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03-13-2007, 04:43 PM
Post: #1
If in doubt always ask your dietitian or doctor for advice.  

Potassium should always be watched closely when a person is on dialysis.
Some diets may be more liberal depending on the type of dialysis
one is on.

Quote:What do I need to know about potassium?

Potassium is a mineral found in many foods, especially milk, fruits, and vegetables. It affects how steadily your heart beats. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of potassium in the blood to keep the heart beating at a steady pace. Potassium levels can rise between dialysis sessions and affect your heartbeat. Eating too much potassium can be very dangerous to your heart. It may even cause death.

You can remove some potassium from potatoes by soaking them in water.

To control potassium levels in your blood, avoid foods like avocados, bananas, kiwis, and dried fruit, which are very high in potassium. Also, eat smaller portions of other high-potassium foods. For example, eat half a pear instead of a whole pear. Eat only very small portions of oranges and melons.

Dialyzing Potatoes and Other Vegetables

You can remove some of the potassium from potatoes and other vegetables by peeling them, then soaking them in a large amount of water for several hours. Drain and rinse before cooking. Your dietitian will give you more specific information about the potassium content of foods.

Make a food plan that reduces the potassium in your diet. Start by noting the high-potassium foods (below) that you now eat. A dietitian can help you add other foods to the list.

High-Potassium Foods:

apricots orange juice oranges peanuts pears (fresh) potatoes prune juice
prunes raisins sardines  spinach tomatoes winter squash  yogurt
avocados bananas beets brussel sprouts  cantaloupe-  clams dates
figs kiwi fruit lima beans melons milk nectarines

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12-04-2007, 02:38 PM
Post: #2
RE: potassium
a refresher is always handy especially with holidays coming up..

Quote:Potassium is found in many foods, especially vegetables and fruit, so it is easy to eat more than your body needs.

Too much or too little potassium can cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or to stop all together.
Your kidneys remove extra potassium from your body. If your kidneys are not working properly, potassium can build up in your blood.
Many foods contribute potassium to your diet, including protein rich foods, dairy foods, breads and cereals, especially vegetables and fruit.
Different fruits and vegetables can have very different potassium contents. To control your blood potassium levels you should know which fruits and vegetables are high, medium and low sources of potassium and choose carefully.

Potassium levels:

Normal blood potassium levels for adults are 3.5 to 5.0 mmol/L. Critical levels for renal patients are 5.5 mmol/L or greater.

Serving size

The amount of potassium in a serving depends on the volume of the food in a 1/2 cup (125 mL) portion. The same food may be on different potassium lists, depending on how it's prepared. For example, 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked celery contains more potassium than 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw celery because the celery packs tighter together once cooked.

The next list foods as either low, medium, or high in potassium based on preparation method or the amount found naturally in foods.

Reducing Potassium in Foods

While heating does not destroy potassium, cooking a food in large amounts of water allows potassium to move out of the food and into the water. To reduce potassium in your foods:

Peel vegetables and cut into small pieces. Boil in a large pot of water. Do not reuse cooking liquid in soups or gravies.
Drain liquid from canned vegetables and fruit.
Example: Potato Potassium (mg)

Baked, 1 medium 842
Commercial French fries, strips only (10) 367
Homemade French fries, 100 g, 1/2 cup (125 mL) 273
Peeled, cut-up, soaked for 8 hours in 7 times the water, changing the water once. 130
Example: Tomato

Potassium (mg)
Paste, 1/4 cup (50 mL) 614
Juice, canned 1/2 cup (125 mL) 265
Raw, 1/2 small 125
How much potassium can I have?

The amount of potassium you can tolerate depends on your body size, the medications you are taking, how well your kidneys are functioning, the amount of urine you make and the quality of your dialysis.

If your blood potassium level is too low:

Add high potassium fruits and vegetables to your diet. Aim for at least 3 to 4 servings of high potassium food choices every day. Ask your dietitian for further guidance.
If your blood potassium is regularly within the normal range:

You may be able to include more medium or high potassium choices in your diet within moderation. Check with your dietitian for acceptable quantities.
If your blood potassium level is too high:

Avoid high potassium vegetables and fruit. Choose 4 to 5 servings of low and medium potassium foods per day.

Other Foods:

A number of other foods can contribute potassium to your diet. Some of these are listed in the high potassium section. If your potassium levels are high you may need to limit these foods as well. Ask your dietitian for advice.
Serving sizes are 1/2 cup (125 mL) unless noted otherwise (less than 135 mg potassium per serving).

