reduction of sodium content in the finished product. In addition to its potassium chloride solution, Nu-Tek offers blends with sea salt and blends with regular salt.

Nu-Tek patented “single-crystal technology” Advanced Formula Potassium Chloride can reduce sodium levels in popular foods by up to 50 percent and significantly minimizes the bitter taste associated with traditional potassium chloride. It maintains the flavor and functionality of salt, and also allows for one-to-one replacement for sodium chloride. A sample study of hamburger buns showed a 30 percent reduction of sodium can easily be achieved using it in buns and similar baked goods without significantly affecting appearance, flavor or texture.

Dr. Paul Lohmann Inc., Islandia, N.Y., takes a different approach, mixing various mineral salts to come up with lower-sodium salt products. Under its LomaSalt brand, the systems contain less sodium than regular table salt — starting from a reduction of 50 percent, up to a system that allows for a 100 percent sodium-free product. LomaSalt RS 50 Classic contains 20 percent sodium, yet maintains a typical salty taste plus the easy handling of table salt. LomaSalt RS 50 Extra is 50 percent sodium-reduced and particularly suitable for bread, pastries or ready-to-use baking mixtures.

There are several other Lohmann variants, culminating in LomaSalt RS 100, a sodium-free blend composed entirely of mineral salts with a minimized off-taste and with no flavor enhancers.

ICL provides Salona, a natural low-sodium sea salt derived from the Dead Sea in Israel. Sea salts generally reflect the mineral content of the water from which they are derived, according to Barbara Heidolph, principal-marketing technical service for ICL Performance Products LP, St. Louis. She points out Salona also has the minerals magnesium and potassium – “essential nutrients known to be deficient in the U.S. diet,” adding, “Most sea salts are a high-purity sodium chloride and contribute about 3,900mg of sodium per 100g of salt. Salona has only 170mg of sodium per 100g.”

Salona also helps maintain target water activity — another key function that can help formulators. “Not only does Salona allow for reduction in sodium, but the flavor profile also has been shown to provide a better balance and deliver greater saltiness and minimal bitterness compared to other salt replacers. This comes from the presence of the three mineral salts — sodium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride,” says Heidolph.

“Sensory evaluations have been conducted with a trained panel to characterize the flavor of reduced-sodium foods where 25 to 50 percent of the sodium chloride has been replaced with Salona. Results indicate minimal bitterness while delivering target saltiness,” she reports. “These applications include using Salona as a topical replacement for salt, which is a key use of salt in many snack foods, and is one that can be difficult to replace.”

Cranbury, N.J.-based Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings, a ConAgra Foods company, has patented Small Particle Salt, which is ground very fine and can be spread out more across the product. “We’ve seen success in topicals with 15-25 percent salt reduction without noticing the [taste] difference,” explains says Joe D’Auria, senior food technologist at Spicetec.

What is potassium chloride?

Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is needed for several functions of your body, especially the beating of your heart.

Potassium chloride is used to prevent or to treat low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia).

Potassium levels can be low as a result of a disease or from taking certain medicines, or after a prolonged illness with diarrhea or vomiting.


You should not use potassium chloride if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia), or if you also take a “potassium-sparing” diuretic.

To be sure potassium chloride is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) to measure electrical activity of the heart. This test will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Serious side effects of potassium include uneven heartbeat, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe stomach pain, and numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or mouth.

Do not stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking this medicine suddenly, your condition may become worse.

Do not crush, chew, break, or suck on an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking or crushing the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Sucking on a tablet can irritate your mouth or throat. Take potassium chloride with food or just after a meal.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use potassium chloride if you are allergic to it, or if:

  • you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia); or
  • you take a “potassium-sparing” diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;
  • cirrhosis or other liver disease;
  • an adrenal gland disorder;
  • a large tissue injury such as a severe burn;
  • severe dehydration;
  • diabetes;
  • heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • stomach or intestinal bleeding;
  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or
  • chronic diarrhea (such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease).

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take potassium chloride?

Take potassium chloride exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Take potassium chloride with a full glass of water. Take potassium chloride with food or just after a meal if this medicine upsets your stomach.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not crush, chew, or suck on a tablet or capsule. Sucking on the pill could irritate your mouth or throat.

Call your doctor if you have trouble swallowing a potassium chloride capsule or tablet. You may be able to dissolve the tablet in water, or mix the medicine from a capsule with soft food. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.

Mix the powder form of this medicine with at least 4 ounces (one-half cup) of cold water or fruit juice before taking. Drink the mixture slowly, over 5 to 10 minutes in all. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, you may need frequent blood tests. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium chloride. Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if this medicine is effective.

Your treatment may include a special diet. Follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. Get familiar with the list of foods you should eat or avoid to help control your condition.

Potassium-rich foods include: squash, baked potatoes (skin on), spinach, lentils, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, kidney or navy beans, raisins, watermelon, orange juice, bananas, cantaloupe, and low-fat milk or yogurt. Consume only the daily amounts recommended by your doctor or nutrition counselor.

