Potassium is a mineral that is found in many different foods. It helps the liver function properly and it is also an electrolyte, which is necessary in the body to maintain proper cell and organ health. However, some individuals have health conditions in which it is necessary to limit their intake of potassium. These conditions can include hyperkalemia and Addison's Disease. Alcohol and drug abuse also cause high potassium levels in the body. Changing your diet to include low- or no-potassium foods is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle while living with these conditions.
There are many fruits that contain little potassium to help maintain a low-potassium diet. Fruits are important because they contain essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs. Some low-potassium fruits include apples, lemons, blueberries, grapes, pears and peaches. These fruits contain less than 120 mg of potassium per 1-cup serving. The following fruits contain between 121 to 150 mg of potassium: apricots, blackberries, strawberries and tangerines. Avoid fruits like bananas, honeydew, mango and kiwi because of their high potassium content.
There is a wide variety of vegetables available to someone on a low-potassium diet, such as raw cabbage, green beans, carrots and endive. Many of these veggies have less than 125 mg of potassium per 1-cup serving. Other vegetable sources of low potassium include lettuce, bell peppers and even popcorn. It is wise to avoid vegetables like tomatoes, mushrooms, lentils, spinach and artichokes as many of these vegetables have as much as 400 mg of potassium per serving.
Grains are essential in any diet as they provide carbohydrates which the body needs to convert into energy. Many grains and starches are also low in potassium. Some of these grains include steamed white rice, which only contains about 30 mg of potassium per 1/2-cup and brown rice, which contains about 70 mg per 1/2-cup. Just 1/2-cup of al dente' pasta can have as much as 150 mg of potassium.
Limit your meat and protein intake as most meats contain as much as 150 mg of potassium per 8-oz. serving. Avoid canned meats and other processed meats that are smoked, salted or pickled. Corned beef is high in potassium as well as sodium and isn't good for people with high potassium levels in their bodies.
Dairy foods that are low in potassium include cheddar cheese, cottage cheese and low-fat ice cream. A 1-cup serving of each of these items contains less than 60 mg of potassium. High potassium dairy products such as skim, whole and low-fat milk all contain more than 300 mg of potassium in each cup. Plain yogurt contains as much as 500 mg per cup as well.
One of the most ignored parts of changing your diet is changing the beverages you consume. When it comes to watching the amount of potassium you consume, there are many beverages to choose from that are under 200 mg per 1-cup serving. Tea and most fruit juices are rich in nutrition and also are low in potassium. Avoid soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Splurging on a green tea slushy only gives you an additional 140 mg of potassium for your daily allowance of 4,500 mg.