Foods Low in Potassium


alfalfa sprouts
asparagus, cooked, fresh
bamboo shoots, canned, drained
beans, broad
beans, green/yellow, canned, drained
beets, canned
cabbage red/green, raw or cooked
carrots, frozen
cauliflower, frozen, cooked
collard greens, raw and cooked
corn on the cob – 3" cob
dandelion greens
egg plant
fiddleheads, frozen and cooked
lettuce, all varieties
mushrooms, raw, canned, drained
onions, green, 2 medium
onions, white, raw
parsley, sprig
pea pods, raw
potato, peeled and soaked 8 hours
radish, 10 small
squash, long (por qua), cooked
squash, spaghetti
water chestnuts, canned, drained
winter melon/wax gourd (100 g)


blackberries, frozen
cherries, canned, drained
cranberry sauce, juice
figs, canned, drained, 3 medium
figs, 1 medium
fruit cocktail canned, drained
gooseberries, canned
grape juice from concentrate
grapes, 15 raw
kiwi, 1/2 only
lemon, 1 medium
lychee, raw (8)
mandarin orange, 1 small or canned, drained
passion fruit (1)
peach nectar
pears, canned, drained, 2 halves
pear nectar
plum, 1 medium
raspberries, raw, canned, drained
rhubarb, frozen, cooked
strawberries, raw
tangarine, 1 small
Foods Medium in Potassium
Serving sizes are 1/2 cup (125 mL) unless noted otherwise (between 135 and 215 mg potassium per serving).


asparagus, canned
beans, green, yellow fresh, boiled
bean sprouts, stir fried
broccoli, raw or frozen
carrots, boiled or canned and drained
cauliflower, raw
celery, raw
collard greens, frozen
corn, fresh cooked or canned, creamed and baby
garden cress, raw
hairy squash (moqua)
mustard greens, boiled
okra, raw
onions, white, cooked
peas, green, canned and drained, frozen
pea pods, boiled, frozen
potato, canned
salisfy, boiled
snow peas, raw
spinach, raw
squash, crookneck
turnip, cooked
tofu, silken
tomato, 1/2 raw
zucchini, raw
apple, medium
apple juice
applepear, 1/2 medium
apricots canned or 2 medium raw
apricot nectar
blackberries, raw
casaba melon
cherries, raw (10)
grape juice, bottled
kumquats, 4 medium
mango, 1/2 medium
peaches, raw, canned, frozen
pear, 1 small
pineapple, raw, canned and drained
pineapple juice
pummelo, 3 medium sections
raspberries, frozen
rhubarb, raw
saskatoon berries
strawberries, frozen
watermelon, 1 cup


Do not eat or drink: Starfruit and starfruit juice are poisonous to dialysis patients!

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice interact with many medications.

Foods High in Potassium

Serving sizes are 1/2 cup (125 mL) unless noted otherwise (more than 215 mg potassium per serving).


amaranth (yin choy)
artichokes, cooked
bamboo, raw, boiled
beets, fresh, boiled
beet greens, boiled
bitter melon pods
bok choy (Chinese celery)
broccoli, boiled fresh
Brussel's sprouts boiled, or frozen
carrots, 1 raw medium, juice
celery, cooked
chard, Swiss, boiled
choy sum
corn-on-the-cob (6-inch cob)
gai choy, boiled (Chinese mustard greens)
lo bok, daikon (Chinese radish)
lotus root,
mushrooms, cooked
pak choi, boiled
peas, black-eyed
peas, green cooked fresh
potato, 1 raw or boiled or baked with skin, microwaved
potato chips/fries (10)
salisfy, raw
shanghai bok choy, boiled
soybeans, cooked
spinach, frozen or boiled or canned
squash, winter and summer
sui choy (Chinese cabbage)
sweet potato
taro root
tofu, raw
tomato, canned, juice
tomato, paste, 1/4 cup or 50 mL
tomato, stewed
V-8 juice
waterchestnuts, raw
wolfberry (gow gay)
yams, baked, boiled
yard long bean
zucchini, boiled
apricots, 3 raw or dried
avocado (1/3)
banana, 1 small
breadfruit, 1/4 small
cantaloupe (1/4)
coconut, juice
currants, dried
dates, 5 medium
figs, 2 medium or dried
guava, 1 medium
guava juice
jackfruit, raw, canned
nectarine, 1 medium
orange, navel
orange juice
papaya, 1/3 medium
passion fruit juice
persimmon, raw, 1 medium
plantain, raw, cooked
pomegranate, 1 medium
prickly pear, 1 medium
prune juice
tangelo, 1 medium
Caution: Discuss use of these foods with your dietitian