Some tablets are made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Part of this shell may appear in your stool. This is normal and will not make the medicine less effective.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in a closed container.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include irregular heartbeats, chest pain, or muscle weakness.

What to avoid

Avoid taking supplements or using other products that contain potassium without first asking your doctor. Salt substitutes or low-salt dietary products often contain potassium. If you take certain products together you may accidentally get too much potassium. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains potassium.

Potassium chloride side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to potassium chloride: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe throat irritation;
  • stomach bloating, severe vomiting, severe stomach pain;
  • high potassium level – nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement; or
  • signs of stomach bleeding – bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common potassium chloride side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • gas, stomach pain; or
  • the appearance of a potassium chloride tablet in your stool.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect potassium chloride?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • a diuretic or “water pill”; or
  • heart or blood pressure medication.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with potassium chloride, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use potassium chloride only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Chloride: foods, functions, how much do you need & more

Although chloride sounds similar to chlorine, the two should not be confused! Chloride is a mineral needed for many bodily functions, whereas chlorine is mainly used to keep swimming pools clean.

What is chloride?

Chloride is one of the major minerals, which our bodies need in relatively larger amounts to keep healthy. We can find chloride naturally in a variety of foods, but it’s often common that we have it as sodium chloride, also known as table salt.

What are the functions of chloride?

Chloride is involved in many of our bodily functions. Similar to sodium and potassium, chloride creates specific channels in the membranes of our cells which help to carry different vital tasks.

For example, chloride channels are key in controlling the amount of water and the type of compounds and nutrients that go in and out of cells. Overall, they play an important role in keeping the balance of our bodies’ fluids (thus, helping to regulate our blood pressure) as well as the pH.

Chloride is also important to help the muscles and heart contract and to help our nerve cells carry messages (nerve impulses) between the brain and the body. More so, this mineral is needed to help red blood cells exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in both the lungs (taking up oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide) and other parts of the body (delivering oxygen and taking up carbon dioxide).

Lastly, chloride also plays a role in the digestion of foods, by supporting the production and release of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach, without which foods could not be properly digested and absorbed.

Functions of chloride

How much chloride do I need per day?

How much chloride you need per day changes according to your age, sex and life-stage.

The dietary reference value (DRV)* for healthy adults (over the age of 18), including during pregnancy and lactation, is about 3 g of chloride per day.

Similar to sodium, the DRV for chloride is considered both safe and adequate, which means it’s enough to meet our bodies’ needs while preventing us from having a higher risk of health consequences linked to diets high in sodium chloride (salt), such as higher blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Following your  country’s dietary guidelines on a healthy and balanced diet, particularly in regard to salt intake, will help you meet your needs for chloride without risking exceeding the recommended amounts.

how much chloride is in table salt, shrimps and raw large carrots

* These values are based on the safe and adequate intake estimates from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). They should not be interpreted as nutrient goals. 

What foods contain chloride?

Chloride is naturally found in all unprocessed foods, although in very small amounts. For example, raw and unprocessed fish and meat can contain up to 4 mg of chloride per gram of food, while fruits and vegetables usually stay below 1 mg of chloride per gram of food.

Yet, it’s the chloride added to foods as table salt or through food additives (during cooking or food processing), that most contribute to our daily intake of this mineral, often in excessive amounts.

Some examples of foods high in chloride are shown in the image below and include:

  • food sauces (such as soy sauce)
  • processed meats (such as ham, bacon, sausages, etc.)
  • cheese
  • canned fish.

It’s important to keep in mind that these foods should be eaten in moderation and preferably in versions that have low (< 0.3 g of salt per 100 g of food) or no added salt. Plus, it’s important to pay attention to the amount of table salt that we add to foods when we’re cooking. Remember that a single teaspoon of table salt (5 g) is enough to meet our daily recommended amounts for chloride (and sodium).

Foods that contain chloride

Does chloride interact with other nutrients?

Chloride interacts with sodium and potassium to help regulate the volume of water in the body and to support the function of our muscle’ and nerve cells.

Having the right balance of these three minerals in our diets – particularly by making sure we eat enough potassium and keep our salt intake within the recommended values – is key to support a healthy blood pressure.

What happens if I have too little chloride?

It’s not common to have too little chloride in our diets since this mineral is present in most foods.

Chloride deficiency is often a result of specific metabolic disorders or health conditions (such as severe episodes of diarrhoea or kidney malfunction) that cause our bodies to remove excessive amounts of this mineral.

What happens if I have too much chloride?

The maximum recommended daily intake for chloride is 3.1 g, which is roughly equivalent to a teaspoon of table salt. However, it’s important to keep in mind that table salt is often added to many processed foods as well, making it easy for us to exceed the recommended amounts.

Regularly exceeding this recommendation puts us at risk of having high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to other health consequences, such as cardiovascular and/or kidney disease.

When should I pay extra attention to my chloride intake?

Chloride deficiency is not a risk for the general population with a varied and balanced diet.

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