What Is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral found in many foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, dried beans, and peas. It helps steady blood pressure and also helps muscles like the heart contract the right way.

Why Should I Follow This Diet?

People with kidney problems or those who are taking certain medicines may need to eat this way. Potassium can build up to harmful levels in the blood in people who have kidney problems. This can lead to confusion, irregular heartbeats, or a heart attack.

Foods High and Low in Potassium

Food With High Potassium

The foods in the left-hand column have more than 200 milligrams (mg) per serving. People who need to limit potassium should not eat these foods. Talk to a dietitian to find out how much potassium is right for you.

Food With Low Potassium

The foods in the right-hand column are low in potassium. Eating these foods can help keep your levels normal. But eating more than 1 serving of any of these foods can make it a high-potassium food.

Food Group Food With High Potassium Food With Low Potassium
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dates
  • Dried fruits
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange or orange juice
  • Orange juice
  • Papaya
  • Pomegranate or pomegranate juice
  • Prunes
  • Prune juice
  • Raisins
  • Apple, apple juice, apple sauce
  • Apricots
  • Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Grapes, grape juice
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple, pineapple juice
  • Plums
  • Tangerine
  • Watermelon
  • Acorn squash
  • Artichoke
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Baked beans
  • Butternut squash
  • Beets, fresh then boiled
  • Black beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots, raw
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Greens, except kale
  • Hubbard squash
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Mushrooms, canned
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes, white and sweet
  • Pumpkin
  • Refried beans
  • Rutabagas
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Tomatoes, tomato products
  • Vegetable juice
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Beans, wax or green
  • Cabbage, green and red
  • Carrots, cooked
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Leached potatoes *
  • Lettuce
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Mushrooms, fresh
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas, green
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Water chestnuts, canned
  • Watercress
Protein Foods
  • Beans, dried or canned
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Pork
  • Peanut butter
Dairy Foods Dairy items are high in potassium. Keep your portion sizes to 1 serving:
  • Buttermilk
  • Chocolate milk
  • Eggnog
  • Evaporated milk
  • Malted milk
  • Milkshakes
  • Soy milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Skim milk
  • 2% milk
  • Whole milk
Other Foods
  • Bran/bran products
  • Chocolate
  • Granola
  • Milk, all types
  • Molasses
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Salt substitutes
  • Salt-free broth
  • Yogurt
  • Bread and bread products (not whole grains)
  • Cake—angel food cake, yellow cake
  • Coffee
  • Cookies (without nuts or chocolate)
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Pies (without chocolate or high-potassium food)
  • Rice
  • Tea
  • Snuff or chewing tobacco

  *To leach potatoes: Peel and cut them into small pieces. Soak them in a large amount of water for at least 2 hours. (Use at least 5 cups of water for every 1 cup of potatoes.) Drain, rinse, and cook.


  • Keep track of the foods that you eat. You may want to keep a food diary or download a food-tracking app on your phone.
  • Most food has some potassium. Read food labels to find out how much potassium a food has per serving.
  • Do not drink juice from canned fruit, canned vegetables, or cooked meat.
  • Work with a dietitian to come up with a meal plan that is right for you. It should list the serving size and amount of low potassium food groups you should take in each day.

American Society of Nutrition

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Dietitians of Canada

Kidney Foundation of Canada


Patient education: dietary and fluid compliance for patients on hemodialysis. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated January 4, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019.

Potassium and your CKD diet. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium. Accessed June 17, 2019.

Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN  Last Updated: 8/4/2020