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Low-Potassium Diet

What is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral found in many different foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, dried beans, and peas. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure and also helps muscles, including the heart, to contract properly.

Why Follow a Low-Potassium Diet?

Your doctor may recommend following a low-potassium diet if you have kidney problems or are taking certain medications. If you have kidney problems, excess potassium can build up to dangerous levels in your blood. This can lead to confusion, irregular heartbeats , or a heart attack .

Foods High and Low in Potassium

Food With High Potassium

The high-potassium foods on the table contain more than 200 milligrams (mg) of potassium per serving. This is considered to be high in potassium. In general, you should avoid these foods if you need to limit how much potassium you eat. However, you may be able to work with a dietitian to add small portions of your favorite foods.

Food With Low Potassium

The foods in the right-hand column are considered to be low in potassium. Eating these foods can help keep your potassium level normal. Remember, though, that eating more than 1 serving of any of these foods can make it a high-potassium food.
Food Category Food With High Potassium Food With Low Potassium
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dates
  • Dried fruits
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange or orange juice
  • Orange juice
  • Papaya
  • Pomegranate or pomegranate juice
  • Prunes
  • Prune juice
  • Raisins
  • Apple, apple juice, apple sauce
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Grapes, grape juice
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple, pineapple juice
  • Plums
  • Tangerine
  • Watermelon
  • Acorn squash
  • Artichoke
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Baked beans
  • Butternut squash
  • Beets, fresh then boiled
  • Black beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots, raw
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Greens, except kale
  • Hubbard squash
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Mushrooms, canned
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes, white and sweet
  • Pumpkin
  • Refried beans
  • Rutabagas
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Tomatoes, tomato products
  • Vegetable juice
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Beans, wax or green
  • Cabbage, green and red
  • Carrots, cooked
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Leached potatoes *
  • Lettuce
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Mushrooms, fresh
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas, green
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Water chestnuts, canned
  • Watercress
Protein Foods
  • Beans, dried or canned
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Pork
  • Peanut butter
Dairy Foods Dairy items are high in potassium. You can consume these items in moderation by limiting your portion sizes to 1 serving:
  • Buttermilk
  • Chocolate milk
  • Eggnog
  • Evaporated milk
  • Malted milk
  • Milkshakes
  • Soy milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Skim milk
  • 2% milk
  • Whole milk
Other Foods
  • Bran/bran Products
  • Chocolate
  • Granola
  • Milk, all types
  • Molasses
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Salt substitutes
  • Salt-free broth
  • Yogurt
  • Bread and bread products (not whole grains)
  • Cake—angel food cake, yellow cake
  • Coffee
  • Cookies (without nuts or chocolate)
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Pies (without chocolate or high-potassium food)
  • Rice
  • Tea
  • Snuff or chewing tobacco
*To leach potatoes: Peel and cut them into small pieces. Soak them in a large amount of water for at least 2 hours. (Use at least 5 cups of water for every 1 cup of potatoes.) Drain, rinse, and cook as desired.


  • Eat a variety of low-potassium foods. Limit or avoid high-potassium foods.
  • Be aware of the foods that you eat. You may want to keep a food diary or download a food-tracking app on your phone.
  • Most food has some potassium. Read food labels to find out how much potassium a food has per serving.
  • Do not drink juice from canned fruit, canned vegetables, or cooked meat.
  • Work with a dietitian to come up with an individualized food plan. It should list the serving size and amount of low potassium food groups you should consume each day.


American Society of Nutrition
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Dietitians of Canada
The Kidney Foundation of Canada


Low-potassium (2 grams) diet. Huntsman Cancer Hospital website. Available at: http://www.hci.utah.edu/publicweb/content/nutrition/images/LowPotassium.pdf. Updated June 2011. Accessed November 22, 2016.
Potassium and your CKD diet. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium. Accessed November 22, 2016.

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