Foods high on potassium

Food Sources of Potassium

Many of the foods that you already eat contain potassium. The foods listed below are high in potassium. If you need to boost the amount of potassium in your diet, make healthy food choices by picking items below to add to your menu.

Many fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium:

  • Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit (some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium)
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cooked broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Pumpkins
  • Leafy greens

Juice from potassium-rich fruit is also a good choice:

  • Orange juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Prune juice
  • Apricot juice
  • Grapefruit juice

Certain dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, are high in potassium (low-fat or fat-free is best).

Some fish contain potassium:

  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Trout
  • Rockfish

Beans or legumes that are high in potassium include:

  • Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils

Other foods that are rich in potassium include:

  • Salt substitutes (read labels to check potassium levels)
  • Molasses
  • Nuts
  • Meat and poultry
  • Brown and wild rice
  • Bran cereal
  • Whole-wheat bread and pasta

10 Foods High in Potassium

High-potassium foods are an essential part of any balanced diet. The mineral helps regulate your body’s fluid levels, aids in muscular function and waste removal, and keeps your nervous system functioning properly. Research shows that potassium reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and may lower the risk for stroke.

“It’s essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and keeps your heart beating regularly,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, a New York Times bestselling author and nutrition expert in Brooklyn, New York. “This electrolyte is necessary for muscle contractions and also helps keep sodium levels in check. Many of us don’t get enough potassium each day, so focusing on adding potassium-rich foods to our diets is smart for overall health.”

If your potassium levels are too low, a condition known as hypokalemia, it can result in fatigue, insomnia, depression, muscular weakness or cramping, and cardiovascular issues such as an abnormal heart rhythm. Hypokalemia can be due to a lack of potassium in your diet, though more commonly it’s the result of taking certain prescription medications. While low potassium in the body is a concern, it’s also possible to get too much, leading to blood potassium levels that are too high — called hyperkalemia. This is something you need to be especially aware of if you have kidney problems.

The kidneys help regulate the amount of potassium in your body, but if they’re not functioning properly, too much potassium can get into the bloodstream, causing weakness or numbness, and potentially, arrhythmia and heart attack. A variety of medications, such as ACE inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and certain diuretics, can also bring potassium levels too high. Though some people need to avoid eating too many foods that are high in potassium, most healthy adults should aim for an intake of about 4,700 milligrams (mg) a day.

When people think of potassium in foods, they often think first of bananas. And yes, bananas are indeed a good source of the nutrient, but there are plenty of other colorful, tasty, and nutritious ways to work the right amount of potassium into a healthy diet. To help you do that, we’ve come up with some options, such as sun-dried tomatoes tossed into a salad or on top of a pizza, dried apricots and other fruits made for snacking, avocado smoothies, and roasted acorn squash. Leafy greens, beans, potatoes, fish, and dairy are some additional great ways to get the potassium you need.

How to eat more potassium

Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep your body in good condition. They a great source of potassium, which helps to balance out the negative effects of salt and lower your blood pressure.

To reap the benefit of more potassium in your life, try to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. (A portion is about the same size as your closed fist.) Not only will this help to lower your blood pressure, it will also help you to avoid certain cancers, bowel problems and even heart attacks or strokes.

Good sources of potassium include: potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, tomato sauce (without added salt or sugar), orange juice, tuna (fresh, frozen or tinned, but avoid tuna packed in brine), yoghurt and fat-free milk.

If you have kidney disease, or are taking certain blood pressure medications, a large increase in potassium could be harmful. In this case, avoid taking potassium supplements and check with your doctor before dramatically increasing your potassium intake.

Use the links below to discover how you can add more potassium-laden fruit, vegetables and foods to your daily diet.

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  • The Low-Potassium Diet

    Why I decided to research this topic

    A “low-potassium diet” may sound weird, because so often we’re told to increase our intake of potassium. But, recently, I met a woman (I’ll call her Teena) who told me about her son; he needs to be on a restricted potassium diet. Teena didn’t exactly explain the reasons in detail, but said that he could have very serious repercussions if he didn’t drastically limit his potassium intake.

    I also have a family member (let’s call him Stick) who needs to watch his potassium intake. Stick’s needs are a bit different than Teena’s son’s because Stick needs to keep his potassium intake at a constant level rather than taking in as little as possible.

