Top 9 Foods Low In Potassium For People With Kidney Disease

Your kidneys work hard to clean your blood of waste products and excess fluids. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t work at their best, leading to diminished renal function. Those with kidney problems have to make wise choices about what they eat, as their diet seriously impacts their renal health.

Today we will discuss low potassium foods that kidney patients must eat. Why do they need to pay attention to their potassium levels? And can pineapple really boost your health?

We’ll discuss all of these AND more…


Before We Discuss The Best Low-potassium Foods, Let’s Explore Why Potassium Is Important…

Kidneys have a vital role to play in keeping you healthy. They clean your blood by removing any waste products and excess fluids.

When your kidneys are healthy and are functioning normally, they would be able to filter up to 150 quarts of blood in a day. They would also produce about 2 quarts of urine. They do this to ensure there is no waste buildup and that your electrolytes such as potassium and sodium are at optimal levels.

People with kidney issues won’t be able to regulate their potassium levels. When this happens, your blood will have too much potassium, which can put you in peril.


Are you wondering why we singled out potassium? 

Potassium Plays An Essential Role In Your Body.

You get potassium from your diet, and it’s key to keeping your heartbeat at a regular pace. Potassium also plays a vital role in ensuring your muscles and nerves work while maintaining your fluid balance.

Your kidneys keep potassium at their optimal levels to be functioning correctly. If you have kidney disease, your renal function is likely to diminish, leading to the possible rise of potassium in your blood to dangerous levels.


So, What Happens When Potassium Levels Go Up?

When you check your potassium levels, they should be below 5. Anything above is a cause for concern. If your blood potassium levels are more than 6, then you’ve entered a danger zone and will have a condition called hyperkalemia.

Usually, there are no visible symptoms of hyperkalemia other than a general “unwell” feeling. Nothing that would specifically point towards a dangerous spike in potassium levels. This is also why you need to get check-ups done regularly as potassium levels build up over a period of weeks and months.

You could develop several dangerous complications when potassium levels remain higher than usual, like the possibility of becoming paralyzed and having an irregular heartbeat. In extreme cases, there may even be sudden death.


Now, Which Foods Are Low In Potassium?

The foods you need in your diet should have less than 200 milligrams of potassium for every serving. If you’re a healthy individual, a typical diet should have 3,500 to 4,500 milligrams of potassium every day. But people on restricted diets due to kidney disease should restrict their potassium consumption to 2,000 milligrams per day.


Let’s Begin By First Discussing Everybody’s Favorite- Pineapple!

Pineapple is one of the fruits with a low amount of potassium per serving. It comes with many other health benefits, so adding it to your diet when you have kidney disease can be helpful. One cup of pineapple, weighing about 165 grams, can give you around 4% of the potassium your body needs daily.

Pineapple is rich in other important nutrients such as vitamins C and B6, manganese, and riboflavin. Packed with antioxidants that help fight diseases caused by oxidative stress due to free radicals. The antioxidants in pineapple are bound, which means their effectiveness is long-lasting.

Pineapple also has bromelain, an enzyme that can help digestion, especially if you regularly eat meat. It also boosts your immunity system and reduces inflammation, keeping the risk of infections at bay.


You Can Also Eat Cabbage

Cabbage can be part of your diet even if you have kidney disease, as it has a low amount of potassium for every serving. One cup of raw cabbage, weighing around 85 grams, would provide about 4% of the potassium you need daily.

This vegetable also helps reduce chronic inflammation associated with arthritis and heart disease. Cabbage is also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps your body absorb the iron you get from plant food. It also gives you as much as 85% of the vitamin K you need daily with just one cup.

Try Cabbage in various forms, such as salads and soups, with just a little salt and pepper. It can reduce your blood pressure levels and reduce your body’s harmful cholesterol levels.


Egg Whites Are Healthy And Don’t Put Your Kidneys In Danger

Egg whites, at their very basic, make up 90% water and 10% protein. It is also very low in calories and has only trace amounts of potassium. For one cup of egg whites, weighing around 243 grams, you get only 396 milligrams of potassium.

Eating only egg whites also means eating a dish free of cholesterol and fat. It is pure protein, making it a good food for people looking to reduce calories or with conditions such as kidney disease.


Love White Pasta? Well, You Can Eat It Without Putting Your Kidneys At Risk.

White pasta, without tomato-based sauce, is another good dish to have if you have kidney disease. One cup of cooked spaghetti only has 2% of your body’s daily potassium intake.

If you eat pasta in moderate amounts, it can give you various other health benefits. Instead of using cheese as a topping, olive oil, fish, and some herbs would be a better choice. Also, whole-wheat pasta would be much more nutrition-friendly than the refined version.


Eating An Apple A Day Is Perfectly Safe For Your Kidneys

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! More importantly, for people with kidney disease, eating 200 grams of apple would still give you only 5% of the potassium your body requires daily. Apples make the perfect fruit for those who need a low-potassium diet.

The fruit is also suitable for people on a weight-loss program as it contains loads of fiber and water. Apples help keep you full. It also helps promote your gut health, thanks to the presence of pectin. This compound feeds the gut microbiota, and a healthy gut means you’re much more likely to stay healthier.

Apples also help lower the risk of diabetes. Research has shown that eating fruits such as apples and pears would reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 18%. Even eating just one serving a week means your chances decrease by 3%.


Red Grapes Are Delicious And Healthy

Red grapes can also be a beneficial part of kidney patients’ diet. For every 100 grams of red grapes, you get just 191 milligrams of potassium. Making them a great part of a low-potassium diet.

Red grapes are also high in antioxidants, protecting you from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. They also have anti-inflammatory properties due to the compounds anthocyanin and resveratrol present in them.

They are easy to add to any diet, as you can eat them directly as a snack or add them as part of a dessert recipe. Try incorporating grapes by adding them on top of your yogurt and salads or in your morning smoothie.


Your Kidneys Are Safe With Garlic

One clove of garlic, around 3 grams, has just about 12 milligrams of potassium. It would be beneficial for kidney patients and is part of most recipes around the world. Historically garlic has been used as part of medicine due to its health benefits, and we can see why.

Garlic is beneficial against illnesses such as the common cold, as was shown in a large study conducted for 12 weeks. It can help you live longer, especially among people with a dysfunctional immune system.


Red Peppers Are Also A Great Option To Add To Your Diet

Love adding red peppers as a topping to your pizza? Well, now you can eat this veggie guilt-free. It is low in potassium and offers so many incredible health benefits. 

This mildly sweet yet earthy-tasting veggie contains loads of vitamin A and vitamin C, which are great at boosting your overall health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights cell damage in your body. The result is a stronger immune system and reduced inflammation. 

You should eat red peppers on their own because roasting or cooking them reduces their nutrition, especially vitamin C. Consider adding this wonderful veggie to your salads. 

Not only are red peppers safe for your kidneys, but they are also excellent for your eye and skin health. All thanks to the generous amount of vitamin A this veggie offers. Vitamin A supports skin cells, helps wound healing, and boosts white blood cell growth. 


Indulge In Eating Blueberries.

Do you love eating blueberries? Well, now you have all the more reasons to enjoy this delicious fruit. It is low in potassium, so safe for kidney patients. It helps boost health, thanks to the ample antioxidants found in them. 

This anti-inflammatory fruit can protect you against aging and cancer. It’s not us saying this. Experts have found strong evidence that blueberries reduce DNA damage, reducing your risk of deadly diseases like cancer. 

You can eat blueberries as it is or make a mixed berry smoothie using them. They also make a delicious topping for your breakfast oatmeal bowl. 


Your diet certainly impacts your kidney health.

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