If you have low kidney function or chronic kidney disease, your doctor may have instructed you to eat only foods low in potassium. Your kidneys regulate your potassium levels and too high a level can lead to dangerous heartbeat irregularities. People with kidney problems need to hold potassium in their food to a minimum because their kidneys don't function as well to regulate potassium. If you also have high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, your physician may have placed you on a low-fat diet to reduce your odds of heart problems. Low-fat diets also can help you lose weight, which may reduce your risk of diabetes or better control the disease if you already have it. When looking for low-fat and low-potassium snack ideas, you have many options, including healthy fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products.
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Fruit makes a healthy low-fat, low-calorie snack. Many fruits, but not all, also contain little potassium. For example, you can snack on grapes, apples, blackberries, cranberries, pears, cherries and watermelon -- all contain little potassium and virtually no fat. But stay away from citrus fruits, cantaloupe and bananas. They are low-fat, but both contain too much potassium for someone on a restrictive diet.
Consider carrot sticks or fresh radishes for low-fat and low-potassium snacks. Both are easy to carry and fit well in your diet. Cucumber slices also work well as a low-potassium, low-fat snack. If you enjoy some sort of dip with your fresh, raw vegetables, choose a low-fat dip, but not one that is tomato-based, such as salsa. Tomatoes contain too much potassium.
Most cereals contain little potassium or fat. For a quick snack, you can take a bagful of dry cereal with you. It can make for a tasty snack and it doesn't need to be refrigerated. Avoid granola, which contains too much fat, and cereals high in bran-based fiber, since wheat bran and other types of bran contain significant potassium. Look for lower-fiber, lower-fat options. You also need to avoid cereals with added dried bananas. Instead, try dried cranberries, which are low in potassium.
Some crackers and chips also make decent snacks on a low-potassium, low-fat diet, but you need to shop carefully. Look for crackers and chips that contain mainly wheat, corn or rice, all of which have little potassium. Skip the potato chips, since potatoes are high in potassium. In addition, many cracker and chip products contain high levels of fat. Look for products marked "low-fat" or "fat-free."