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Kidney Disease: Watching Potassium in Food

When you have kidney disease, you need to control the amount of potassium you eat. People with kidney disease should have no more than 2,000 mg to 3,000 mg each day. Your healthcare provider will tell you what your limit should be. This will help you keep a safe level in your blood.

Some foods have high levels of potassium. Some foods can be prepared to remove potassium. The tips on this sheet will help you learn more.

Read all labels

Look for the Nutrition Facts Label on foods and drinks. At the bottom of the label, you will see the amount of potassium in the food or drink. Keep an eye on how much potassium you consume. Don’t eat or drink anything with more than 200 mg of potassium per serving.

Watch out for high-potassium foods

These foods have high potassium levels:

  • Dried fruits

  • Salt substitutes and light salt

  • Milk and yogurt

  • Chicken

  • Salmon

  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Tomatoes

  • Potatoes

  • Butternut squash

  • Spinach and broccoli

  • Most nuts

  • Coffee

  • Some fruit and vegetable juices

  • Some powdered drink mixes

Soak starchy vegetables

You can remove some potassium from starchy vegetables. For example, to reduce the potassium in white potatoes:

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch pieces.

  • Place the potatoes in a large amount of unsalted water. Allow to stand for at least 2 hours.

  • Drain, rinse, and drain the potatoes again.

  • Cook in a large amount of unsalted water.

If you eat canned fruit and vegetables

Potassium in canned fruit and vegetables seeps into the canning liquid. Throw away the juice or water. Then rinse the fruit and vegetables with fresh water. This helps to remove more potassium.

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Walead Latif MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2022
© 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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