WebMD > 

Do You Have High Potassium? Managing Potassium in Your Diet

Do You Have High Potassium? Managing Potassium in Your Diet

This article is for people who have a high potassium level in the blood (hyperkalemia), or anyone who wants to learn more about hyperkalemia. The goal of this patient education activity is to help patients with hyperkalemia avoid foods high in potassium.

You will learn:

  • Why people with hyperkalemia should limit or avoid high-potassium foods (foods with a lot of potassium)

  • Foods that are considered high in potassium

  • Questions to ask your doctor

Watch this video first to learn how to get the most out of this WebMD Education activity.

Test Your Knowledge

Why You Should Avoid High-Potassium Foods

Your doctor has probably told you to cut down on potassium in your diet because this is one way to lower your potassium level. This is important because hyperkalemia can affect how your muscles and nerves work, and affect your heart. In some cases, hyperkalemia can be life-threatening.

Avoiding high-potassium foods can help you can take control of your health simply by making thoughtful food choices throughout the day to lower your potassium level.

What Does 'High-Potassium Food' Mean?

A high-potassium food is one that has more than 200 milligrams (mg) of potassium per serving.

Some food labels include the amount of potassium per serving, but many don't. And some foods do not have labels, so the best way to take control of how much potassium you get in your diet is to know which foods are high in potassium.

A normal amount of potassium in the diet of someone who is healthy is about 3500 to 4500 mg per day (mg/day). A low-potassium diet is about 2000 mg/day.

High-Potassium Fruits

  • Avocado

  • Banana

  • Kiwi

  • Mango

  • Melons, including cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon

  • Orange

  • Papaya

  • Plantain

  • Dried fruit, including raisins

  • Fruit juices, including orange juice and prune juice

High-Potassium Vegetables

  • Artichoke

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Potatoes, including fries and chips

  • Pumpkin

  • Spinach

  • Squash, including acorn, butternut, and winter

  • Sweet potato

  • Tomatoes, including sauce, salsa, and juice

High-Potassium Meats

  • Processed meats, like hot dogs and deli (luncheon) meats

  • Pork chops

  • Fish, including halibut, tuna, and cod

  • Clams

High-Potassium Dairy Products

  • Milk

  • Ice cream

  • Yogurt

Most dairy products are high-potassium foods, and non-fat and low-fat products often have more potassium than full-fat products.

Cheese is generally considered a low-potassium food; HOWEVER, this is because a serving of cheese is small, usually 1 ounce.

If you eat cheese, avoid eating more than 1 serving at a time.

Other High-Potassium Foods

  • Beans, including black, edamame, pinto, lima, kidney, and chick peas

  • Brown rice

  • Chocolate

  • Coconut water

  • Molasses

  • Mushrooms

  • Nuts, including peanut butter

  • Salt substitute

  • Wheat bread

Can a Dietitian Help?

Your doctor may recommend that you meet with a dietitian to help develop a diet plan that works for you. Tell the dietitian about your other health conditions and any medicines you are taking, as they can change the type of foods you include in your diet.

A dietitian can help you:

  • Identify high-potassium foods to avoid

  • Identify low-potassium foods to add to your diet

  • Plan low-potassium meals

  • Learn cooking methods to reduce potassium

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Do I need to avoid high-potassium foods?

  • Can I eat some high-potassium foods if I avoid others?

  • How much potassium can I have in my diet each day?

  • Is there someone I can talk to about making good food choices to manage the amount of potassium in my diet?

Test Your Knowledge

Survey Question

Survey Question


You have successfully completed the program: Do You Have High Potassium? Managing Potassium in Your Diet

Authors and Disclosures

Clinician Reviewer

Susan L. Smith, MN, PhD

Senior Scientific Director, Medscape, LLC

Disclosure: Susan L Smith, MN, PhD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


Heather Lewin, MAT

Associate Scientific Director, Medscape, LLC

Disclosure: Heather Lewin, MAT, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


Share this:

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site HonCode: Health on the Net Foundation AdChoices