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Low-Potassium Foods

Topic Overview

Potassium is a mineral in your cells that helps your nerves and muscles work right. The right balance of potassium also keeps your heart beating at a steady rate.

A potassium level that is too high or too low can be dangerous. If your levels are high or low, you may need to change the way you eat.

Low-potassium foods

Medium-potassium foods

High-potassium foods

Very high-potassium foods

less than 100 mg

101–200 mg

201–300 mg

over 300 mg

You can control the amount of potassium you get in your diet by being aware of which foods are low or high in potassium. When choosing foods from lists like the one below, note the serving size. Otherwise, it can be easy to get too much or too little potassium. If you have a chronic health condition, talk to your healthcare provider about your diet.

Content of select low-potassium foodsfootnote 1, footnote 2

Food (no table salt added)

Serving size

Potassium (mg)

Applesauce

1/2 cup

90

Bagel, plain, enriched

10 cm (4 inch)

70

Beans, green

1/2 cup

90

Blueberries

½ cup (125 mL)

60

Bread, multi- or whole grain

1 slice

60

Butter

1 Tbsp (15 mL)

Less than 5

Carbonated beverage (ginger ale, root beer, orange, grape, lemon-lime)

1 cup (250 mL)

Less than 5

Cereal (puffed rice)

1 cup (250 mL)

15

Cereal (puffed wheat)

1 cup (250 mL)

Less than 5

Cheese

1 oz (30 g)

20-30

Cranberry juice cocktail

½ cup (125 mL)

20

Cucumber, peeled, raw

½ cup (125 mL)

80

Gelatin

½ cup (125 mL)

Less than 5

Grapes

9 grapes

90

Hot dog, beef and pork

1

75

Hummus

1 Tbsp (15 mL)

35

Lemon

juice of 1 fruit

50

Lettuce

1 cup

100

Lime

juice of 1 fruit

45

Macaroni

½ cup (125 mL)

65

Oil (canola, peanut, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower)

1 tbsp (15 mL)

0

Olives

5 large

Less than 5

Pineapple

1/2 cup

100

Popcorn

1 cup (250 mL)

20–25

Radishes

1 radish

10

Raspberries

½ cup (125 mL)

90

Rice (white, brown)

½ cup (125 mL)

50

Salt

1 tsp (15 mL)

0

Sherbet

½ cup (125 mL)

70

Soup, chicken noodle

1 cup (250 mL)

55

Spaghetti, plain. No sauce

½ cup (125 mL)

30

Sugar, granulated/powdered

1 tsp (5 mL)/1 tbsp (15 mL)

0

Tea, brewed

1 cup (250 mL)

90

Tortilla, flour or corn

1

50

Hidden potassium

Some foods and drinks may have hidden potassium. Certain herbal or dietary supplements may also have it. Diet or protein drinks and diet bars often have this mineral. It is also in sports drinks, which are meant to replace potassium you lose during exercise.

Food labels do not have to include the amount of potassium, but some do. Even if potassium is not listed, it may still be in that food.

Do not use a salt substitute or "lite" salt without talking to your doctor first. These often are very high in potassium.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, et al. (2015). USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl. Accessed October 12, 2015.
  2. American Dietetic Association (2015). Potassium content of foods. Nutrition Care Manual. https://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/client_ed.cfm?ncm_client_ed_id=153&actionxm=ViewAll. Accessed September 10, 2015.

Credits

Adaptation Date: 6/12/2019

Adapted By: Alberta Health Services

Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services

Adapted with permission from copyrighted materials from Healthwise, Incorporated (Healthwise). This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty and is not responsible or liable for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.