Topic Overview

Potassium is a mineral in your cells that helps your nerves and muscles work right. The right balance of potassium also keeps your heart beating at a steady rate.

A potassium level that is too high or too low can be dangerous. If your levels are high or low, you may need to change the way you eat.

Low-potassium foods

Medium-potassium foods

High-potassium foods

Very high-potassium foods

less than 100 mg

101-200 mg

201-300 mg

over 300 mg

You can control the amount of potassium you get in your diet by being aware of which foods are low or high in potassium. When choosing foods from lists like the one below, note the serving size. Otherwise, it can be easy to get too much or too little potassium.

Content of select low-potassium foods footnote 1 footnote 2

Food (no table salt added)


Serving size


Potassium (mg)


Applesauce


1/2 cup


90


Bagel, plain, enriched


10 cm (4 inch)


70


Beans, green


1/2 cup


90


Blueberries


½ cup (125 mL)


60


Bread, multi- or whole grain


1 slice


60


Butter


1 Tbsp (15 mL)


Less than 5


Carbonated beverage (ginger ale, root beer, orange, grape, lemon-lime)


1 cup (250 mL)


Less than 5


Cereal (puffed rice)


1 cup (250 mL)


15


Cereal (puffed wheat)


1 cup (250 mL)


Less than 5


Cheese


1 oz (30 g)


20-30


Cranberry juice cocktail


½ cup (125 mL)


20


Cucumber, peeled, raw


½ cup (125 mL)


80


Gelatin


½ cup (125 mL)


Less than 5


Grapes


9 grapes


90


Hot dog, beef and pork


1


75


Hummus


1 Tbsp (15 mL)


35


Lemon


juice of 1 fruit


50


Lettuce


1 cup


100


Lime


juice of 1 fruit


45


Macaroni


½ cup (125 mL)


65


Oil (canola, peanut, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower)


1 tbsp (15 mL)


0


Olives


5 large


Less than 5


Pineapple


1/2 cup


100


Popcorn


1 cup (250 mL)


20-25


Radishes


1 radish


10


Raspberries


½ cup (125 mL)


90


Rice (white, brown)


½ cup (125 mL)


50


Salt


1 tsp (15 mL)


0


Sherbet


½ cup (125 mL)


70


Soup, chicken noodle


1 cup (250 mL)


55


Spaghetti, no sauce


½ cup (125 mL)


30


Sugar, granulated/powdered


1 tsp (5 mL)/1 tbsp (15 mL)


0


Tea, brewed


1 cup (250 mL)


90


Tortilla, flour or corn


1


50

Hidden potassium

Some foods and drinks may have hidden potassium. Certain herbal or dietary supplements may also have it. Diet or protein drinks and diet bars often have this mineral. It is also in sports drinks, which are meant to replace potassium you lose during exercise.

Food labels do not have to include the amount of potassium, but some do. Even if potassium is not listed, it may still be in that food.

Do not use a salt substitute or "lite" salt without talking to your doctor first. These often are very high in potassium.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, et al. (2015). USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl. Accessed October 12, 2015.
  2. American Dietetic Association (2015). Potassium content of foods. Nutrition Care Manual. https://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/client_ed.cfm?ncm_client_ed_id=153&actionxm=ViewAll. Accessed September 10, 2015.

Credits

Adaptation Date: 6/18/2018

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Date: 6/18/2018

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC