Food Choices to Manage Potassium Levels

Eat this. Not that. When you have renal disease, most people have to make big changes to their diet. And it can quickly feel like all the foods you used to enjoy are off limits.

That’s because you need to limit the amount of certain nutrients you consume, including potassium, to protect the kidney function you have left.

What’s wrong with too much potassium?
It’s a condition called hyperkalemia. And you can develop it by consuming too much potassium. If this happens, it can interfere with your heart, cause arrhythmia, or lead to muscle cramps and weakness. And it can lead to long-term damage.

Avoid or limit these high-potassium foods:

  • Avocado
  • Squash
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Dried apricots
  • Pomegranate
  • Coconut water
  • White beans
  • Bananas

Most people consider bananas a high-potassium fruit (487 mg of potassium). But avocados have more than double the amount of potassium (1,067 mg).

You still want to eat fruits and vegetables, because they contain essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs for best health. But it’s important to know which fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and which are low in potassium.

If you’re trying to find a healthy eating plan that can help you manage renal disease, follow the DASH Diet. It’s a meal plan designed to help people control blood pressure, and recommends eating mostly fruits and vegetables, while avoiding meat and animal products.

Check potassium levels with your doctor

When you  have renal disease, you should get your potassium levels checked periodically with a blood test. Ask your doctor. It’s the best way to monitor your health, and find out if you need to make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle to control potassium levels.

If you’re concerned about consuming more potassium than you should, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Our team of professional chefs created 20-plus Dialysis-Friendly meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take a look at the menu, and you’ll even find some potato chips you can enjoy.