Your body needs potassium to keep your heartbeat regular and your muscles in proper working condition. Your kidneys play a big role in regulating the levels of potassium in your blood. It is possible to see the levels of potassium change in case you have a kidney disease or you’re taking certain medicines. In these conditions, it becomes important for the patient to go on a low potassium diet to make it easier for the body to regulate potassium levels in the blood.
A healthy person should have 4700 mg of potassium each day, but you have to keep your potassium intake within 1500-2700 mg if you have a chronic kidney problem. It is therefore important for you to know about low potassium foods to make it easy to manage your condition.
What to Eat in Low Potassium Diet
You can find a long list of foods low in potassium, but some of them are better options because they contain other nutrients beneficial for people suffering from certain kidney diseases. Here are some good options you can add to your low potassium dietplan.
Make sure to eat at least two servings of fruit every day. You can choose grapes, peaches, apples, cherries, pineapples, berries, watermelon and tangerines, but avoid avocados, oranges, kiwis, nectarines and dried fruits.
Your low potassium diet should include fewer vegetables because they are quite high in potassium – you will do fine with a couple of servings a day. Opt for cabbage, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, onion, eggplant, lettuce, wax beans, zucchini, watercress and yellow squash, but avoid tomatoes, asparagus and pumpkins.
Most foods with high protein will be high in potassium as well. You can opt for canned tuna because it contains fewer than 200 mg in every 3-ounce serving. Add turkey and chicken to your diet, but be sure to stick with a smaller portion size. You will get 220 mg of potassium from one-half chicken breast, whereas a 3-ounce serving of turkey may have 256 mg of potassium.
You should stick to refined grain foods because they don’t contain as much potassium as you find in whole-grain foods. Starch sources such as noodles, rice and pasta are also good choices if you’re on a low potassium diet. Several grain foods have less than 100mg of potassium – the list include a cup of white rice, a cup of couscous, a packet of oatmeal, and hot cereals prepared using water.
5. Dairy Products
Almost all dairy products contain potassium, but some contain less than 200 mg that you can add to your low potassium diet. The list includes 5 oz of Greek yogurt, a cup of nonfat cottage cheese, and half cup of ice cream. You can also eat shredded cheese, reduced-fat cheddar, whole-milk mozzarella and more. Just be sure to pay attention to your serving size.
Low Potassium Recipes
Now you have an idea of what you can or cannot eat in your low potassium diet, but you may still feel confused about what dish you can exactly make. Here are two recipes that you can have a try right away.
1. Tortilla Pizza
- 8 large shrimps with their tails removed
- 6 chopped basil leaves with 1/4 cup of sliced onion
- Half cup of mozzarella grated cheese and a couple of flour tortillas
- A roasted red pepper
- A garlic clove
- A tablespoon of lemon juice
- A teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/8 tsp of ground black pepper
- Start by preheating your oven to 425F.
- Get a food blender or processor and add all pesto ingredients to it to make a paste.
- Now, get a cookie sheet and place your flour tortillas on it. Add equal amount of roasted red pepper pesto on each tortilla. Add basil, onions and sprinkle mozzarella cheese to cover the surface. Place shrimp lengthwise.
- Bake for at least 10 minutes. You may also cook it until tortillas turn golden brown.
2. Apple Crisp
- 10 cups of peeled, sliced apples with a cup of sugar
- A tablespoon of flour and half cup of water
- A tsp of ground cinnamon
- A cup each of packed brown sugar and oats (quick cooking)
- 1/4 tsp each of baking soda and baking powder
- Half cup of melted butter
- Start by preheating your oven to 175 degrees.
- Get a 9x13inch pan and place your sliced apples in it.
- Mix flour, white sugar and ground cinnamon together. Sprinkle it evenly over apples – pour some water as well.
- Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and melted butter and place it over the apple mixture.
- Bake it for about 45 minutes.
More Notes on Eatting Vegetables in Low Potassium Diet
You need to understand that though the way you cook meat doesn't have much to do with its potassium level, how you cook your vegetables will have a great impact on how much potassium they carry. Here’s how to eat vegetables to avoid increasing potassium levels in blood.
- Always cut vegetables into small pieces and boil them well in water to reduce potassium content. Don’t use the cooking water after boiling.
- You need to boil vegetables first, and then you can roast or fry them. You can add boiled potatoes to casseroles as well.
- You should avoid eating veggies that may have been cooked by microwaving or steaming. Also, say no to raw vegetables.