Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information

    Low-Potassium Foods

    Low-Potassium Foods

    Skip to the navigation

    Topic Overview

    Potassium is a mineral in your cells that helps your nerves and muscles work right. 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: Less than 100 mg
    • Medium-potassium foods: 101-200 mg
    • High-potassium foods: 201-300 mg
    • Very-high potassium foods: 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 choosing 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 low-potassium foods footnote 1, footnote 2
      Serving size Potassium (mg)

    Bagel, plain

    4-inch

    70

    Blueberries

    ½ cup

    60

    Bread, multi- or whole-grain

    1 slice

    60

    Butter

    1 Tbsp

    Less than 5

    Carbonated beverage (ginger ale, root beer, orange, grape, lemon-lime)

    1 cup

    Less than 5

    Cereal (puffed rice)

    1 cup

    15

    Cereal (puffed wheat)

    1 cup

    Less than 5

    Cheese

    1 oz

    20-30

    Cranberry juice cocktail

    ½ cup

    20

    Cucumber, peeled, raw

    ½ cup

    80

    Gelatin

    ½ cup

    Less than 5

    Grapes

    9 grapes

    90

    Hot dog (beef, pork)

    1

    75

    Hummus

    1 Tbsp

    35

    Lemon

    Juice of 1 fruit

    50

    Lime

    Juice of 1 fruit

    45

    Macaroni

    ½ cup

    65

    Oil (canola, peanut, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower)

    1 Tbsp

    0

    Olives

    5 large

    Less than 5

    Popcorn

    1 cup

    20-25

    Radishes

    1 radish

    10

    Raspberries

    ½ cup

    90

    Rice (white, brown)

    ½ cup

    50

    Salt

    1 tsp

    0

    Sherbet

    ½ cup

    70

    Soup (chicken noodle)

    1 cup

    55

    Spaghetti

    ½ cup

    30

    Sugar, granulated/powdered

    1 tsp/1 Tbsp

    0

    Tea, brewed

    1 cup

    90

    Tortilla, flour or corn

    1

    50

    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, which 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.

    Do not use a salt substitute or "lite" salt without talking to your doctor first. These often are very high in potassium.

    Health Tools

    Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

    Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

    References

    Citations

    1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, et al. (2015). USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl. Accessed October 12, 2015.
    2. American Dietetic Association (2015). Potassium content of foods. Nutrition Care Manual. https://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/client_ed.cfm?ncm_client_ed_id=153&actionxm=ViewAll. Accessed September 10, 2015.

    Credits

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
    E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

    Current as ofNovember 20, 2015

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.