Eating Well on a Low Potassium Diet- Getting Started

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1 Eating Well on a Low Potassium Diet- Getting Started Potassium is a mineral found in most foods and some beverages. Potassium helps your muscles work properly and your heart to beat normally. Your kidneys help to keep your blood potassium at a healthy level. When your kidneys are not working, potassium can build up in your blood. Certain medications can also increase your potassium level. High potassium levels in your blood can make your heart beat abnormally or even cause the heart to stop working. A low potassium diet can help keep your potassium level within a safe range. Your doctor and registered dietitian can help determine how much potassium you should have in your diet. This amount can differ depending on how well your kidney works. In the mean time, this factsheet can help you to choose foods lower in potassium. Choose fruits and vegetables from the low potassium group most often and from the medium group less often. Each day you can choose: 2 low and 1 medium serving of fruits 2 low and 1 medium serving of vegetables Limit Milk and Alternates like milk, yogurt, soy beverage and pudding to a total amount of 125 ml (½ cup) per day. These foods are very high in potassium. Limit hard and soft cheeses such as cheddar, Gouda and Swiss, brie and camembert to 30 g (1 oz) per day. Choose white flour grain products and baked goods instead of whole grain products. Whole grain products are higher in potassium. Try: White bread, buns, bagels, wraps Updated: PAGE 1

2 White rice, pasta Soda crackers Plain cookies, white cakes and muffins Avoid bran and whole grain cereals such as oat bran, oatmeal and bran cereals. Instead, choose breakfast cereals that are low in fibre such as rice crisps, puffed rice, corn flakes, cream of wheat or corn meal. These foods are low in potassium. Do not eat more than two servings of beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish or other meats each day. One serving is equal to 75 grams or 2 ½ ounces. Avoid nuts and seeds and their butters such as peanuts, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seeds. Avoid legumes (dried beans, peas, lentils) and tofu until you have seen a dietitian. These foods are high in potassium. Add healthy fats like olive, canola, corn, vegetable, walnut or sesame oils to your foods for extra calories. These foods do not have any potassium and can be used to cook with and to add flavour to foods. If you are thirsty drink water, regular or decaf coffee or tea, fruit drinks and non cola soft drinks. Avoid specialty coffees like lattes, cola beverages and grain or malt based drinks. If you need to limit your fluid, speak to your doctor. Avoid the following foods until you have seen a dietitian because they are high in potassium: Potato, sweet potato and cassava chips. All chocolate and chocolate products. Coconut in any form. Condiments like ketchup, steak sauce, mustard and relish. Flavor with fresh herbs instead. Do not use Salt substitutes made with potassium chloride such as: Nu Salt, No Salt, Half Salt. Updated: PAGE 2

3 Avoid Low-sodium products that have potassium chloride in their ingredient list. Season foods with herbs like oregano, rosemary and dill, and spices like curry, pepper and basil. Use white sugar, corn syrup, honey, jam or jelly as a sweetener. Do not use molasses, brown sugar or maple syrup. If you are having trouble planning your meals or if you are losing weight while following a low potassium diet, speak to your doctor or a dietitian. A dietitian can help you with meal planning and choosing the right foods. Special Considerations If you have diabetes find out the diet that is right for you. Ask your family doctor for a referral to your local Diabetes Education Centre to meet with a dietitian. Do not eat star fruit which may also be called carambala, bilimbi, belimbing, Chinese starfruit or star apple if you have kidney problems. Avoid grapefruit until you see a doctor or dietitian. Grapefruit may affect how some of your medications work. Updated: PAGE 3

4 Potassium Content of Selected foods Vegetables Low: (0-100 mg Potassium) Choose 2 servings/day Alfalfa sprouts, raw Cabbage, raw Canned bamboo shoots, drained Cauliflower, cooked Collard, raw (1 cup) Cucumber, raw Eggplant, raw or cooked 125 ml (½ cup) =1 serving Green/yellow beans, cooked Leeks, raw or cooked Lettuce, iceberg, raw (1 cup) Snow peas, raw (10 pods) Spaghetti squash (cooked) Spinach, raw (1 cup) Water chestnut, canned Medium ( mg Potassium) Choose 1 serving/day Beets, canned, drained Broccoli, raw Cabbage, cooked Celery (1 medium stalk) Chinese broccoli, cooked Fava beans, green, fresh Onions, raw or cooked 125 ml (½ cup) =1 serving Romaine lettuce, raw (1 cup) Sweet corn, cream style Sweet pepper, raw Swiss chard, raw (1 cup) Tomato paste, canned (1 Tbsp) Turnip, cooked Turnip or mustard greens, cooked Updated: PAGE 4

5 Radish, raw Rhubarb, cooked and raw Watercress Zucchini, raw High (at least 201 mg of potassium per serving) AVOID Artichoke, cooked (1 med) Asparagus (6 spears) Balsam-pear (bitter gourd, melon), cooked Beet greens, raw or cooked Bok choy, cooked Broccoli, cooked Brussels sprouts (4 sprouts) Collards, cooked Celery, cooked Green peas, cooked Carrots raw or cooked (1 medium) Kale, raw (1 cup) Kohlrabi, cooked Mustard greens raw (1 cup) Mushrooms, cooked Okra/gumbo, cooked 125 ml (½ cup) = 1 serving Oriental radish/daikon, cooked Parsnip, cooked Portabella mushroom, cooked Potato, double boiled (½ medium) Pumpkin, cooked Rapini, cooked Red cabbage, cooked Snow peas, cooked Spinach, cooked Sweet corn, canned, drained Sweet potato or yam double boiled (½ medium) Swiss chard, cooked Tomato Tomato sauce Unsalted potato chips (10 chips) Water chestnuts Updated: PAGE 5

