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Potassium-Restricted Diet: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Potassium is a mineral. It helps keep the right mix of fluids in your body. It also helps your nerves and muscles work as they should.

Most people get the potassium they need from the foods they eat. But if you have certain health problems, such as kidney disease, you may need to be careful about how much potassium you get. This is because too much potassium can be harmful.

You can control how much potassium you get if you eat foods that don't have much of it and you don't eat foods that have lots of it.

Ask your healthcare provider by how much you will need to reduce the potassium in your diet, for how long, and how your potassium level will be watched.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Limit foods that are high in potassium. Potassium is in many foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and milk products. High-potassium foods include:
    • Fruits such as bananas, oranges, and cantaloupe.
    • Avocado.
    • Tomatoes, and tomato products like sauce and paste.
    • Broccoli.
    • Milk and milk products like yogurt and cheese.
    • Spinach, or cooked greens.
    • Potatoes and sweet potatoes.
    • Legumes.
    • Nuts and seeds.
    • Whole grains.
    • Processed foods that have reduced salt. Many of these foods replace salt with potassium, always check the ingredient list.
  • Eat foods that don't have as much potassium. These low-potassium foods include:
    • Fruits such as apples and applesauce, pineapple, grapes, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, honeydew melon, blueberries, and raspberries.
    • Cucumbers, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, peas, squash, and zucchini.
    • White or brown rice.
    • Pasta and noodles.
    • Tortillas.
  • Do not use a salt substitute or "lite" salt unless you talk to your doctor first. These often are very high in potassium.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines or natural health products you are taking. Some medicines can increase the potassium in your body.

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