Content Map Terms

Low-Potassium Foods

British Columbia Specific Information

For your kidneys and overall health, it is important that you follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. Healthy eating can help you feel your best, reduce your symptoms and keep you as healthy as possible. Call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian with any healthy eating, food or nutrition questions you may have.

For information on healthy eating for people with early chronic kidney disease, you may also wish to review our Healthy Eating Guidelines For People with Early Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Stages 1 and 2.

The BC Provincial Renal Agency (BCPRA) plans and monitors the delivery of kidney care and dialysis services across the province. For more information visit BC Renal Agency.

The Kidney Foundation provides support and resources to kidney patients. You will find reliable information on living with reduced kidney function and kidney failure. For more information, visit www.kidney.ca.

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

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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

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.

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

Current as of:
December 17, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O'Connor PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian