Excess potassium can cause weakness, paralysis, irregular heartbeat or even a heart attack. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, eye problems and kidney disease. For those individuals with a history of heart failure, high blood pressure or diabetes, a diet overly high in any of these nutrients could be dangerous. Being aware of those foods that contain only moderate quantities of potassium and sodium while still conveying protein can be useful in such situations.
White rice, corn pasta, corn grits, cream of wheat, macaroni and spaghetti are all good sources of protein, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. For example, a cup of cooked, unenriched macaroni has about 8 grams of protein. However, be sure to choose pasta without added salt. A cup of cooked, unenriched short grain rice has 53 milligrams of potassium, while a cup of cooked corn pasta has 43 milligrams. A cup of stove top-cooked cream of wheat has about 15 milligrams of sodium.
People with heart failure may be advised to lower their potassium intakes. Some fruits contain protein as well as low amounts of potassium and sodium. A cup of raw blueberries has only 1 milligram of sodium and 114 milligrams of potassium, as well as one gram of protein. Rose-apples, grapefruits, plums and oranges are also fruits low in potassium and sodium but high in protein. Fruits are also an abundant source of essential vitamins.
People who have kidney disease may be at risk of high potassium levels, according to DiabetesSelfManagement.com. If you suffer from kidney disease, nuts are a good dietary choice because they are low in potassium. An ounce of pecans contains no sodium and only 120 milligrams of potassium. An ounce of pecans also has almost 3 grams of protein. Acorns, peanuts, butternuts or hazelnuts are also good choices. However, be sure to choose only unsalted nuts. Nuts are also a good source of healthy fats.
Vegetables are a good dietary choice for people watching their sodium intakes because they contain little sodium. A cup of sliced summer squash contains 1.87 grams of protein, 2 milligrams of sodium and 319 milligrams of potassium. Fiddlehead ferns, sweet corn, eggplant, peppers and cucumbers are also good dietary choices. Vegetables are also good for weight loss, because they are filling and low in calories.
- DiabetesSelfManagement.com: The Power of Potassium
- American Diabetes Association: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- American Diabetes Association: Lean Meats
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Macaroni, Cooked, Unenriched
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Rice, Short-Grain, Unenriched, Cooked
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Corn Pasta
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cream of Wheat, Cooked
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Blueberries, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pecans, Dry-Roasted, Without Salt
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Squash, Summer, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, Without Salt