    It got me thinking that there are possibly others out there who need to watch their potassium intake. So, I thought I’d gather a bit of information.

    speak with your doctor

    Please, if you need to restrict your intake of potassium, continue to speak with your doctor about what’s best for you.

    And, you may wish to seek the advice of a registered dietitian. To find a local dietitian check out

    Potassium in food

    But, those disclaimers being said, here are a few of wonderful sites that’ll give you the levels of potassium in various foods:

    • At Nutrition Data you can enter in the food that you want to know more about, and this site will give you loads of nutrition info. Scroll down to the minerals section and see the amount of potassium
    • Food Essentials is a site you can look up items (more for packaged items than for fresh fruits and veggies) and see what the potassium levels are
    • Calorie King also lists out potassium levels on their site
    • I’ve had several requests for information on cookbooks that will help out the low-potassium follower. I’ve found these cookbooks listed on Amazon. Low Potassium Cookbooks on Amazon {affiliate link} I haven’t read through any of them, but it does give a starting place for looking. I saw several that had good ratings, and a few that were free as Kindle editions. I wish I could write the cookbook myself, but at this point I don’t feel I’m up to that task.

    What is potassium and what does it do?

    Potassium is a mineral that’s found in many foods, mainly in fruits and veggies, but it’s also present in dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some grains. Potassium helps regulate the activity of muscles and nerves, it keeps the heart beating regularly, and helps to maintain fluid balance within the body.

    Potassium, sodium, and chloride comprise the electrolyte family of minerals. Called electrolytes because they conduct electricity when dissolved in water, these minerals work closely together.

    The kidneys maintain the correct level of potassium in the blood. People who take certain medicines or who have chronic kidney disease must limit the amount of potassium in their diet to keep their potassium level close to normal. Some people with chronic kidney disease cannot get rid of enough potassium because the kidneys do not work well. In these people, the level of potassium in the blood can become higher than normal, causing a condition known as hyperkalemia (hyper=high, kal=potassium, emia=in the blood).

    Eating a low potassium diet can lower the risk of developing hyperkalemia. When blood potassium levels become too high muscle weakness, irregular heart beat, and death can occur.

    The regular daily recommended potassium intake is 4000 milligrams or 4 Grams. For those on a low potassium diet, the recommended daily intake is usually between 2000 and 3000 milligrams (2 – 3 Grams). As always, should speak to your health care provider and possibly a registered dietitian for more specific guidelines.

    What’s good to eat?

    Almost all foods contain some potassium, so the key is to choose low-potassium foods. Rather than focus on what you can’t eat, I’d rather focus on what you can eat. So, here are some tips and suggestions. Keep portion control in mind, because a large amount of a low-potassium food can quickly add up to a high-potassium food.

    • Eat a variety of foods, but in moderation
    • Choose foods that contain less than 200 mg of potassium per serving
    • Cook frozen fruits and vegetables in water; rinse and drain well before eating
    • Drain and rinse canned fruits, vegetables, and meats before serving. The liquid is concentrated, and therefore will have more sodium and potassium. When buying canned fruits look for “lite syrup” on the label.
    • Check food labels carefully for ingredients that have potassium in their name. There may be sources of hidden potassium, such as some artificial sweeteners
    • Read labels on “low salt” or “low sodium” packaged foods to be sure potassium ingredients like potassium chloride are not added
    • Salt-free herb blends are a great alternative to salt substitutes and other seasonings that replace sodium chloride with potassium chloride
    • Breads and noodles made with refined grains (white bread, white rice) are ok, however, whole grain noodles and bread are not advised
    • Replace milk and milk products with nondairy substitutes (check below for more info)

    Here are some suggestions for low-potassium foods. A portion is ½ cup unless otherwise noted. Keep these substitutions in mind when you’re reading recipes, as these substitutions will work there too.

    berries are a good choice


    • Choose apples, berries or grapes, instead of bananas, oranges or kiwi
    • Select a small piece of watermelon, instead of cantaloupe or honeydew
    • Try a peach, plum or pineapple, instead of a nectarine, mango or papaya
    • Choose dried cranberries, instead of raisins or other dried fruit
    • Drink apple, cranberry or grape juice, instead of orange juice or prune juice
    • Use canned pears, peaches or fruit cocktail, instead of fresh fruit
    • Good choices include:
      • Apple (1 medium)
      • Apple Juice
      • Applesauce
      • Apricots, canned in juice
      • Blackberries
      • Cherries
      • Canned Fruit Cocktail, drained and rinsed
      • Grapes
      • Grape Juice
      • Grapefruit (½ whole)
      • Lemon
      • Mandarin Oranges
      • Peaches, fresh (1 small) canned (½ cup)
      • Pears, fresh (1 small) canned (½ cup)
      • Plums (1 whole)
      • Raspberries
      • Strawberries
      • Tangerine (1 whole)
      • Watermelon (limit to 1 cup)

