Potassium is a mineral highly essential to the body. It helps in regulating the blood pressure, plays a key role in the proper functioning of heart and regulates water balance in the body. It is an important mineral, required for the treatment of arthritic or rheumatic conditions. Potassium is required for healthy digestive and nervous system. It controls convulsions, migraines and headaches and helps in the quicker healing of cuts and other injuries. The mineral enters the body in a compound form. Since human body does not break down all the compounds completely, only a small part of the potassium taken is actually utilized by it.
Heavy intake of potassium can prove unhealthy for the body, since it throws off the electrolyte balance. Further, excess potassium slows down the heart rate to dangerous levels. People suffering from kidney problems can suffer from accumulation of potassium to a higher level in blood, if it is taken in excess. This can lead to irregular heartbeat or even heart attack. Other symptoms associated with the heavy intake of potassium are irritability, slow weak pulse, spasms, anxiety, stomach cramps and diarrhea. In such circumstances, low potassium diet is advisable. Here, we bring you a list of fruits, vegetables and other foods that have low potassium content.
Low Potassium Food List
Low Potassium Vegetables
There are many vegetables that are low in potassium, provided they are taken only one serving at a time. One serving means ½ cup of the vegetable in cooked form. Some of these vegetables are lettuce, cabbage, carrots, onions, peppers, celery, okra, green beans, asparagus, eggplant, fresh mushrooms, and cucumber.
Low Potassium Fruits
Similar to vegetables, there are quite a large number of fruits that contain a low amount of potassium. These fruits are to be eaten only one serving at a time, which includes ½ cup of the respective fruit. Some of the common names in this list are apple (1 medium), blackberries, plums (1 whole), peaches (1 small), pears (1 small), pineapple (juice), watermelon (1 cup) and many others.
Other Low Potassium Foods
You can also include a number of other foods in your low potassium diet. The most common foods in this category are noodles, rice, pasta, cookies without chocolate or nuts, pies without chocolate, bread, angel or yellow cake, coffees (maximum 8 ounces) and tea (maximum 16 ounces). All these food items should also be taken one serving i.e. ½ cup at one time.
- If you are buying canned foods, make sure that you drain the liquid present in the can and rinse the fruit or vegetable well before serving.
- Before cooking potatoes, peel them and cut them in thin slices. Soak them in water for four hours, or even overnight and then cook them, to make sure that they are low in potassium.
- You can cook spinach, kale and collards in the same manner as potatoes, by soaking them in water for some time. This will make these vegetables low in potassium.
- Salt substitutes are rich in potassium. So, try to avoid them as much as you can. Use salt-free herb blends and spices to get a diet considerably low in potassium.