announcement

Help someone with useful health advice.

Low Potassium Diet Plan

Low Potassium Diet Plan

Has your blood test result revealed that there is a high level of potassium in your blood? If so, then it is very important to eat food low in potassium to control the level of the mineral in your body. To know more about dietary plan with minimum potassium, read on...
Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Potassium is a type of mineral that is very essential for the health and proper functioning of the human body. It is necessary for the nervous system, heart and the kidneys to function properly. So it is very important to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. to keep up a normal level of potassium in the body.
When we eat food, the kidney helps in retaining the required level of potassium in the blood, by throwing out the excess potassium from the body through urine. However, it is seen that people who have kidney diseases and diabetes have a high potassium level in their body, which can prove very dangerous to their health. So, it is important for such people to follow a dietary plan with minimum potassium to maintain a normal potassium level in the body.
Low Potassium Diet
The usual amount of potassium intake for people in general is 4 grams i.e. 4,000 milligrams everyday. However, a person detected with high level of potassium should not consume beyond 2-3 grams a day, which comes to the range of 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams. To avoid the dangerous effects of high potassium in the body, it is very important to eat potassium low food. However, this can be a little difficult as most food that we eat have potassium in them. So, a possible solution for this would be to consume potassium food in moderation.
Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast

» 2 slices of French toast (prepared from low-fat milk)
» 1 blueberry muffin
» 1 cup blackberry juice (unsweetened)
Calories: 555
Potassium content: 582 mg

Lunch

» 1 sandwich made from:
  • 2 slices of whole-grain bread
  • 1 ounce low-sodium tuna
  • 1 leaf lettuce
  • 1 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
» 1 serving of tossed salad prepared from:
  • ¼ cup lettuce (shredded)
  • ¼ cup carrots (raw, peeled, diced)
  • ¼ cup tomatoes (raw, diced)
  • ¼ cup Cheddar Cheese (low-fat)
  • 1 tbsp. oil and vinegar salad dressing
» 1 cup apple juice (unsweetened)
Calories: 643
Potassium content: 752 mg

Mid-afternoon Snack

» 5 Graham crackers (plain)
Calories: 148 kcal
Potassium content: 47 mg

Dinner

» 3 oz. grilled chicken breast
» 1 serving of pasta salad prepared from:
  • ½ cup penne pasta (boiled)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • ½ cup red and green bell peppers (raw, diced)
  • ¼ cup onions (raw, diced)
  • 1 tbsp. Italian salad dressing
  • A dash of black pepper powder
» ½ cup fruit cocktail (canned, drained)
Calories: 416
Potassium content: 638 mg

Total calories: 1762
Total potassium content: 2019 mg

It is very important to consume high-potassium fruits, vegetables, and nuts in moderation. People with high potassium level should not eat more than ½ a cup of these food products everyday. Some spices and condiments that contain potassium should be totally eliminated from the diet. It is also essential to stop taking salt substitutes because they have more of potassium instead of sodium. If you are buying packed food, do not forget to check the label to see if it has potassium or not. Food that contain artificial sweeteners should also be avoided.
Milk and milk products contain large amounts of potassium and so it is necessary to keep consumption of these items to less than ½ a cup. Certain food items like chocolates, molasses and beverages should be eliminated from one's diet completely. Some fruits like nectarines, banana, avocado, honeydew, etc. are rich in potassium and should be totally avoided. Even vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, baked potatoes, dried beans, peas, etc. must be consumed in moderation.
Foods Low in Potassium
Category Items
Fruits Apples, Apricot nectar, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Grapes, Lemons and Limes, Papaya nectar, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangerine, Watermelon
Vegetables Alfalfa sprouts, Bamboo shoots, Bean sprouts, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber, Endive, Eggplant, Green beans, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Radishes
Grains Bagels, Bread, Rolls, Crackers, English muffins, Pasta, Plain cake or cookies, Popcorn, Refined cereals, White rice
Even these food items, though they are low in potassium should be consumed in moderation because it is said that too much intake of these can also lead to a high level of potassium. There are also certain tips to lessen the level of potassium in the food before cooking. One thing a person can do is soak the vegetables in unsalted water two hours before cooking, and cook them in unsalted water.
Effects of High Potassium
The normal level of potassium that should be present in the blood is 3.5 mEq/l. When this goes beyond 6 mEq/L, it is considered a serious issue. Hyperkalemia is the condition that occurs when the potassium level in a person's body goes beyond the normal level. Usually, a person may not see any overt symptoms of high potassium. However, the signs that are associated with hyperkalemia are muscle weakness, tickling in the arms and feet and sometimes paralysis too. If this is not detected at an early stage, it can also lead to a heart attack which can be life-threatening.
People diagnosed with a high level of potassium in the body should strictly follow a low potassium diet plan. It is important to control the level of potassium in the body, to avoid severe health problems in the future.