    Beautiful green beans, a good choice for the low-potassium diet


    • Choose green beans, wax beans or snow peas, instead of dried beans or peas
    • Prepare mashed potatoes or hash browns from leached* potatoes, instead of eating baked potato or French fries. (Be sure to leach* your potatoes to lower the potassium content.) (*See below for leaching info)
    • Use summer squash like crookneck or zucchini, instead of winter squashes like acorn, banana or butternut squash
    • Cook with onion, bell peppers, mushrooms or garlic, instead of tomatoes, tomato sauce or chili sauce
    • Drink ice water with sliced lemon and cucumber, instead of drinking vegetable juices
    • Good choices:
      • Alfalfa sprouts
      • Asparagus (6 spears)
      • Beans, green or wax
      • Cabbage, green and red
      • Cauliflower
      • Celery (1 stalk)
      • Corn, fresh (½ ear), frozen (½ cup)
      • Cucumber
      • Eggplant
      • Kale
      • Lettuce
      • Mixed Vegetables
      • Mushrooms, fresh
      • Okra
      • Onion
      • Parsley
      • Peas, green
      • Peppers
      • Radish
      • Rhubarb
      • Water Chestnuts, canned
      • Watercress
      • Yellow Squash
      • Zucchini Squash

    Baby squash that I picked up from the farmer’s market


    • Use nondairy creamer or un-enriched rice milk, instead of milk
    • Prepare pudding with nondairy creamer, instead of eating yogurt or pudding made with milk
    • Enjoy sorbet or Popsicles, instead of ice cream or frozen yogurt
    • Use nondairy whipped topping instead of milk
    • Real heavy cream, is fairly low in potassium compared to milk (90 mg per cup as opposed to 300-400 mg per cup of milk)
    • Goat cheese is another option

    Popcorn without added salt is a low-potassium snack option


    • Choose vanilla or lemon flavored desserts, instead of chocolate desserts
    • Eat unsalted popcorn or pretzels, rice cakes, red licorice, jelly beans or hard candies, instead of nuts or seeds
    • Season with pepper, lemon or low sodium herb and spice blends, instead of salt substitutes
    • Good Choices:
      • Rice
      • Noodles
      • Pasta
      • Bread and bread products: (Not Whole Grains)
      • Cake: angel, yellow
      • Coffee: limit to 8 ounces
      • Pies without chocolate or high potassium fruit
      • Cookies without nuts or chocolate
      • Tea: limit to 16 ounces
      • Plain donuts


    If you want to include some high-potassium veggies in your diet, leach them before using. Leaching is a process by which some (not all) potassium can be pulled out of the vegetable and into the water. Don’t eat these vegetables frequently because there’s still a lot of potassium in the food after leaching. A ½ cup serving of leached potatoes is the same as one serving of a high-potassium food. Check with your dietitian on the amount of leached high-potassium vegetables that can be safely included in your diet. Ideal veggies for leaching are Potatoes (white and sweet), Carrots, Beets, and Rutabagas.

    Wash and cut the raw vegetable into thin slices. Vegetables with a skin (potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabagas) should be peeled before slicing. Rinse the cut vegetable in warm water. Davita states, “one small potato (1-3/4 inches to 2-1/4 inches in diameter) contains more than 700 milligrams of potassium. And one average-sized, whole, baked potato (2-1/3″x 4-3/4″ or about 1-1/3 cups, if measured) contains 926 milligrams of potassium with the skin or 610 milligrams of potassium without the skin.”

    Soak the veggies for at least two hours or overnight. Use a large amount of unsalted warm water (approximately 10 parts water to 1 part vegetables). If possible, change the water every four hours. Drain the soaking water. Rinse the vegetables again with warm water.

    Cook vegetables as desired, using a large amount of unsalted water (approximately 5 parts water to 1 part vegetables). Drain the cooking water.

