111893 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Potassium Content of Foods

    What Is Potassium?

    HCA image for avocado article Potassium is a mineral found in many different foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, dried beans, and peas. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure and also helps muscles, including the heart, to contract properly.

    Why Follow a Low-potassium Diet?

    Your doctor may recommend following a low-potassium diet if you have kidney problems or are taking certain medications. If you have kidney problems, excess potassium can build up to dangerous levels in your blood. This can lead to confusion, irregular heartbeats, or a heart attack.

    Why Follow a High-potassium Diet?

    When combined with a low-sodium diet, a diet high in potassium can help lower high blood pressure. This can help lower the risk of stroke and other complications of high blood pressure. However, anyone with kidney problems should not follow a high-potassium diet without first checking with their doctor.

    High-potassium Foods

    The following foods contain more than 200 milligrams of potassium per serving and are therefore considered to be high in potassium.
      Apricots
      • Raw – 2 medium
      • Dry – 5 halves
    • Avocado – ¼ whole
    • Banana – ½ whole
    • Cantaloupe – ½ cup
    • Dates – 5 whole
    • Dried fruits – ½ cup
    • Figs, dried – ½ cup
    • Grapefruit juice – ½ cup
    • Honeydew – ½ cup
    • Kiwi – 1 medium
    • Mango – 1 medium
    • Nectarine – 1 medium
    • Orange – 1 medium
    • Orange juice – ½ cup
    • Papaya – ½ whole
    • Pomegranate – 1 whole
    • Pomegranate juice – ½ cup
    • Prunes – ½ cup
    • Prune juice – ½ cup
    • Raisins – ½ cup
    (All portions are ½ cup)
    • Acorn squash
    • Artichoke
    • Bamboo shoots
    • Baked beans
    • Butternut squash
    • Beets, fresh then boiled
    • Black beans
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Chinese cabbage
    • Carrots, raw
    • Dried beans and peas
    • Greens, except kale
    • Hubbard squash
    • Kohlrabi
    • Lentils
    • Legumes
    • Mushrooms, canned
    • Parsnips
    • Potatoes, white and sweet
    • Pumpkin
    • Refried beans
    • Rutabagas
    • Spinach, cooked
    • Tomatoes, tomato products
    • Vegetable juices
    • Bran/Bran Products – ½ cup
    • Chocolate – 1.5-2 ounces
    • Granola – ½ cup
    • Milk, all types – 1 cup
    • Molasses – 1 tablespoon
    • Nutritional supplements
    • Nuts and seeds – 1 ounce
    • Peanut butter – 2 tablespoons
    • Salt substitutes – ½ cup
    • Salt free broth – ½ cup
    • Yogurt – ½ cup
    • Snuff/chewing tobacco

    Low-potassium Foods

    The following foods are considered to be low in potassium. Realize, however, that eating more than one of serving of any of these foods can make it a high-potassium food.
    All servings are ½ cup unless otherwise noted.
    • Apple – 1 medium
    • Apple juice
    • Apple sauce
    • Apricots, canned in juice
    • Blackberries
    • Blueberries
    • Cherries
    • Cranberries
    • Fruit cocktail
    • Grapes
    • Grape juice
    • Grapefruit, ½ whole
    • Mandarin oranges
    • Peaches
      • Fresh – 1 small
      • Canned – ½ cup
      Pears
      • Fresh – 1 small
      • Canned – ½ cup
    • Pineapple
    • Pineapple juice
    • Plums – 1 whole
    • Raspberries
    • Strawberries
    • Tangerine – 1 whole
    • Watermelon – limit to 1 cup
    • Alfalfa sprouts
    • Asparagus – 6 spears
    • Beans, wax or green
    • Cabbage, green and red
    • Carrots, cooked
    • Cauliflower
    • Celery – 1 stalk
    • Corn
      • Fresh – ½ ear
      • Frozen – ½ cup
    • Cucumber
    • Eggplant
    • Kale
    • Leached potatoes*
    • Lettuce
    • Mixed vegetables
    • Mushrooms, fresh
    • Okra
    • Onions
    • Parsley
    • Peas, green
    • Peppers
    • Radish
    • Rhubarb
    • Water
    • Chestnuts, canned
    • Watercress
    *To leach potatoes: Peel and cut them into small pieces. Then soak them in a large amount of water for at least two hours. (Use at least 5 cups of water for every cup of potatoes.) Drain, rinse, and cook as desired.
    • Rice
    • Noodles
    • Pasta
    • Bread and bread products (*not whole grains)
    • Cake – angel, yellow
    • Coffee – limit to 8 ounces
    • Pies without chocolate or high-potassium foods
    • Cookies without nuts or chocolate
    • Tea – limit to 16 ounces

    RESOURCES

    American Dietetic Association http://www.eatright.org/

    National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) http://www.niddk.nih.gov/

    Nutrition.gov http://www.nutrition.org/

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

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

    Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/

    The Kidney Foundation of Canada http://www.kidney.ca/

    References

    Knapp S. Tips for surviving the holidays. The ESRD Network of New York website. Available at: http://www.esrdnetworks.org/networks/net2/main/patients%5Fholidays.htm. Accessed February 13, 2006.

    Potassium food list. VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon. Available at: http://www.va.gov/portland/Education/PatientEd/Documents/Nutrition/Potassium%5FFood%5FList.pdf. Accessed January 23, 2006.

    Potassium and your CKD diet. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium.cfm. Accessed October 6, 2011.

    Shield J, Mullen MC. Patient Education Materials. Supplement to the Manual of Clinical Dietetics. 3rd ed. Chicago, Il: American Dietetic Association; 2001.

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