Grain Products

bran cereal (1 cup or 250 mL) = 350 mg

Milk Products

milk (1 cup or 250 mL) = 380 mg
buttermilk (1 cup or 250 mL) = 370 mg
goat's milk (1 cup or 250 mL) = 500 mg
condensed milk (1 cup or 250 mL) = 1135 mg
Meat and Alternatives

beans such as kidney, white, soy, lima, navy, pinto (1 cup or 250 mL) = 1000 mg
chick peas (1 cup or 250 mL) = 480 mg
lentils (1 cup or 250 mL) cooked = 730 mg
nuts (1/2 cup or 125 mL) = 500 to 1033 mg
Other Foods

chocolate chips (1 cup or 250 mL) = 1100 mg
molasses (1/2 cup or 125 mL) = 2400 mg
salt substitutes with potassium (1/8 tsp or 0.5 mL) = 528 mg


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12-04-2007, 04:48 PM
Post: #3
RE: potassium
Yeah, I'm one of the rare ones who needs more potassium. Rolleyes1 I take a supplement, and I eat potatoes every night with dinner.

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05-29-2008, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 05-29-2008 04:29 PM by sunshine.)
Post: #4
RE: potassium
Potatoes are a valuable source of mineral nutrients that provide high levels of potassium. Individuals with compromised kidney function, however, must minimize their potassium intake. A new study in the Journal of Food Science explored the effects of leaching and boiling on levels of potassium and other minerals in potatoes and found that boiling cubed or shredded samples reduced potassium levels by 50 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

Quote:Potatoes are a valuable source of mineral nutrients that provide high levels of potassium. Individuals with compromised kidney function, however, must minimize their potassium intake. A new study in the Journal of Food Science explored the effects of leaching and boiling on levels of potassium and other minerals in potatoes and found that boiling cubed or shredded samples reduced potassium levels by 50 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

Shelley Jansky, PhD, and Paul Bethke, PhD, both of the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service and University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Horticulture, utilized samples of potatoes that had been shredded as well as potatoes that had been diced into 1 cm cubes. The samples were then leached or boiled, two treatments that are most likely to have an impact on the mineral content of a consumed product.

The mineral content of the potatoes was drastically reduced by either cubing or shredding them and then boiling. Boiling shredded potatoes reduced levels of zinc, manganese, magnesium, and sulfur by 50 percent. Boiled potato cubes lost 35 percent of their total magnesium and zinc.

Leaching, which refers to soaking food in water before cooking, had little effect on the mineral levels of the samples. Because leaching alone was an ineffective method for reducing potassium content, there exists little benefit for renal failure patients trying to reduce potassium consumption by leaching potatoes.

Those with compromised kidney function can decrease their mineral intake while still taking advantage of the other nutritional qualities of potatoes by boiling them, thinly sliced. This method will remove a large quantity of many minerals, including potassium. It is not necessary to complicate the process by leaching potato slices before boiling them.

“Our study offers information about the nutritional quality of potatoes and the effects of cooking on the contents of mineral nutrients,” the authors conclude. “It will likely result in changes in recommendations by medical staff working with patients who have compromised kidney function.”

and here I used to leach potatoes for 2 sometime 3 days! glad I
read this, learn something different just about everyday.

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05-29-2008, 06:03 PM
Post: #5
RE: potassium
Makes me feel okay about "forgetting" to leach my potatoes. I just don't eat them that often.

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11-02-2008, 01:28 PM
Post: #6
RE: potassium
great article to look over..

Quote:Lowering potassium in potatoes

Written by DaVita renal dietitian, Sara Colman, RD, CSR, CDE

Potassium is a mineral that controls nerve and muscle function. One very important muscle — the heart — beats at a normal rhythm because of potassium. In addition, potassium is necessary for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and pH level. Healthy kidneys help keep potassium at a normal level. Potassium levels that are too high or too low can be dangerous.

Potassium comes from the foods we eat, and healthy kidneys remove excess potassium in the urine to help maintain normal levels in the blood. However, because people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or people on kidney dialysis do not have healthy kidneys, potassium may build up in their bodies. For this reason, people with CKD and those on hemodialysis may have to limit foods high in potassium or find ways to remove potassium from the foods they eat.

Why is too much potassium harmful to people with kidney disease?

High potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia. This can occur in people with advanced stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Some of the effects of high potassium (hyperkalemia) are:



numbness or tingling

slow pulse

irregular heartbeat

heart failure

sudden death

For people with stage 5 CKD (also known as end stage renal disease or ESRD), dialysis is necessary to help regulate potassium. Dialysis is very effective at removing excess potassium from the blood. For those who do peritoneal dialysis or daily home hemodialysis, high potassium is rarely a problem. However, in patients who get intermittent hemodialysis three times each week, potassium levels may rise in between treatments. Because of this, high potassium foods must be limited so potassium levels do not get too high before the next treatment.