    Menu Ideas

    Chef salad with green beans and red pepper, shrimp cocktail, garlic bread without cheese, fried zucchini or onion rings, grilled or broiled steak, lamb chops, prime rib, fajitas, chicken (grilled or roasted), mixed vegetables

    Fruit ice, apple, blueberry, lemon meringue pies, strawberry shortcake

    Hamburgers without cheese served on white buns; sandwiches on white bread

    Sauté a mushroom cap, fill with a watercress salad with water chestnuts, goat cheese, and sautéed shrimp. Drizzle on lemon juice and a little olive oil.

    Zucchini cakes or crab cakes

    Lettuce wraps with white rice, green beans, onions, raspberries, and a little chicken seasoned with garlic

    Chicken stuffed with bread, onions, celery, apples, low sodium chicken broth, and poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper.

    Ground beef with some rice, to make cabbage rolls or meatloaf (with a brown gravy, rather than tomato) or meatballs in a cream sauce (roux thickened broth with a small amount of cream)

    Roasted veggies (asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini) cooked in olive oil and herbs. Serve these with a round of goat cheese crusted with breadcrumbs (made of white bread) that’s been lightly sautéed in olive oil.

    Garlic Green Bean Salad
    Makes 4 Servings
    From the Kidney Foundation of Canada

    2 cups green beans
    1 clove minced garlic
    1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon sesame oil

    Clean the beans and cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and cool immediately under cold water. Toss beans with garlic, vinegar and sesame oil.

    Thai Fish & Rice Soup
    Makes about 12 servings
    From the Kidney Foundation of Canada

    1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 cup diced celery
    1 cup chopped green onion
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    5 cups boiling water
    2 frozen white fish fillets, like tilapia or barramundi
    1 cup diced red pepper
    black pepper
    2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    2-3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    2-3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
    Dried chilies (if you like it spicy)
    1 cup cooked long grain white rice
    1 cup bean sprouts
    lime juice

    Sauté ginger, garlic, celery, and green onion in oil over medium heat. Add boiling water, fish, and red pepper. Simmer until the fish is cooked. Season soup with black pepper, fresh herbs, and dried chiles, if using. Add the cooked rice and serve hot. Garnish with bean sprouts, more fresh herbs (to taste), and a generous squeeze of lime juice.

    Couscous Salad
    Makes 10 servings
    From the Kidney Foundation of Canada

    3 cups water
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    3 cups quick cooking couscous
    1 green onion finely chopped
    1 small red pepper finely chopped
    ½ cup green peas
    2 tsp olive oil
    fresh cilantro

    Bring water to boil with cinnamon, cumin, honey & lemon juice. Add couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Fluff with fork and add vegetables, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Salad can be served warm or chilled.


    The Kidney Foundation of Canada

    UpToDate, a clinical decision support system

    The National Kidney Foundation


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    • Potassium Content of Foods List

      This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. Failure to comply may result in legal action.

      Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 24, 2019.

      • Care Notes


      Potassium is a mineral that is found in most foods. Potassium helps to balance fluids and minerals in your body. It also helps your body maintain a normal blood pressure. Potassium helps your muscles contract and your nerves function normally.

      Why do I need to change the amount of potassium I eat?

      • You may need more potassium if you have hypokalemia (low potassium levels) or high blood pressure. You may also need more potassium if you are taking diuretics. Diuretics and certain medicines cause your body to lose potassium.
      • You may need less potassium in your diet if you have hyperkalemia (high potassium levels) or kidney disease.

      How much potassium does fruit contain?

      The amount of potassium in milligrams (mg) contained in each fruit or serving of fruit is listed beside the item.

      How much potassium do vegetables contain?

      • High-potassium foods (more than 200 mg per serving):
        • 1 medium baked potato, with skin (925)
        • 1 baked medium sweet potato, with skin (450)
        • ½ cup of tomato or vegetable juice (275), or 1 medium raw tomato (290)
        • ½ cup of mushrooms (280)
        • ½ cup of fresh brussels sprouts (250)
        • ½ cup of cooked zucchini (220) or winter squash (250)
        • ¼ of a medium avocado (245)
        • ½ cup of broccoli (230)
      • Medium-potassium foods (50 to 200 mg per serving):
        • ½ cup of corn (195)
        • ½ cup of fresh or cooked carrots (180)
        • ½ cup of fresh cauliflower (150)
        • ½ cup of asparagus (155)
        • ½ cup of canned peas (90)
        • 1 cup of lettuce, all types (100)
        • ½ cup of fresh green beans (90)
        • ½ cup of frozen green beans (85)
        • ½ cup of cucumber (80)

      How much potassium do protein foods contain?

