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What is a low potassium diet - for renal failure?

Friday, 22 August 2003
Answered by: Dr. Naveen Atray
Asst Professor of Medicine and Nephrologist
Overton Brooks VA Medical Centre, USA
USA
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Q. Please suggest me a low potassium diet as I have renal failure. My kidneys are working only 20% at present.

A.  Potassium is a mineral. All foods contain some potassium. Some foods contain large amounts of potassium. See below for a list of foods that are high in potassium. Healthy kidneys will get rid of potassium in the urine. Patients with kidney failure cannot get rid of potassium in the urine so it builds up in the blood. This can be very dangerous to your heart. High potassium can cause irregular heart beats. The heart can stop if the potassium level gets too high. There are usually no symptoms if you have a high potassium level. Usually your diet is limited to about 2000 mg of potassium per day. Keep your Potassium Level between 4.0 - 6.0 mg/dL (1.02 - 1.53 mmol/L). These Fruits/Vegetables are high in Potassium: Bananas, Avocado, Oranges, Orange Juice, Prunes, Prune Juice, Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Sauce, Cantaloupe, Tomato Puree, Honeydew Melon, Nuts, Papaya, Chocolate, Red beans, Milk, Black beans, Lentils, Split peas, Baked beans, Potatoes, Black-eyed peas, Salt substitute, Dried fruits, Nectarines, Pears. DIET MENUS: Bread and cereals allowed: White bread, white rolls, porridge, weet-bix, cornflakes, plain biscuits, wafer biscuits, rice, pasta Avoid: Wholemeal bread, wholemeal rolls, wheatmeal biscuits, muesli, tinned spaghetti Vegetables allowed: Those vegetables not listed to avoid, the cooked vegetables are asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, peas, brussel sprouts, carrots, corn, celery, pumpkin, potato. Avoid: Salad vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, onion, olives, tomato, baked beans, red kidney beans, mushrooms, potato more than twice per day (this includes potato salad). Fruits allowed: Fruit, fresh and tinned, and fruit juice not listed to avoid: the fruit are apples, cherries, lychees, mandarin, mango, pears, pineapple, raspberries, watermelon, blackberries, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, pawpaw, plums, strawberries, tinned peaches, apple juice, orange juice and pineapple juice Avoid: Apricots, bananas, currants, custard apples, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi fruit, loquats, nectarines, fresh peaches, prunes, rockmelon, rhubarb, tomato juice. Meat allowed: lamb, pork,chicken, fish, tuna Substitution: 30 g meat = 1 egg = 45g fish = 30g cold meat = 30g cheese = 180ml milk = 50g cottage cheese Note: Meats should be cooked by roasting, grilling and frying. Casseroles should be drained to exclude excess juice. Eggs allowed: Boiled, poached, scrambled and fried egg Avoid: More than one egg per serve Milk allowed: Milk - full cream, skimmer and skimmed, cheese and cottage cheese Avoid: Too much milk, cheese and yogurt Fats allowed: Margarine, salt free margarine, butter, oil, cream Soups allowed: Avoid all Spreads allowed: Jam, honey, jam (low joule) Avoid: Vegemite Miscellaneous allowed: Artificial sweeteners Avoid: Chocolate, nuts, licorice, toffee, cocoa, sugar, Polycose, boiled lollies For further information and customised menus, you should see a renal dietician.

A.  Potassium is a mineral. All foods contain some potassium. Some foods contain large amounts of potassium. See below for a list of foods that are high in potassium. Healthy kidneys will get rid of potassium in the urine. Patients with kidney failure cannot get rid of potassium in the urine so it builds up in the blood. This can be very dangerous to your heart. High potassium can cause irregular heart beats. The heart can stop if the potassium level gets too high. There are usually no symptoms if you have a high potassium level. Usually your diet is limited to about 2000 mg of potassium per day. Keep your Potassium Level between 4.0 - 6.0 mg/dL (1.02 - 1.53 mmol/L). These Fruits/Vegetables are high in Potassium: Bananas, Avocado, Oranges, Orange Juice, Prunes, Prune Juice, Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Sauce, Cantaloupe, Tomato Puree, Honeydew Melon, Nuts, Papaya, Chocolate, Red beans, Milk, Black beans, Lentils, Split peas, Baked beans, Potatoes, Black-eyed peas, Salt substitute, Dried fruits, Nectarines, Pears. DIET MENUS: Bread and cereals allowed: White bread, white rolls, porridge, weet-bix, cornflakes, plain biscuits, wafer biscuits, rice, pasta Avoid: Wholemeal bread, wholemeal rolls, wheatmeal biscuits, muesli, tinned spaghetti Vegetables allowed: Those vegetables not listed to avoid, the cooked vegetables are asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, peas, brussel sprouts, carrots, corn, celery, pumpkin, potato. Avoid: Salad vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, onion, olives, tomato, baked beans, red kidney beans, mushrooms, potato more than twice per day (this includes potato salad). Fruits allowed: Fruit, fresh and tinned, and fruit juice not listed to avoid: the fruit are apples, cherries, lychees, mandarin, mango, pears, pineapple, raspberries, watermelon, blackberries, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, pawpaw, plums, strawberries, tinned peaches, apple juice, orange juice and pineapple juice Avoid: Apricots, bananas, currants, custard apples, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi fruit, loquats, nectarines, fresh peaches, prunes, rockmelon, rhubarb, tomato juice. Meat allowed: lamb, pork,chicken, fish, tuna Substitution: 30 g meat = 1 egg = 45g fish = 30g cold meat = 30g cheese = 180ml milk = 50g cottage cheese Note: Meats should be cooked by roasting, grilling and frying. Casseroles should be drained to exclude excess juice. Eggs allowed: Boiled, poached, scrambled and fried egg Avoid: More than one egg per serve Milk allowed: Milk - full cream, skimmer and skimmed, cheese and cottage cheese Avoid: Too much milk, cheese and yogurt Fats allowed: Margarine, salt free margarine, butter, oil, cream Soups allowed: Avoid all Spreads allowed: Jam, honey, jam (low joule) Avoid: Vegemite Miscellaneous allowed: Artificial sweeteners Avoid: Chocolate, nuts, licorice, toffee, cocoa, sugar, Polycose, boiled lollies For further information and customised menus, you should see a renal dietician.

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