Low Potassium Diet
What does potassium do? Potassium is found in your muscles. Your biggest muscle is your
heart. Too much or too little potassium in your blood can stop your heartbeat.
ξ Milk and milk products contain high amounts of potassium. This includes foods like yogurt,
milk-based puddings and custards. Be sure to avoid chocolate milk products, as chocolate is
really high in potassium.
ξ Whole grain and bran cereals contain a lot of potassium. Switch to more refined cereals that
are lower in potassium.
ξ Nuts, peanut butter and dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, prunes, and dates are rich
sources of potassium.
ξ Fruits and vegetables can also add a lot of potassium to your diet.
o Avoid fruits and vegetables high in potassium unless approved by your dietitian.
High Potassium Fruits (over 250 mg) High Potassium Vegetables (over 270 mg)
Banana Beet and beet greens
Dried fruits: apricots, dates, figs, prunes,
Legumes: lima/navy/pinto/kidney beans and
Honeydew melon Potato: baked/boiled/fried
Kiwi fruit Pumpkin
Nectarine Spinach, cooked
Tangelo Sweet potato or yams
Prune juice Tomato
Tomato and V8 juice
Winter squash: acorn, butternut, hubbard
o Limit fruits and vegetables with a medium amount of potassium.
Medium Potassium Fruits (150-250 mg) Medium Potassium Vegetables (150-270 mg)
Figs, 2 Brussel sprouts
Fresh peach Corn
Fresh pear Garbanzo beans
Watermelon Greens, frozen, cooked: collards, kale, turnip
Juice: grape (canned/bottled), grapefruit,
o You can eat fruits and vegetables that contain low amounts of potassium, less than
150mg. Check with your dietitian to find out how much your diet will allow.
Low Potassium Fruits (150 mg or less) Low Potassium Vegetables (150 mg or less):
Applesauce Bean sprouts
Blackberries Green beans, wax beans
Canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail Corn, frozen, boiled
Canned mandarin oranges Cucumber
Grapes Green peas
Lemon Greens, raw: dandelion, mustard, spinach,
Lime Lettuce: cos, endive, iceberg, leaf, romaine,
Pineapple (fresh or canned) Mushrooms
Strawberries Peppers, sweet or hot
Tangerines Potatoes, double cooked*
Juice: apple, cranberry, grape (frozen
Nectars: peach, pear Turnips
Water chestnuts, canned
ξ How to double cook potatoes (to lower the potassium). Wash and peel the potato. Slice
into thin slices. Place the sliced potato in room temperature water. Use two times the amount
of water to the amount of potato. Bring to a boil. Drain the water and add two times the
amount of water to the amount of potatoes of fresh room temperature water. Boil again.
ξ Meat, fish, poultry and eggs are moderate to high sources of potassium. These foods are also
good sources of high quality protein, which is needed for normal body functions. Be sure to
follow the guidelines for protein needed in your diet.
ξ Many salt substitutes are made with potassium chloride and should not be used (i.e. Lite Salt,
No Salt, Nu Salt). Below are some seasonings that you can use freely.
o Vegit ≤ - at Copp’s and Sentry food stores in Madison.
o Pleasoning Mini Salt – at Woodman’s stores in Madison area, or www.pleasoning.com
or call 800.279.1614 for a catalog.
o Mrs. Dash – all types.
ξ To be safe, always read the labels of any prepared foods you buy. Avoid those that list
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the
phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 2/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#222