      • High-potassium foods (more than 200 mg per serving):
        • ½ cup of cooked pinto beans (400) or lentils (365)
        • 1 cup of soy milk (300)
        • 3 ounces of baked or broiled salmon (319)
        • 3 ounces of roasted turkey, dark meat (250)
        • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds (241)
        • 3 ounces of cooked lean beef (224)
        • 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter (210)
      • Medium-potassium foods (50 to 200 mg per serving):
        • 1 ounce of salted peanuts, almonds, or cashews (200)
        • 1 large egg (60)

      How much potassium do dairy foods contain?

      How much potassium do grains contain?

      • 1 slice of white bread (30)
      • ½ cup of white or brown rice (50)
      • ½ cup of spaghetti or macaroni (30)
      • 1 flour or corn tortilla (50)
      • 1 four-inch waffle (50)

      What other foods contain potassium?

      • 1 tablespoon of molasses (295)
      • 1½ ounces of chocolate (165)
      • Some salt substitutes may contain a high amount of potassium. Check the food label to find the amount of potassium it contains.

      Care Agreement

      You have the right to help plan your care. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

      © Copyright IBM Corporation 2019 Information is for End User’s use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

      Further information

      Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

      Medical Disclaimer

      Just like sodium, potassium must stay balanced in your body. If your kidneys are not working well, potassium levels in your blood can rise. High potassium levels affect your heart rhythm, so your diet for managing kidney disease may include a potassium limit. Your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist will let you know if you need to avoid foods high in potassium, and your RDN can explain how to stay within your limit.

      Potassium is found in many fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and dairy foods.

      These foods contain more than 200 milligrams potassium per half-cup serving.

      • Apricots (2 medium)
      • Artichokes (1 medium)
      • Avocados (1/4 each)
      • Bananas (1 medium)
      • Beets and beet greens (cooked)
      • Brussels sprouts
      • Cantaloupe
      • Dates
      • Nectarines (1 each)
      • Oranges and orange juice
      • Parsnips
      • Potatoes
      • Potato chips
      • Prunes and prune juice
      • Pumpkin
      • Spinach (cooked)
      • Sweet potatoes
      • Swiss chard (cooked)
      • Tomatoes and tomato juice
      • Vegetable juice

      Lower-Potassium Foods

      These foods contain less than 100 milligrams potassium per half-cup serving.

      • Applesauce
      • Blueberries
      • Cabbage
      • Cranberries
      • Cucumber
      • Eggplant
      • Endive
      • Okra
      • Onion
      • Peas
      • Pineapple
      • Raspberries
      • Watermelon

      Learn more about kidney disease and diet.

      FOODS WITH 10-12.8 mEq (400-500 mg) K per serving


      Potassium content (mg)


      1 banana (114 g)

      3 medium apples

      12 fl. oz. apple juice

      2 medium navel oranges

      1 cup orange juice

      4 raw apricots

      10 dried apricots halves (sulfured)

      1/4 small breadfruit

      1 cup cantaloupe

      1 & 1/4 cup currants, European black raw

      9 dates (dried)

      3 raw figs

      1 cup honey dew melon

      2 kiwis

      2 & 1/2 cups watermelon

      2 & 1/2 cup raw grapes (American-slip skin)


      1/2 baked potato with skin

      1 medium boiled artichoke

      1 cup artichoke hearts

      1 cup brussel sprouts boiled

      1/2 cup swiss chard (boiled)

      1 cup boiled chick peas

      1 cup canned chick peas

      2 raw medium carrots (144 g)

      1 cup broccoli boiled

      1 & 1/2 cup kale chopped, boiled

      1/2 cup spinach boiled

      1 & 1/2 raw medium tomato (123 g)

      3/4 cup boiled tomato

      1/5 cup tomato paste, canned

      Notes: meats also contain potassium, the fresher the meat the more the potassium. 3.5 oz broiled ground veal contains 337 mg of potassium

      Wylie-Rosett J, Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Gans K. Therapeutic Update on Nutrition:

      Recent dietary guidelines to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease,

      diabetes, and obesity, Heart Disease 2002 (in press.)

