Low Potassium - Hounslow CCG

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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Imperial Renal and Transplant Centre
Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS, Tel: 020 3313 3048, Fax: 020 3313 3379
Low Potassium Information Sheet
What is potassium?
Potassium occurs naturally in most foods. Some potassium
is needed as part of a healthy diet.
Why have I been asked to follow a low
potassium diet?
High levels of potassium in the blood can affect the beating of the heart, which may
lead to serious complications. Eating a low potassium diet helps to reduce your
blood potassium.
How can I reduce the amount of potassium that I eat?
This sheet explains which foods are high in potassium and provides suitable
alternatives. Your Doctor/ Nurse may also give you individualised advice on the
changes you need to make.
Cooking tips
 Avoid cooking vegetables in steamers, pressure cookers, microwaves or stir
frying. Vegetables should be boiled in plenty of water. Once cooked the cooking
water should be thrown away.
 All potatoes should be boiled and the cooking water thrown away before frying
or roasting potatoes
 All pulses should be soaked and then boiled for 10-15 minutes. The cooking
water should be thrown away and then the pulses should be re-cooked with
seasonings. Tinned pulses are lower in potassium than dried pulses
 If you are vegetarian, avoid having salad and cooked vegetables at the same
meal, as it will contain too much potassium. Choose either salad or vegetables
Contact details
If you have any queries about your diet, please contact your renal nurse or renal
doctor.
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Drinks
Vegetables
Fruit
Foods to avoid and those to choose instead
Foods to limit
Choose these instead
Avocadoes, bananas, coconut, mango,
oranges, papaya, rhubarb, all dried fruit e.g.
currants, prunes, raisins, figs, dates, fruit
cake
Two portions of fruit per day (fresh or drained
tinned) e.g. apples, pears, peaches,
nectarines, but not those listed in the foods to
Baked, steamed or jacket potatoes, chips,
oven chips, instant potato, potato waffles or
wedges, potato pakoras, fried green banana,
plantain, cassava, yam, dasheen, taro
One small portion per day of well boiled
potato, yam, cassava
Baked beans, beetroot, brussels sprouts,
mushrooms, parsnips, spinach, tomatoes,
breadfruit, callaloo, karella, drumstick
leaves/pods, okra, patra leaves, water
chestnuts, tomato puree and tomato based
sauces
Coffee, Horlicks, Ovaltine, Bournvita, cocoa,
drinking chocolate, condensed, coconut and
evaporated milk, pure fruit juices, fruit and
vegetable smoothies
limit list
Plus two portions of boiled vegetables per
day, but not those listed in the foods to limit list
Tea, herbal teas, fizzy drinks, squashes,
mineral water, 1/3 of a pint of milk per day
Spirits e.g. brandy, gin, rum vodka, whiskey
(if permitted by your doctor)
Snacks
Cereals
Protein
Ale, beer, cider lager, stout, wine
Nuts and seeds
All meat, fish, eggs, quorn, soya mince,
pulses
Breads and breakfast cereals that contain
dried fruits, nuts or chocolate e.g All Bran,
sultana Bran, Chocos, Fruit‘n’fibre, chocolate
croissants, products made from gram flour or
besan flour
All types of bread, rice, pasta, couscous,
breakfast cereals, noodles, croissants,
bagels, crumpets, chapattis, naan, pitta
bread, puris, plain paratha
Potato and vegetable crisps, nuts and nut
products e.g. peanut butter, Bombay mix,
chevra, papadums, pakoras
Corn or maize based snacks e.g. skips,
wotsits, tortilla chips, rice cakes, crisp
breads, breadsticks, crackers, plain popcorn
Biscuits and cakes containing chocolate,
nuts or dried fruit, Chocolate, fudge,
marzipan, black treacle, liquorice, toffee.
Mints, plain biscuits, plain cake, boiled
sweets, marshmallows, jelly babies, Turkish
delight, ludoo, jelabi
Miscellaneous
Asian sweets containing milk or nut products
e.g. burfi, besan, halva, rasmali
Salt substitutes e.g. Lo Salt, Ruthmol,
Selora, vegetable based soups, brown sauce
and tomato ketchup, tahini, bovril, marmite
Mustard, mint sauce, horseradish,
mayonnaise, salad cream, salad dressing,
relish e.g. piccalilli, corn or onion relish,
pickle
Revised: July 2015 / Review: July 2018
Dept Ref: Low Potassium Information Sheet (Dr/Nurse)/T0366
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