News

Home > Nutrition Articles > Facts on Potassium

January 15, 2016 | Nutrition Articles

What is Potassium?

  • Potassium is a mineral found in foods.
  • Potassium has many functions in the body, including muscle contractions and heart rhythms.
  • Healthy kidneys control potassium levels in the blood. Unhealthy kidneys and some blood pressure or diuretic medications can affect potassium levels.
  • Low potassium can cause weakness. High potassium can cause weakness as well as slowed heartbeat, or cause the heart to stop.
  • Your doctor or dietitian will let you know if you need to adjust potassium in your diet.

Download Handout

Where is potassium found in the diet?

Potassium is found in all foods. The more food you eat, the more potassium you consume. Eating large servings of low potassium foods adds up.

Potassium is added to foods often to replace sodium. Check the ingredient list of a food for potassium additives and avoid foods with potassium additives.

Acesulfame potassium is a calorie-free sweetener that does not cause high potassium values

Higher Potassium Fruits (1 serving = ½ cup)

  • apricots
  • avocado
  • banana
  • cantaloupe
  • coconut
  • dried fruit
  • guava
  • honeydew
  • kiwi
  • jackfruit
  • oranges (Navel or Valencia)
  • nectarines
  • papaya
  • plantain
  • pomegranate
  • tangelo.

Higher Potassium Vegetables (1 serving = ½ cup)

  • Beets
  • bok choy
  • brussels sprouts
  • carrot (raw)
  • dried beans and lentils
  • mushrooms (cooked and dried)
  • parsnip
  • potato
  • pumpkin
  • rutabaga
  • spinach (cooked)
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • tomato

Lower Potassium Fruits (1 serving = ½ cup)

  • Apple
  • berries
  • canned fruit (drained)
  • cherries, crabapple
  • grapes (10)
  • mango (1/2)
  • peach
  • pear (small)
  • pineapple
  • plum (1)
  • tangerine
  • rhubarb
  • watermelon (1 cup)

Lower Potassium Vegetables (1 serving = 1/2 cup)

  • asparagus
  • beans (green or waxed)
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • carrot (boiled)
  • cauliflower
  • chives
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • leek
  • kale
  • mushrooms (raw)
  • onion
  • peas
  • peppers
  • radish
  • spinach (raw)
  • turnip

Other Lower Potassium Foods

  • Pasta and bread products made from white, rye or 60% whole grain
  • Cakes/cookies/pie (no chocolate, nuts or high potassium fruits)
  • Rice
  • Herbal tea

Other Higher Potassium Foods

  • Bran cereal
  • bran muffins
  • chocolate
  • coconut milk
  • coconut water
  • coffee (limit to 3 cups per day)
  • french fries
  • granola
  • hashbrowns
  • milk (limit to ½ cup per day)
  • molasses
  • nuts
  • potato chips
  • pork and beans
  • seeds
  • salt substitutes (No Salt®, Half Salt®)
  • tea (limit to 5 cups per day)
  • whole grains
  • yogurt

Latest News

May 14, 2021 | News Staff Profiles

Paul John Bejarin is incredibly proud to be a hemodialysis nurse. He works at St. Boniface hospital in the hemodialysis…

Read Full Story

May 7, 2021 | News Staff News Staff Profiles

Ruben Medrano has been working in health care in Winnipeg his whole adult life. The 51-year-old started his career early,…

Read Full Story

April 21, 2021 | News Staff News

Many in-centre hemodialysis patients in Winnipeg and Brandon were able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in their dialysis units recently.

Read Full Story