      High-Potassium Foods

      Topic Overview

      Potassium is a mineral in your cells. It helps your nerves and muscles work as they should. The right balance of potassium also keeps your heart beating at a steady rate.

      A potassium level that is too high or too low can be dangerous. If your levels are high or low, you may need to change the way you eat.

      Low-potassium foods

      Medium-potassium foods

      High-potassium foods

      Very high-potassium foods

      less than 100 mg

      101-200 mg

      201-300 mg

      over 300 mg

      You can control the amount of potassium you get in your diet by being aware of which foods are low or high in potassium. When you choose foods from lists like the one below, note the serving size. Otherwise, it can be easy to get too much or too little potassium.

      Content of select high-potassium foods footnote 1, footnote 2

      Food (no table salt added)

      Serving size

      Potassium (mg)


      2 raw or 5 dry


      1 medium


      Beans (lima, baked navy)

      ½ cup

      Beef, ground

      3 oz

      Beets, raw or cooked

      ½ cup


      ½ cup

      Brussels sprouts

      ½ cup


      ½ cup

      Clams, canned

      3 oz


      Dried beans and peas

      ½ cup


      Fish (haddock, perch, salmon)

      3 oz

      French fries

      3 oz


      ½ cup

      Milk (fat-free, low-fat, whole, buttermilk)

      1 cup



      1 fruit

      Nuts (almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, peanuts)

      1 oz


      1 fruit

      Orange juice

      ½ cup


      ½ cup

      Potato, baked

      1 potato

      Potato chips, plain, salted

      1 oz


      Pumpkin, canned

      ½ cup

      Raisins, seedless

      ¼ cup

      Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)

      1 oz


      ½ cup

      Sweet potato, baked

      1 potato

      Tomatoes, canned

      ½ cup


      Tomato, fresh

      1 fruit


      3 oz

      Vegetable juice

      ½ cup

      Winter squash

      ½ cup

      Yogurt, plain

      6 oz


      ½ cup

      Hidden potassium

      Some foods and drinks may have hidden potassium. Certain herbal or dietary supplements may also have it. Diet or protein drinks and diet bars often have this mineral. It is also in sports drinks. These are meant to replace potassium you lose during exercise.

      Food labels do not have to include the amount of potassium, but some do. Even if potassium is not listed, it may still be in that food.

      If you’re limiting your potassium, do not use a salt substitute or “lite” salt without talking to your doctor first. These often are very high in potassium.

      Understanding the heart-healthy benefits of potassium

      Foods that are rich in potassium are important in managing high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) because potassium lessens the effects of sodium. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine. Potassium also helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure.

      Increasing potassium through diet is recommended in adults with blood pressure above 120/80 who are otherwise healthy. Potassium can be harmful in patients with kidney disease, any condition that affects how the body handles potassium, or those who take certain medications. The decision of whether to take excess potassium should be discussed with your doctor.

      Potassium and your diet

      The recommended potassium intake for an average adult is 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day.

      Many of the elements of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet — fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) dairy foods and fish — are good natural sources of potassium. For example, a medium banana has about 420 mg of potassium and half a cup of plain mashed sweet potatoes has 475 mg.

      Other potassium-rich foods include:

      • Apricots and apricot juice
      • Avocados
      • Cantaloupe and honeydew melon
      • Fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk
      • Fat-free yogurt
      • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (talk to your healthcare provider if you’re taking a cholesterol-lowering drug)
      • Greens
      • Halibut
      • Lima beans
      • Molasses
      • Mushrooms
      • Oranges and orange juice
      • Peas
      • Potatoes
      • Prunes and prune juice
      • Raisins and dates
      • Spinach
      • Tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauce
      • Tuna

      Potassium is only one component of a well-rounded plan for blood pressure health

      Even though potassium can lessen the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium, eating more potassium should be combined with your efforts to break up with that excess salt and develop other healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

      Is it possible to have too much potassium?

      Too much potassium can be harmful in people with kidney disorders. As kidneys become less able to remove potassium from your blood, too much potassium may build up.

      Often, like high blood pressure, there aren’t many symptoms of high potassium (hyperkalemia). Feeling sick to your stomach, a low, weak or irregular pulse and fainting may occur with high levels of potassium.

      Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any over-the-counter potassium supplement. You should also ask your doctor before trying salt substitutes, which can raise potassium in people with certain health conditions and those taking ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure.

      Learn more

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