How to avoid potassium in food

Updated April 17, 2017

A diet rich in potassium is usually good for your heart, muscles and for normal body growth. You may, however, need to limit the amount of potassium you consume if you suffer from reduced kidney function, are undergoing kidney dialysis or are taking medicine that inhibits your body's ability to eliminate potassium. Although almost all foods contain some potassium, by monitoring your eating habits you can reduce the amount of potassium you consume.

Select the fruits you eat carefully. Enjoy fresh apples, canned fruit salad, mango, grapes, lemons, pineapples and water melon in limited quantities but avoid altogether apricots, nectarines, cantaloupe, peach and avocado. In addition, pour off the juice when eating any canned fruit.

Eat only mozzarella, cheddar and feta cheeses in limited quantities. Other cheeses, and indeed most dairy products, contain a high level of potassium. You can however safely consume margarine and butter in limited quantities. Drink tea or coffee black or experiment with some nondairy low potassium alternatives such as rice milk.

Choose the meat you consume carefully, as many are high in potassium. Choose corned beef, canned ham, tongue, tripe and rabbit for meat low in potassium. Avoid altogether veal, fillet steak and heart.

Cook with rice, pasta, corn flour and pita bread in limited quantities to fulfil your body's carbohydrate needs. Avoid altogether any foods containing wheat bran or yeast.

Cut into small pieces vegetables high in potassium, such as potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, green beans and brussels sprouts. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with clean water and allow the pieces to soak for at least four hours. Rinse them once more with clean water before cooking. Avoid altogether soya and bamboo shoots.


Be aware of how much food you eat as well as what kind. Gorging on a food low in potassium may be similar in terms of potassium consumption to eating a normal portion of a food high in potassium.


Consult your medical practitioner before beginning any diet. High potassium levels can cause nausea, weakness, heart problems and sometimes death. Do not consume fish, apart from boiled mussels. Avoid packaged foods labelled, "low salt". These often contain high levels of potassium. Do not consume even small amounts of cocoa powder, Vegemite, treacle, peanut butter, crisps or crisps, parsley, curry powder, ginger, mustard powder or nuts. These foods are extremely high in potassium.

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About the Author

Based in rural Andalusia, Spain, Joel Barnard has been teaching English and writing travel-related articles since 1999. His articles have appeared in "Travel and Food" magazine, "Backpacker Essentials" magazine and a number of travel websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in sociology and comparative Western societies from East London University.