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Foods That Cause High Potassium Levels

by
author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Foods That Cause High Potassium Levels
Avocado slices and guacamole are potassium rich. Photo Credit MSPhotographic/iStock/Getty Images

Hyperkalemia is the medical term used when you have high levels of potassium in your blood. Under normal circumstances, a single food is not enough to cause high potassium. Your kidneys have the job of removing excess potassium from your bloodstream. Elevated potassium is more likely to occur when your kidneys are not working well. Your health care provider may tell you to follow a low-potassium diet if you have impaired kidney function. Limiting high-potassium foods plays a large role in keeping your potassium levels from becoming dangerously high if you have kidney problems.

Preventing High Potassium

Foods That Cause High Potassium Levels
Sliced bananas in bowl Photo Credit tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images

Foods rich in potassium contain 200 milligrams or more per serving, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and must be limited or avoided. High-potassium fruits include apricots, avocados, bananas, figs, oranges, nectarines, kiwi and papaya. Potassium-rich vegetables include artichoke, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lentils, legumes and acorn squash. Other foods high in potassium are granola, milk, peanut butter, bran and yogurt.

Low-Potassium Options

Foods That Cause High Potassium Levels
Sliced pineapple Photo Credit Alexander Petrov/iStock/Getty Images

This doesn't mean that you must limit all fruits and vegetables. Apples, berries, grapes, peaches, pears and pineapples are low in potassium. Asparagus, cauliflower, cucumber, egg plant and peas are examples of low-potassium vegetables.

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