Potassium plays an important role in regulating our heart and other muscle functions. The mineral found in almost all foods which can make for a low-potassium diet seem like a challenge. The keys to living with limited potassium diet is portion control and learn about the best food choices
The National Institutes of Health’s guidelines for healthy adults is 4.7 grams of potassium per day. People diagnosed with hyperkalemia or excessive potassium in the blood should follow the directions from their doctor about individual daily limits.
The first step is part control. Start with the National Kidney Foundation website which is a diagram of the high-and low-potassium food. All foods are analyzed per half-cup serving. Monitor potassium intake by their serving size recommendations. Remember that eating large amounts of even the lowest-potassium foods will cause the blood to spike.
Many fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with potassium. It is possible to boil or soak high potassium vegetables to leach out unwanted mineral. The National Kidney Foundation website has specific instructions on how to leach produce.
The list of lower potassium fruits and vegetables can be difficult to categorize.
For example tangerines grapefruit and tangerine is great low potassium citrus choice but oranges with grapefruit and orange juice have high potassium levels.
Some stone fruits are fine. Cherries peaches and plums are healthy options but avoid nectarines and apricots. Watermelon is also very low in potassium while others melons-especially cantaloupe and honeydew-not recommended.
Bananas kiwis and mangoes are very high in potassium. Pineapple is a much better tropical fruit option. Other good choices are apples apple juice applesauce and pears. Grapes and most berries including blueberries blackberries cranberries and raspberries are also good low-potassium options. Steer clear of figs raisins and other dried fruits.
With vegetables the best choices are eggplant corn cabbage fresh mushrooms kale cucumber green peas onions peppers and squash summer.
Limit (or leaks if possible) root vegetables such as potatoes sweet potatoes raw carrots and beets as well as winter squash. Potato skins are particularly high in potassium. Also avoid avocado spinach tomatoes and broccoli.
Meat grains and more
Proteins including red meat chicken and fish are all high in potassium. Vegetarian options are no better because soy products lentils and dried beans also have high levels. As a general rule you should avoid all smoked canned salted or pickled meat and fish frozen dinners and casseroles with sweet or savory sauces.
The only way to control potassium and get enough protein and calcium is to monitor portion sizes. Road and track all meat fish and other protein and dairy products according to the protein limits recommended by your doctor.
Rice pasta and bread products (excluding wheat) are low in potassium. To sate a sweet tooth choose angel food cake cookies without nuts and chocolate and most pies.
Avoid bran granola and dairy products including milk and yogurt. Desserts made with bananas peanut butter chocolate or molasses have high potassium levels.
Look at food labels and skip some products with KCI or K + on the label. KCI labels are usually found in salt substitutes coffee granola bars and sports drinks.