Potassium is a mineral found in most foods. The body needs potassium to work normally. It keeps the heart beating and helps the nerves and muscles work. But people need only a certain amount of potassium. Too much or too little potassium in the body can cause problems.
Having too much potassium in the blood is called "hyperkalemia." This can cause heart rhythm problems and muscle weakness.
People usually need to be on a low-potassium diet to treat or prevent hyperkalemia.
The most common causes of hyperkalemia are:
Almost all foods have potassium. So the key is to:
|Apple juice||Alfalfa sprouts||Almonds|
|Apples and applesauce||Asparagus||Cashews|
|Grapes and grape juice||Cucumber||Shrimp|
|Bananas||Baked beans||Clams||Dairy products|
|Cantaloupe and honeydew melons||Broccoli||Kidney beans||Milk|
|Dates||Brussels sprouts||Lobster||Peanut butter|
|Dried fruits||Cabbage (raw)||Navy beans||Soups that are salt-free or low-sodium|
|Figs||Carrots (raw)||Pinto beans||Soy milk|
|Nectarines||Potatoes (white and sweet)||Scallops||Wheat bran and bran products|
|Oranges and orange juice||Pickles||Steak||Whole-grain bread|
|Prunes and prune juice||Pumpkin||Whitefish||Yogurt|
|Squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard)|
|Tomatoes and tomato juice|
Your doctor will probably recommend that you work with a dietitian (food expert) to help plan your meals. He or she will tell you how much potassium you should eat each day.
To figure out how much potassium you are eating, you will need to look at the food's nutrition label ( figure 2; opens in a new tab/window ). You will need to look at the:
Here are some other ways to cut down on potassium: