What is potassium?

Potassium is a mineral that is used by the body to help muscles function properly and your heart to beat regularly. Potassium can be found in almost all foods. Eating the right foods, in the right amounts, will help control the potassium level in your body.

What if my potassium level is too high or too low?

If there is too much or too little potassium in the blood, the heart can beat irregularly, or even stop beating.

What about my diet?

Your dietitian will help you plan the food choices that will best fit your potassium needs. There are two (2) levels of potassium in foods: low and high.

*Please note: Not all foods are included in this list. Please ask your dietitian for the potassium content of foods that are not listed to know the right amount of the food to eat before continuing to include it in your diet.

* If the food label has potassium content listed, do rely on the food label for the amount of potassium. Pay attention to the serving size for the amount of potassium listed.

* Please check with your dietitian or doctor before using any salt substitutes or low-sodium or reduced-sodium foods. They can be high in potassium from added potassium salts. Some common examples are reduced-sodium canned soups and lunchmeats.

*Lastly: The focus of this handout is potassium in the diet only. You may have additional diet restrictions; Please follow other diet restrictions you may have. Ask your dietitian if you need help incorporating the proper foods into your diet.

What is a safe level of potassium in my blood?

  • Low: less than 3.4
  • Normal: 3.5 to 5.0
  • Caution: 5.1 to 6.0
  • Danger: greater than 6.0

A normal amount of potassium in a typical diet of a healthy American is about 3500 to 4500 milligrams per day. A potassium restricted diet is typically about 2000 milligrams per day. Your physician or dietitian will advise you as to the specific level of potassium you need based on your individual health.

Your recommended potassium level is ____________ mg per day

For more information on the potassium content of food items, visit the government website www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl . Additional websites can be found at www.renalweb.com and www.kidney.com .

High potassium (more than 200mg)

Food Serving Potassium (mg)
Apricots
2 raw or 5 dry 200
Artichoke 1 medium 345
Avocados, raw ¼ each 245
Banana 1 medium 425
Beans, lima or bake, canned ½ cup 280
Beans, white, canned ½ cup 595
Beef roast
3 oz 320
Beef, ground 3 oz 270
Beets, raw or cooked ½ cup 260
Bran muffin
2 oz 300
Broccoli ½ cup 230
Brussels sprouts
½ cup 250
Cantaloupe ½ cup 215
Cereal, 100% bran ½ cup 200-400
Cheeseburger, single, fast food
1 each 225-400
Chicken 3 oz 220
Clams, canned
3 oz 535
Coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 cup 630
Crab 3 oz 225
Dates 5 dates 270
Dried beans and peas
½ cup 300-475
Figs, dried
2 each 260
Fish: halibut, tun, cod, snapper 3 oz 480
Fish: salmon, haddock, swordfish, perch
3 oz 300
Fish, tuna, canned 3 oz 200
French fries, fast food 3 oz/small 470
Granola with fruit, nuts ½ cup 200
Grapefruit juice ½ cup 200
Honeydew melon ½ cup 200
Kale, raw 1 cup 300
Kiwi 1 medium 240
Lentils ½ cup 365
Mango 1 each 325
Milk, Chocolate
1 cup 420
Milk, fat-free, low fat, whole, buttermilk
1 cup 350-380
Molasses 1 Tbsp 295
Mushrooms ½ cup 280
Nectarine 1 each 275
Nuts: almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, Brazil, cashew, mixed
1 oz 200
Nuts, pistachios
1 oz 295
Orange 1 each 240
Orange juice
½ cup 235
Peanut butter, chunky
2 Tbsp 240
Peanut butter, smooth
2 Tbsp 210
Pear 1 medium 200
Pomegranate 1 whole 400
Pomegranate juice
½ cup 215
Pork 3 oz 350
Potato chips, salted
1 oz 465
Potato, baked with skin
1 medium 925
Potatoes, boiled ½ cup 255
Potatoes, mashed
½ cup 330
Prune juice ½ cup 370
Prunes 5 each 305
Pudding, chocolate ½ cup 230
Pumpkin, canned ½ cup 250
Raisins, seedless
½ cup 270
Seeds, sunflower or pumpkin ½ cup 240
Soy milk 1 oz 300
Spinach 1 cup 420
Spinach , canned ½ cup 370
Sweet potato, baked with skin
½ cup 450
Swiss chard 1 medium
480
Tomato or vegetable juice ½ cup 275
Tomato sauce or puree ½ cup 400-550
Tomato, raw ½ cup 290
Tomatoes, canned 1 medium 200-300
Turkey 3 oz
250
Wheat germ
1 oz
250
Winter Squash ½ cup 250
Yogurt, plain or fruited 6 oz 260-435
Zucchini ½ cup 220

Moderate potassium (50-200mg)

Food Serving Potassium (mg)
Almond milk 1 cup 190
Apple 1 each 150
Apple juice
½ cup 150
Applesauce
½ cup 90
Apricot nectar
½ cup 140
Asparagus, small spears
½ cup or 6 pears 155
Bagel, cinnamon raisin 1 each 130
Bagel, 4: egg or plain
1 each 70
Beans, green
½ cup 90
Beer, regular 12 oz 100
Beets, canned ½ cup 125
Blackberries ½ cup 115
Blueberries ½ cup 60
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 70
Broccoli, raw
½ cup 145
Cabbage ½ cup 150
Carrots, cooked or raw ½ cup 180
Cauliflower, raw ½ cup 150
Celery, raw ½ cup 155
Cereal, bran flakes ½ cup 120-150
Cheese, cottage ½ cup 110
Cherries 10 each 150
Chocolate 1 ½ oz bar 165
Coffee, brewed 6 oz 90
Corn ½ cup or 1 ear 195
Cucumbers ½ cup 80
Egg, large 1 each 60
Eggplant ½ cup 60
Endive, raw ½ cup 80
English muffin 1 each 65
Fish, orange roughy 3 oz 150
Frankfurt beef/pork 1 each 75
Fruit cocktail ½ cup 115
Grape juice ½ cup 170
Grapefruit
½ fruit 175
Grapes ½ cup 155
Greens: kale, turnip, collard ½ cup 110-150
Ice cream or frozen yogurt, chocolate
½ cup 175
Ice cream or frozen yogurt, vanilla
½ cup 120-150
Lemons, limes
1 each 80
Lettuce, all types
1 cup 100
Mixed vegetables
½ cup 150
Mushrooms, raw
½ cup 110
Nuts: walnuts, pecans, macadamia
1 oz 125
Oatmeal ½ cup 80
Okra ½ cup 110
Onions, raw ½ cup 120
Peach 1 each 185
Peaches, canned
½ cup 120
Pears, canned ½ cup 120
Pears, green, frozen ½ cup 90
Peppers, green ½ cup 130
Peppers, red ½ cup 160
Pineapple juice
½ cup 165
Pineapple, fresh or canned
½ cup 100
Plums 1 each 105
Pudding, vanilla ½ cup 150
Raspberries ½ cup 90
Rhubarb ½ cup 115
Rice, wild ½ cup 80
Rice milk 1 cup 65
Shrimp 3 oz 155
Spinach, raw
1 cup 170
Strawberries ½ cup 125
Summer squash ½ cup 175-200
Swiss chard, raw
1 cup 135
Tangerines
1 each 140
Tea, brewed
6 oz 65
Turnips ½ cup 140
Watermelon ½ cup 85
Wine, red, table
5 oz 180
Wine, white, table 5 oz 100

Lower potassium (less than 50mg)

Food Serving Potassium (mg)
Bread, white 1 slice 30
Carbonated beverages 12 oz <5
Cheese 1 oz 20-30
Cranberries ½ cup 45
Cranberry juice cocktail ½ cup 20
Fats and oils 1 Tbsp <5
Hummus 1 Tbsp 32
Nectar: papaya, mango, or pear ½ cup 35
Rice, white or brown ½ cup 50
Spaghetti/macaroni, cooked ½ cup 30
Tortilla, flour or corn 1 each 50
Waffle, 4" 1 each 50
Water chestnuts ½ cup 40

Special recipe to reduce potassium for vegetables

  • Peel and cut the vegetable into small slices, strips, or cubes (the smaller, the better)
  • Soak in a large amount of water for at least 2 hours
  • Drain, rinse and drain again
  • Cook vegetable in a large amount of water
  • Drain after cooking
  • Prepare for eating
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