Hyperkalemia is a condition in which potassium levels in blood are above normal levels. Although potassium is needed in the body for nerve and heart function, elevated levels in blood may cause health problems. It may cause abnormal heartbeats, irregular pulse and nausea. Hyperkalemia may result from alcoholism kidney disease and Addison’s disease. Treatment to reduce potassium levels includes diet modifications and the use of diuretics.
Fruits are sources of potassium. A rich source can provide between 250 to 500 milligrams of potassium per serving. Fruits such as apricots, avocados, orange, peaches, prunes, raisins, bananas, figs and kiwis should be avoided because of their high potassium content. For a low potassium option, choose blackberries, grapefruit, strawberries and tangerines, which provide up to 150 milligrams of potassium per serving. Canned fruits such as canned pears and plums are also popular choices.
Avoid milk and other dairy products, which may be high in potassium. Dietetic supplements used to substitute meals are also high in potassium. Read the label or ask your doctor or dietitian for specific recommendations.
Refrain from consuming lima, navy and kidney beans, lentils, all kind of nuts, parsnips, potatoes, spinach, yams, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. For lower potassium versions, opt for asparagus, cucumber, lettuce, onions, peas, turnips and cabbage.
Juices and Substitutes
Avoid prune, pomegranate and tomato juice. Opt for apple and cranberry juice. Frozen grape juice, lemonade and peach and pear nectar are also low in potassium. Some salt substitutes may contain potassium. If for health reasons you need to use a salt substitute, consult your dietitian to find a low-potassium or potassium-free option to season your foods. Monitor the portion size of your food, which also plays a role in the amount of potassium in your diet. Contact your dietitian for a specific diet plan tailored to your health needs.
- Medline Plus: Hyperkalemia
- "Krause's Food & Nutrition Therapy"; Renal Diet for Dialysis; Mahan, L. Kathleen., Sylvia Escott-Stump, and Marie V. Krause; 2008