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Discharge Instructions: Eating a High-Potassium Diet

Your healthcare provider has told you to eat a high-potassium diet. This may be because you have low levels of potassium in your blood. Or it may be because you have high blood pressure. You may also need a high potassium diet because you take a medicine, such as a diuretic (water pill), that causes your body to lose potassium. Potassium is found in many foods. These include dairy products, nuts, seeds, and beans. It’s also found in many fruits and vegetables in high amounts.

Guidelines for a high-potassium diet

  • Eat fruits and vegetables in their fresh or raw form most often.

  • Check labels for ingredients that have potassium. This includes potassium chloride. Add these items to your diet.

  • Try salt substitutes. Many of these have potassium.

  • Don't eat large amounts of licorice. This includes licorice root and teas that have licorice. These can reduce potassium levels in your body.

Eat plenty of the following high-potassium foods:

  • Fruits. Good choices are apricots (canned and fresh), bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, kiwi, nectarines, oranges, orange juice, and pears. Dried fruits include apricots, dates, figs, and prunes. Prune juice also has potassium.

  • Vegetables. Good choices are asparagus, avocado, artichoke, broccoli, bamboo shoots, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, chard, okra, potatoes (white and sweet), pumpkin, rutabaga, spinach (cooked), squash, and tomatoes. Tomato sauce, tomato juice, and vegetable juice cocktail are also good choices.

  • Chicken, fish, clams, and crab

  • Milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, and soy milk

  • Legumes. These include black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, red kidney beans, soybeans, and split peas.

  • Nuts and seeds. Try almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.

  • Breads and cereals. These include bran and whole-grain products.

  • Other foods include chocolate, cocoa, coconut milk, and molasses


Make a follow-up appointment for a repeat test.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Vomiting

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • Diarrhea

  • Rapid, irregular heartbeat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Muscle cramps, spasms, or twitching

  • Weakness

  • Paralysis

Online Medical Reviewer: Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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