Topic Overview

Potassium is a mineral in your cells. It helps your nerves and muscles work as they should. 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 you choose 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 high-potassium foods footnote 1 footnote 2

Food (no table salt added)


Serving size


Potassium (mg)


Apricots


2 raw or 5 dry


200


Artichoke


1 medium


345


Banana


1


425


Beans (lima, baked navy)


½ cup (125 mL)


280


Beef, ground


3 oz. (90 g)


270


Beets, raw or cooked


½ cup (125 mL)


260


Broccoli


½ cup (125 mL)


230


Brussels sprouts


½ cup (125 mL)


250


Cantaloupe


½ cup (125 mL)


215


Clams, canned


3 oz. (90 g)


535


Dates


5


270


Dried beans and peas


½ cup (125 mL)


300-475


Fish (haddock, perch, salmon)


3 oz. (90 g)


300


French fries


3 oz. (90 g)


470


Lentils


½ cup (125 mL)


365


Milk (skim, low-fat, whole, buttermilk)


1 cup (250 mL)


350-380


Nectarine


1 fruit


275


Nuts (almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, peanuts)


1 oz. (30 g)


200


Orange


1 fruit


240


Orange juice


½ cup (125 mL)


235


Parsnip


½ cup (125 mL)


280


Potato, baked


1 potato


925


Potato chips, plain, salted


1 oz. (30 g)


465


Prunes


5


305


Pumpkin, canned


½ cup (125 mL)


250


Raisins, seedless


¼ cup (60 mL)


270


Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)


1 oz. (30 g)


240


Spinach


½ cup (125 mL)


420


Sweet potato, baked


1 potato


450


Tomatoes, canned


½ cup (125 mL)


200-300


Tomato, fresh


1 fruit


290


Turkey


3 oz. (90 g)


250


Vegetable juice


½ cup (125 mL)


275


Winter squash


½ cup (125 mL)


250


Yogurt, plain


¾ cup (175 mL)


260


Zucchini


½ cup (125 mL)


220

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. These 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.

If you're limiting your potassium, do not use a salt substitute or "lite" salt without talking to your doctor first. These often are very high in potassium.

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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

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian

Current as ofMay 4, 2017