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Low-Potassium Pocket Guide

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Potassium is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s heart, nerves and muscles working correctly. Kidney disease may cause the kidneys to be unable to remove excess potassium from the blood creating the potential for muscle weakness, nausea, weak pulse and even heart attack.

Levels of potassium in the blood should be monitored by a healthcare provider. The normal level of potassium should range from 3.5 to 5.0.

Low potassium diets limit the total consumption to 1, 500 to 2, 500 mg daily. Check with your physician to receive the daily limit right for you.


  • Talk with a renal dietitian about creating an eating plan
  • Limit foods that are high in potassium
  • Limit milk and dairy products
  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid salt substitutes and seasonings with potassium
  • Read labels on packaged foods and avoid potassium chloride
  • Pay close attention to serving size
  • Keep a food journal

Fruits

  • Apples/apple juice/ applesauce
  • Berries
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapes/grape juice
  • Grapefruit/grapefruit juice
  • Honeydew
  • Lemons and limes
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Pineapple
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon

Protein and Other Foods

  • Chicken (white meat) • Turkey (White meat) • Canned Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Bread (not whole grain)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bamboo Shoots (canned) • Broccoli (fresh)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms (fresh)
  • Okra
  • Summer squash (cooked)

  • Fruit is one small piece, 1/2 cup fresh, canned or cooked fruit, or 1/2 cup juice.
  • Vegetables is 1/2 cup fresh or cooked vegetables, 1 cup raw leafy vegetables, or 1/2 cup juice.
  • Meat is 1-3 ounces cooked.
  • Bread is one slice.
  • Eggs is 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute.
  • Rice, noodles, and pasta is 1/3 cup cooked.

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupes
  • Dates
  • Nectarines
  • Kiwi
  • Prunes/Prune Juice
  • Oranges/Orange Juice
  • Raisins/Dried Fruit
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts & Seeds • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Fish
  • Sardines
  • Bran
  • Chocolate
  • Granola
  • Molasses
  • Peanut Butter
  • Acorn & Butternut Squash
  • Avocado
  • Baked Beans
  • Broccoli (cooked)
  • Brussels Sprouts (cooked)
  • Chard
  • Chile Peppers
  • Mushrooms (cooked)
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach (cooked)
  • Split Peas, Lentils, Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Tomatoes/Tomato Juice/ Tomato Sauce

Instead of These Foods

  • White Rice
  • White Bread and Pasta
  • Cooked Rice and Cereal
  • Unenriched Rice Milk
  • Fresh White Meat

Eat These Foods

  • Brown and Wild Rice
  • Whole White Bread and Pasta
  • Bran Cereal
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Dark or Packaged Meat

Support

Get help coping with the challenges of living with FSGS through support groups like NephCure. Learn more about our how we can support you.

Nutrition

Eat a diet low in salt and processed foods to manage your blood pressure and reduce strain on your kidneys. Learn more about a kidney-friendly diet and get our cookbook.

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