Low Potassium Meats (and Veggies): For CKD

The importance Of Managing Potassium

When you  have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), you most likely follow a renal diet.  This include low potassium meats and vegetables.

Potassium is the key electrolyte in our body and the kidneys are a major route of EXIT for these electrolytes.

When kidneys are compromised, like in CKD patients, the risk of too much potassium in the body is high. Too much potassium (hyperkalemia) leads to cardiac arrest.

In this blog, I’d like to help you make the right choices in meat and vegetables to keep that potassium level down

How Much Potassium Do I Need?

If you are an adult with relatively healthy, low stress condition, your recommended potassium intake is (in milligram):

Adults 19+ years (men)3,400 mg
Adults 19+ years (women)2,600 mg

In CKD patients, the kidneys are not working properly and are no longer able to move additional potassium in the body. 

CKD patients Stage 1 to 4 generally are able to follow the above normal adult recommendation UNLESS their potassium level is above normal.

CKD patients Stage 5 or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), on dialysis need to limit their Potassium up to 2000 mg per day.

Potassium Food Label

Food that is HIGH in potassium is more than 200 mg per serving.

Food that is LOW in potassium is less than 200 mg per serving.

Nowadays, food labels include a list of  added sugar, Vitamin D, and Potassium (YAY!). Better for us all to follow.

Where Do You Find Potassium?

Potassium is found in many foods, salt substitutes and medications.

You should talk to your doctor before using any salt substitute if you have a health condition.

Potassium and Medications

ACE inhibitors meds: (Lotensin) losartan (Cozaar), can make potassium levels too high, especially in people who have kidney problems.

Water pills or Potassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride (Midamor) and spironolactone (Aldactone), works to decrease the amount of potassium lost in the urine and can cause potassium levels too high.

Loop and thiazide diuretics such as (Lasix) and bumetanide (Bumex), increase the amount of potassium lost in the urine and can cause a reverse effect of low levels of potassium (hypokalemia).

How to choose Low Potassium Food

Keep serving size in mind! 

Most meat with less than 235 mg of potassium per 100g or serving (about 3.5 ounces) are considered low potassium.

List of low-potassium meat options:

  • Chicken Wings (62.7 mg potassium per drumette)
  • Boiled Eggs  (63 mg potassium per 1 Large Egg )
  • Turkey Breast (233 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Corned Beef Brisket (145 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Braised Beef Short Ribs (224 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Ground Lamb (222 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Dover Sole (100 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Flounder (161 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Cooked King Crab (223 mg potassium per 100 g)

List of low-potassium vegetable options:

  • Spinach (167 mg potassium per 1 cup or 30 g)
  • Green Peppers (208 mg potassium per 1 medium sized)
  • Cucumbers (181 mg potassium per 1 cup Raw or 30 g)
  • Cauliflower (164 mg potassium per 1/2 cup Raw)
  • Asparagus (202 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Eggplant (188 mg potassium per 100 g)
  • Carrots (195 mg potassium per 1 medium sized carrot)

Tips to Reduce Potassium in Food

Pressure cooking, such in meats and legumes is recommended to reduce their potassium level.

Soaking vegetables in water, and steam cooking vegetables significantly reduced the potassium content. 

Low Potassium Meal Ideas

Breakfast:

  • 2 Eggs and ½ cup of spinach omelet
  • Spinach and bell pepper frittata

Lunch:

  • Sliced Turkey breast and cucumber wraps
  • Mixed greens salad topped with Filet of Sole

Dinner:

  • Grilled Lamb with cauliflower mash
  • King Crab with grilled asparagus

Snacks:

  • Cucumber slices with hummus
  • Bell pepper strips with eggplant spread (Babaganoush)

Remember, if you or your loved ones have CKD, it’s super important to manage your potassium level. High potassium leads to serious risk such as cardiac arrest. 

Try to follow a low potassium diet into your daily meals and whenever you go out to help you be in control.

Contact your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms such as muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, and heart palpitations.

Contact your registered dietitian nutritionist for more information and personalized nutrition advice.

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