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Potassium

Potassium is a mineral found in many foods, mainly fruits and vegetables. It helps nerves and muscles work properly, especially the heart. If the potassium gets too high in the blood, muscles become weak and the heart may slow down and even stop beating.

Healthy kidneys remove extra potassium from the body. When the kidneys fail, this no longer happens. Dialysis removes some of the extra potassium from the blood. The potassium must be controlled in the diet in order to keep the potassium in the blood from becoming too high between dialysis treatments. This requires learning which foods are higher in potassium. Much of the potassium in our diets comes from fruits and vegetables.

Typically dialysis patients can have 1-2 choices from the high potassium list, 2-3 choices from the medium potassium list and 3-4 choices from the low potassium list per day. However, this depends on your laboratory value of potassium in your blood.

Each month your potassium level will be checked. The potassium level in your blood will help determine if you are eating enough or too much high potassium foods.

The desired level of potassium is 3.5 – 5.5

Low Potassium Foods

Fruits: 1/2 c. or 1 med. fruit

Low (150mg or less)

  • Applesauce, 1/2 c. – 78mg
  • Apricots (raw), 1 med. – 104mg
  • Blackberries, 1/2 c. (raw) – 120mg
  • Blueberries, 1/2 c. (frozen) – 42mg
  • Concord Grapes, 10 – 88mg
  • Lemon, 1 med. – 80mg
  • Peaches, 1/2 c. (canned) – 121mg
  • Pears, 1/2 c. (canned) – 86mg
  • Pineapple, 1/2 c. (canned) – 132mg
  • Plums, 1 each – 115mg
  • Raspberries, 1/2 c. (frozen) – 143mg
  • Strawberries, 1/2 c. – 138mg
  • Tangerine, 1 med. – 132mg
  • Thompson Grapes, 10 each – 148mg
  • Watermelon, 1/2 c. diced – 88mg

Juices: 1/2 c.

Low (13-150mg)

  • Apple juice – 150mg
  • Cranberry juice – 23mg
  • Lemonade (frozen) – 19mg
  • Peach nectar – 16mg
  • Grape juice (canned) – 167mg
  • Pear nectar – 50mg
  • Pineapple juice – 168mg
  • Sunny D – 30 mg

Vegetables: 1/2 c.

Low (2-150mg)

  • Artichoke heart, 1/2 (in veg. oil) – 55 mg
  • Asparagus, cooked, 4 spears – 134 mg*
  • Beets, 1/2 c. (canned) – 126mg*
  • Cabbage, 1/2 c., (raw) – 86mg
  • Carrots, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 115mg*
  • Chili Peppers (1) – 150 mg
  • Eggplant, 1/2 c. (raw) – 123mg
  • Endive, 1/2 c. – 95mg
  • Green Beans, 1/2 c. (canned) – 110mg
  • Green Pepper, 1/2 c. (raw) – 133
  • Lettuce, 1/2 c. (iceberg) – 43mg
  • Lettuce, 1/2 c. (loose leaf) – 74mg
  • Mushrooms, 1/2 c. (raw) – 129mg
  • Onions, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 87mg
  • Peas, 1/2 c. (canned) – 147mg
  • Radishes (raw) – 135mg
  • Turnip, 1/2 c. (raw) – 124mg

*Dialyzing these vegetables will remove up to 70% of the potassium

Medium Potassium Foods

Fruits: 1/2 c. or 1 med. fruit

Medium (151-200mg)

  • Apple, 1 med. (raw) – 159mg
  • Cherries, 10 each (raw) – 162mg
  • Grapefruit, 1/2 c. (canned) – 161mg
  • Papaya, 1/4 med. (raw) – 180mg
  • Peach, 1 med. (raw) – 171mg

Vegetables: 1/2 c.

Medium (151-200mg)

  • Broccoli, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 166mg*
  • Cauliflower, 1/2 c. (raw) – 235mg*
  • Corn, 1/2 c. (canned) – 160mg
  • Spinach, 1/2 c. (raw) – 160 mg
  • Summer Squash, 1/2 c. (baked) – 173 mg

*Dialyzing these vegetables will remove up to 70% of the potassium

High Potassium Foods

Fruits: 1/2 c. or 1 med. fruit

High (200mg or more)

  • Avocado, California, 1 med. – 839mg
  • Avocado, Florida, 1 med – 1474mg
  • Banana, 1 med. – 467mg
  • Cantaloupe, 1/4 med. – 413mg
  • Dates, 1/2 c. chopped – 580mg
  • Grapefruit, 1 med., (raw) – 356mg
  • Honeydew, 1/4 med. – 570mg
  • Nectarine, 1 med. (raw) – 273mg
  • Orange, 1 med. – 237mg
  • Pear, 1 med. (raw) – 208mg
  • Persimmons, 1 fruit – 279mg
  • Plantain, 1 med. (raw or cooked) – 893mg
  • Pumpkin, 1/2 c. (canned) – 252mg
  • Raisins, 1/2 c. – 544mg
  • Peach, 1 med. (raw) – 171mg

Juices: 1/2 c.

High (150mg or more)

  • Grapefruit juice – 168mg
  • Orange juice – 237mg
  • Prune juice – 353mg
  • Tomato juice – 267mg
  • Juices from the high fruit & vegetable lists

Vegetables: 1/2 c.

High (200mg or more)

  • Artichoke, 1 (boiled) – 425mg*
  • Beans: lima, pinto, black, and kidney, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 484mg
  • Beans: kidney, 1/2 c. (canned) – 329mg
  • Beans: white, 1/2 c. – 502mg
  • Brussel Sprouts, 1/2 c. (fresh) – 247mg*
  • Celery, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 213mg*
  • Kohlrabi, 1/2 c. (raw) – 236mg*
  • Mustard Greens, 1/2 c. (raw) – 99mg*
  • Parsnips, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 284mg*
  • Potatoes, 1/2 c. (raw) – 407mg (any variety, white or sweet, contains high potassium.)*
  • Pumpkin, 1/2 c. (canned) – 252mg
  • Spinach, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 370-440mg*
  • Tomatoes, 1/2 c. (raw) 1 Medium – 273mg
  • Winter Squash, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 448mg
  • Yams, 1/2 c. (cooked) – 456mg*

Other Vegetables:

High (200mg or more)

  • French Fries (small order) – 586mg
  • Potato Chips, 1 oz – 466mg

Other:

  • Coconut Milk
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Low Salt Meat Tenderizers
  • Molasses
  • Salt Substitutes