Potassium Restrictions in Kidney Disease

Potassium is a mineral found in many of the foods you eat. It plays a role in keeping your heartbeat regular and your muscles working right. It is the job of healthy kidneys to keep the right amount of potassium in your body. However, when your kidneys are not healthy, you often need to limit certain foods that can increase the potassium in your blood to a dangerous level. You may feel some weakness, numbness and tingling if your potassium is at a high level. If your potassium becomes too high, it can cause an irregular heartbeat or a heart attack.

The general potassium guidelines are modified based on stage of chronic kidney disease.Recommendations for CKD stage 1-2 are less than 4000 mg a day (4 grams/day).CKD stage 3-4 is 2400 mg a day (2.4 grams/day).How much potassium you need is also determined on blood tests and medications.Most high potassium foods come from plants.Fruits and vegetables tend to be the high potassium sources.






(250-500 mg)






Artichoke, 1 medium, boiled

Cucumber, ½ cup

Mushrooms, ½ cup

Okra, boiled, 8 pods

Peas, split, mature, boiled

Tomato, red raw, 1 medium

Apricot, halves, 1 medium

Banana, medium

Cantaloupe, pieces, ½ cup

Dried Fruit, 1/3 cup

Honeydew, ½ cup

Kiwi, 1 medium

Mango, 1 medium

Nectarine, 1 medium

Plantain, sliced, cooked, ½ cup

Pomegranate, 1 medium

Juices 1/3 cup:

·       Grapefruit

·       Orange

·       Tomato

·       Prune

·       V8

Dried beans, ½ cup

Instant coffee

Low sodium bullion

Milk, 1 cup

Molasses, 1 Tbsp

Sport drinks

Some powdered drink mixes

Soy Milk, 1 cup

Yogurt, ½ cup


(>500 mg)




Beet greens, boiled ½ cup

Parsnips, boiled, 1 parsnip 9”

Potato, salad, instant, white, sweet

Soy beans, boiled, 1 cup

Apricots, dried, sulfured, ½ cup

Avocado, ½ medium

Papaya, 1 medium

Peaches, dried, sulfured, ½ cup

Spinach, can, 1 cup

Lentils, 1 cup

Nuts, ½ cup

Salt substitutes

Tomato paste, can 6 ounces


Always avoid Starfruit, also known as Carambola

Leach (soak) potatoes and beans to remove some of their potassium.Peel and cut, soak in large amount of water for at least 2 hours, drain, rinse, drain again, cook in large amount of water.

Drain all canned fruits and vegetables.

Mix very small amounts of high potassium fruits with low potassium fruits in a fruit salad or very small amounts of high potassium vegetables with low potassium vegetables in mixed vegetables to give yourself a taste of your favorites.

Foods and beverages that are high in potassium and high in phosphorus that should especially be limited include: Milk, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and chocolate.