Health Information

Limiting Potassium in Your Diet

Potassium can be found in many foods. Abnormal blood levels of potassium can be very dangerous as they may lead to serious heart arrhythmias. Kidneys regulate the metabolism of potassium, making sure that its levels are appropriate. However, when your kidneys are not working properly, you often need to limit certain foods that can increase the potassium in your system.
If you need to limit your potassium, your doctor or dietitian will tell you how many milligrams (mg) you can have each day. He or she will also help you design a low potassium diet.
Image for patassium

Food Sources of Potassium

Potassium is found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables. If your doctor wants you to limit your potassium intake, you may want to consume less of the following foods that contain higher levels of potassium:
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomato juice, sauce, paste, and puree
  • Beet greens
  • Potatoes
  • White beans
  • Yogurt
  • Canned clams
  • Prune juice
  • Carrot juice
  • Soybeans and Lima beans
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Certain fish such as halibut, yellowfin tuna, Pacific cod, rainbow trout
  • Winter squash
  • Bananas
  • Cooked spinach
  • Prunes
  • Dried peaches or apricots
  • Milk

RESOURCES

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org/

National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org/

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/

References

Dietary guidelines for Americans 2005: Appendix B-1. Food sources of potassium. US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/appendixb.htm. Updated July 9, 2008. Accessed September 4, 2012.

Potassium. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthlibrary. Updated September 2011. Accessed September 4, 2012.

Revision Information