Low Potassium Foods: Do’s and Don’ts

Updated on March 26th, 2020
low potassium foods

Potassium is a mineral found in the food we eat, which is instrumental in keeping the body healthy. It moderates the heart activity and allows the nervous system to function systematically. Kidneys in the human body are responsible for regulating potassium in the body.

People who have kidney disorders or just one kidney have a high amount of potassium in their body, which can be harmful and cause heart attacks and hyperkalemia.

Research by the National Kidney Foundation(1) states that around 2-3% of the general population can have hyperkalemia.

Benefits

An average adult should consume 4,700 mg/day, whereas a breastfeeding mother should take around 5,100 mg/day. Children younger than ten years of age should intake 3,800 mg/day. Low potassium intake has many other health benefits, apart from regulating bodily functions. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Stable blood pressure
  2. Improved cardiovascular health
  3. Bone and muscle maintenance
  4. Reduced risk of diabetes
  5. Smooth bowel movement
  6. Cancer risk management
  7. Easy digestion of carbs
  8. Correct sodium balance in the bloodstream

Did you know?

Potassium is the seventh most abundant element in the human body.

Low Potassium Foods

Fresh Fruits

1. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe
Image:ShutterStock

Studies confirm that cantaloupe is helpful in keeping the body hydrated as it is 90% water. It improves digestion in the body, along with maintaining healthy blood pressure. Do not consume cantaloupes more than three times a week to maintain the potassium levels in the body.

[Read: Benefits of Cantaloupe ]

2. Oranges

Along with being low in potassium, oranges are also low in calories and high in nutrients, which can lower the risk of disease in a human body. It also promotes a healthy heart and protection from cancer.

 3. Strawberries

Strawberries act as powerful antioxidant agents that control blood sugar levels and prevent heart conditions. It is a smart choice for people combating diabetes and constipation.

4. Kiwi

Studies reveal that kiwi is rich in collagen, which supports the body by providing it with the required minerals and nutrients. Kiwi also prevents constipation and combats kidney stones as well.

5. Avocados

Avocado
Image: ShutterStock

Avocado is low in potassium and high in healthy fats. It is also high in other nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin B5, C, B6, etc. Research has also confirmed that eating avocados lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels(2).

6. Apricots

Apricots act as a great source of beta carotene and zeaxanthin, which are powerful antioxidant agents and help in maintaining the immunity of the body.

[ Read: Low Phosphorus Foods ]

Fresh Vegetables

1. Greens

Green vegetables are low in calories and potassium and high in vitamins and minerals. They keep the skin and bones healthy by building strong natural defenses.

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in selenium and vitamin C and promote a healthy heart as well as protection against cancer.

3. Peas

Raw Peas
Image:ShutterStock

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in peas are highly beneficial for maintaining a healthy bodily system and for regulating blood sugar levels.

4. Beetroot

Beetroot can easily maintain potassium levels in the body. It also has various other benefits like cancer prevention, building stamina, promoting a healthy liver, reducing cholesterol, etc.

5. Tomatoes

Including tomatoes in your diet can regulate blood pressure and decrease the chances of diabetes. Additionally, tomatoes are beneficial for the skin and the eyes.

[Read: Herbs and Foods for Kidney]

Juices

1. Orange

Orange juice strengthens the immune system and protects the body against any potential chronic disease. It also improves heart health and prevents kidney stones.

2. Prune

Prunes benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Prune juice has been used as a traditional remedy since ancient times due to its health benefits in regulating blood pressure, digestion, constipation, etc.

3. Apricot

Apricots are packed with vitamin A, which regulates the immune system of the body. It is also good for the heart and governs healthy blood circulation.

4. Grapefruit

Grapefruit juice is low in calories and high in nutrients along with being rich in vitamin A, C, fibers, proteins, etc. It benefits the immune system and is efficient in appetite control.

Low Potassium Diet – Meal Plan

There are some meal plans mentioned below, which you can follow to maintain a low potassium diet.

See Also
Raisins

MONDAY

Pita pocket 1
Chicken/salmon 3 ounces
Celery/bell peppers ½ cup
Small apple 1

 

TUESDAY

Pasta ½ cup
Turkey salad ½ cup
Milk ½ cup
Sliced pineapple ½ cup

 

WEDNESDAY

Hamburger bun 1
Sliced steak 2 ounces
Mustard 1 tsp
Vegetable salad 1 cup
Sliced oranges ½ cup

 

THURSDAY

Meat ribs 2 ounces
Dinner bun 1
Mustard 2 tsp
Coleslaw salad ½ cup
Apricots 3

 

FRIDAY

Lentils ½ cup
Rice ½ cup
Any boiled vegetables
½ cup (cauliflower, corn, eggplant, cabbage, peas, squash, etc.)

 

SATURDAY

Mashed potatoes 150 g
Tortilla 1
Any nuts/seeds
1 ounce (peanuts, lotus stem seeds, almonds, cashews, etc.)
Cottage cheese ½ cup

 

SUNDAY

Beef/chicken stew 1 small bowl
Bread/tortilla 1
Apple/orange 1

 

Potassium was the first metal to be discovered by electrolysis.

Mentioned below are some tips you can keep in mind while following a low potassium diet.

  1. Pay attention to the serving size. If you eat food items that are high in potassium, then stick to a small serving size.
  2. Read the labels before buying food and try to avoid potassium chloride.
  3. Throw away the liquid if using canned and processed food.
  4. Exercise regularly to keep your bodily functions normal and stable.
  5. Avoid consumption of alcohol and smoking.
  6. Do not eat fried and baked dishes.
  7. Avoid caffeine.
  8. Incorporate herbal teas in your daily diet plan.

[ Read: Foods High in Selenium ]


FAQs

1. What are the symptoms of potassium deficiency?

Some of the symptoms of potassium deficiency are digestive problems, breathing difficulties, muscle spasms, fatigue, constant mood swings, numbness, etc.

2. What level of potassium is dangerous?

The normal range is 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter. A level above 5.5 millimoles per liter is dangerous and can be life-threatening.

3. What drinks are high in potassium?

Some of the fruit juices which are high in potassium are orange, tomato, prune apricot, grapefruit, etc.

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