Potassium is an essential mineral found in many food sources, and it's important in warding off stroke, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. However, people with certain medical conditions must follow low-potassium diets for health reasons. For example, hyperkalemia is a condition that results when kidneys have a problem eliminating potassium levels in the body. With a basic outline of which foods are acceptable, it can be relatively easy to adhere to a low-potassium diet.
Most fruit has high concentrations of potassium. Stay away from bananas, avocados, apricots and melon. Instead choose blueberries, cranberries, applesauce and pears. These acceptable low-potassium fruits are great for snacking on if you are following a diet because they are high in fibre and essential vitamins, and they are also low in fat and calories.
Chicken and turkey have fewer than 250 mg of potassium per three ounces. They are great diet food choices because they are high in protein, but low in fat and carbohydrates. Stay away from chicken and turkey in deli meat sources because of the added preservatives and sodium. Choose meat from animals that were fed an organic or natural diet to limit your intake of hormones and other chemicals.
An ounce of American cheese has 80 mg of potassium, and cheddar cheese has a mere 28 mg of potassium. Skimmed milk only has about 150 mg of potassium in each 100 grams of the drink. The best part about consuming dairy products while on a diet is that a small amount will leave you feeling full. Plus, you are getting essential calcium, vitamin D and protein. Choose low-fat or fat-free options.
Avoid or eat only minimal amounts of asparagus, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and spinach. For healthy low-potassium options choose green beans, green peppers, cabbage and peeled cucumbers. In general if you are following a low-potassium diet for medical reasons, limit your vegetable and fruit intake to fewer than four servings per day.
Grains and Starches
Certain breads, pastas and cereals are acceptable on a low-potassium diet if they are made with bleached or white flour. You can still eat spaghetti noodles, bagels, white rice, English muffins and oatmeal. Stay away from whole-wheat grains since these products kept the potassium-rich part of the bran kernels when they were processed.
Even on a potassium conscious diet, you should feel free to indulge in a slice of cake occasionally. Store-bought cakes should be fine if they weren't made with whole-wheat flour. Stay away from chocolate or products with nuts as they are not allowed for someone who is monitoring their potassium intake. Help yourself to angel food cake and other yellow cakes.