6 Zucchini, cooked Winter squashes, cooked Juice: Carrot Vegetable Tomato Fruit Low (0-100 mg Potassium) Choose 2 serving/day Apple sauce, unsweetened Blueberries Cranberries 125 ml (½ cup) = 1 servng Dried Cranberries Raspberry Watermelon Drained canned pears Juices: Apricot Cranberry Lemon Lime Papaya Peach nectar Medium ( mg of Potassium) Choose 1 serving/day Apple (1 medium) Blackberries Dates, dried (2 fruit) Drained canned fruit. Do not drink 125mL (½ cup) = 1 serving Peach (1 medium) Pear (1 medium) Pineapple Plum (1 medium fruit) Updated: PAGE 6

7 the fluid. Grapefruit (½ medium)* Grapes, red or green (20 fruit) Jujube (5 medium) Kumquat (5 fruits) Longan (20 fruit) Pomegranate (½ fruit) Raspberries, frozen Rhubarb Strawberry Strawberry frozen Lychee (10 fruit) Tangerine/mandarin (1 medium) Mango (½ fruit) Passion fruit (2 fruit) Juices: Apple Pineapple Grape juice, canned or bottled High (at least 201 mg of Potassium per serving) AVOID Apricot (3 fruits) Banana (1 medium) Cantaloupe Cherry, sweet (20 fruits) Dried apricots (5 halves) Durian, raw or frozen Fig (2 fruits) 125 ml (½ cup) =1 serving Kiwi (1 large) Nectarine (1 fruit) Orange (1 medium) Papaya (½ fruit) Persimmon (1 fruit) Prunes, dehydrated (¼ cup) Raisins (¼ cup) Updated: PAGE 7

8 Guava Honeydew/musk melon Jackfruit Sapodilla Sapote (½ medium) Sour sop Juices: Grapefruit Orange Prune Passion fruit Grain Products Choose most often. Low fibre choices contain less potassium than higher fibre choices. 125 ml (½ cup) = 1 serving Bread: 60% whole wheat, light rye, white (1 slice) Cereal: Plain low fibre cereal made from corn, rice, oats or wheat such as rice crisps, oat loops, corn flakes, Cream of Wheat Cereals: sweetened low fibre cereal made from corn, rice, wheat Couscous, cooked English muffin (½) Bagel, white (½ medium) Bulgur, cooked Frozen waffle (1 medium) Soda cracker (10) Pasta, white, plain Taco shell, baked (2 medium) Pita bread, white, (½ medium) AVOID 125 ml (½ cup) = 1 serving Bread: whole grain, 100% whole wheat, dark rye, graham, (1 slice) Updated: PAGE 8

9 Cereals:100 % bran, bran flakes, whole grain, granola, muesli Millet, cooked Pasta, brown, plain Quinoa, cooked Barley, cooked Buckwheat, cooked Rice, brown, cooked Milk and Alternatives Limit to total amount of 125 ml (½ cup) per day. Limit hard cheese to 50 g (1 oz) per day or 125 ml (½ cup) cottage cheese All varieties of milk, soy beverage, goat s milk, almond milk, ricotta cheese, yogourt, frozen yogourt Hard cheeses: Swiss, gouda, cheddar Soft cheese: brie, camembert Meats and Alternatives Choose most often 2 serving per day 75 g (2 ½ oz)=1 serving High (201 mg or more of potassium) AVOID 125 ml (½ cup) = 1 serving Poultry: chicken, turkey Meat: beef, veal, pork, lamb Fish: salmon, haddock Legumes (beans, peas and lentils) such as: kidney, black, Romano and soy beans chick, split, black-eyed peas red, green and brown lentils soy products like tofu Updated: PAGE 9

10 Medium-High (101 mg or more of potassium) AVOID 60 ml (¼ cup) = 1 serving Nuts and seeds and their butters: almonds, hazelnuts, brazil, cashew, peanuts pumpkin, sesame, sunflower Other Additional Items Choose most often: these foods are low in potassium Butter (1 Tbsp) Coffee (1 cup) Corn syrup (1 Tbsp) Fruit drinks, punches Honey (1 Tbsp) Jam or jelly (1 tbsp) Margarine, soft (1 tbsp) Sour Cream (1 tbsp) Non cola soda pop (1 cup) Salad dressing (1 tbsp) Sugar; white, (1 tbsp) Table cream (1 tbsp) Tea (1 cup) Vegetable oil (1 tbsp) Mayonnaise (1 tbsp) Herb/Spices: Salt, pepper, white vinegar, herbs, spices, cornstarch, hard candies, gelatin AVOID: Brown sugar Cereal grain beverages Mustard Relish Updated: May 10, 2010 PAGE I PAGE 10 5 Updated:

11 Ketchup Maple syrup products Specialty coffees Steak sauce Molasses Salt Substitutes such as: Nu Salt, No Salt, Half Salt Low Salt Source: Canadian Nutrient File [Accessed December 2010] Distributed by: Updated: May 10, 2010 PAGE I PAGE 11 5 Updated:

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