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Low potassium foods:Low potassium foods for kidney patients

Potassium and it's uses

Potassium is a mineral present in food that is essential to human health. As an electrolyte, potassium plays a role in muscle contraction, heart function, and nerve conduction. Too much potassium, though, can be harmful, especially for people who have pre-existing kidney disease or heart failure.

Low potassium foods

Healthcare providers can measure the amount of potassium in your body via a simple blood test. Ideally, your potassium level should be between 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). If your potassium level is over 5.2 mmol/L, your doctor will probably advise you to avoid high-potassium foods for a while.

What is high potassium, or hyperkalemia?

Your body uses the potassium it needs. The extra potassium that your body does not need is removed from your blood by your kidneys. When you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot remove extra potassium in the right way, and too much potassium can stay in your blood.

When you have too much potassium in your blood, it is called high potassium, or hyperkalemia. Having too much potassium in your blood can be dangerous. High potassium can even cause a heart attack or death! Unfortunately, many people do not feel symptoms of high potassium until it’s too late and their heart health worsens.

High-potassium foods to avoid

People with chronic kidney disease or CKD should avoid or limit foods that are high in potassium.

High-potassium levels can cause serious symptoms, including an irregular heartbeat and muscle cramping. Low-potassium levels can cause muscles to become weak.

A doctor or dietitian can help explain the right amount of potassium to consume for each person’s unique situation.

Some high-potassium foods that people with CKD should limit or avoid include:


✓beans and legumes



✓most dairy products


✓salty foods

✓fast foods

✓processed meats, such as luncheon meats and hot dogs

✓bran and whole grains


✓cantaloupe and honeydew


✓vegetable juices

Dietary restrictions can help prevent further damage to the kidneys in those with CKD.

Low Potassium Foods to Add

According to the American Kidney Foundation, a potassium-restricted diet allows 2,000 milligrams of potassium per day. However, a doctor or nutritionist is in a better position to advise a person on their individual needs.

There are plenty of foods that are low in potassium. For these foods, half a cup is the recommended serving size.

Eating more than one serving can turn a low-potassium option into a high-potassium snack, so it is essential to stay within the recommended guidelines.

List of low Potassium Foods

Low-potassium fruits:

✓Apples (plus apple juice and applesauce)




✓Fruit cocktail

✓Grapes and grape juice


✓Mandarin oranges



✓Pineapple and pineapple juice






Low-potassium vegetables:

✓Alfalfa sprouts

✓Asparagus (6 raw spears)

✓Broccoli (raw or cooked from frozen)


✓Carrots (cooked)


✓Celery (1 stalk)

✓Corn (half an ear if it's on the cob)



✓Green beans or wax beans



✓White mushrooms (raw)



✓Peas (green)



✓Water chestnuts


✓Yellow squash and zucchini






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