High potassium (hyperkalemia) is likely to occur when dialysis treatments are skipped or shortened or when large amounts of foods high in potassium content are consumed between treatments. This allows potassium to build up to dangerous levels in the blood, which can lead to irregular heartbeats and even cause the heart to stop beating.

Potassium and potatoes

Certain high-potassium foods can be soaked in water to reduce their potassium content for people on the kidney diet. Potatoes are one of these foods, and recent research has revealed new ways of cooking potatoes to remove the maximum amount of potassium.

For years, renal dietitians have instructed kidney patients on low potassium diets to cut up and leach or soak potatoes to reduce the potassium load. That’s because one small potato (1-3/4" to 2-1/4" diameter) contains over 700 milligrams of potassium.

A review of the research on treatments to remove potassium reveals there are three important factors to consider when cooking potatoes:

dicing, slicing or grating potatoes into smaller pieces helps to maximize exposure of the potato surface to water the temperature of the water used to either soak or boil the potatoes makes a difference a large volume of water to potatoes is required.

What research has been done on removing potassium from potatoes?

During early research in 1969, potatoes were sliced into 1/8th-inch slices or diced into small dice-size cubes and soaked in heated water (122 to 140° F) for two hours. The water volume was 10 times more water than potatoes. Next, the potatoes were rinsed and boiled in five times more water for five minutes. This method of soaking and then boiling the potatoes reduced potassium from 400 milligrams per every 100 grams (equal to 2/3 cup) of potatoes to 211 milligrams for cubes and 90 milligrams for thinly sliced potatoes.

A study in 1970 analyzed dehydrated and raw potato slices repeating the above techniques. This new study demonstrated a reduction in potassium to 86 milligrams by leaching thin sliced potatoes in room temperature water instead of heated water for 30 minutes. The results confirmed that maximum surface exposure with a large amount of water at room temperature or higher effectively removed potassium.

Another study in 1990 analyzed cubed, grated and French-fry-cut potatoes soaked in the refrigerator in cold water (40° F) for four hours. Ten times the amount of water to potatoes was used. In this study, potassium in raw potatoes was reduced from 340 milligrams to 290 milligrams after four hours of leaching. For the grated potatoes soaked in the refrigerator, potassium was 150 milligrams after four hours. The French-fry-cut potatoes were 340 milligrams after four hours of soaking.

A recently released 2008 study analyzed 1/2-inch cubed potato pieces (that’s very small) and grated potatoes soaked in the refrigerator for 20 hours at 42° F and then boiled. The results showed that only boiling reduced the potassium just as effectively as soaking then boiling. The raw potato cubes that were not leached contained 400 milligrams of potassium. However, after boiling for 10 minutes in a large volume of water, the boiled cubes were reduced to 200 milligrams of potassium, and the boiled grated potatoes were reduced to 100 milligrams of potassium.

These studies are reflected in the chart below:

[Image: picture1sr1.png]

What’s the best way to reduce potassium in potatoes?

For the most effective potassium removal, potatoes must be cut into small pieces, sliced thin or grated. If boiled at least 10 minutes in a large pot of water, potassium is reduced by at least half the original amount. These potatoes will still contain 100 to 200 milligrams of potassium in a 1/2 cup serving so people on a low-potassium diet are encouraged to pay attention to portion control.

If boiling is not the planned cooking method, potassium may still be reduced by slicing or cutting potatoes into small pieces or grating them and soaking them in a large amount of water at room temperature or warmer for greater potassium removal.

The least effective method of removing potassium is to soak potatoes in the refrigerator, then prepare without boiling first.

What about other forms of potatoes?

Canned potatoes go through a natural leaching process due to soaking in the canned water. A 1/2 cup serving of drained canned potatoes that is one inch in diameter contains 206 milligrams of potassium.

Instant potatoes are highly processed and do lose some potassium during processing. A 1/2 cup serving of prepared potato granules or flakes contains 150 to 220 milligrams of potassium.

Hash browns, either frozen or home prepared, contain 340 to 450 milligrams of potassium in a 1/2 cup portion. Grated potatoes that are soaked or boiled according to the researchers’ methods and then fried contain between 100 to 150 milligrams of potassium in a 1/2-cup portion.

It’s easy to get too much potassium from potatoes

One average-sized, whole, baked potato (2-1/3”x 4-3/4” or about 1-1/3 cups, if measured) contains 926 milligrams of potassium with the skin or 610 milligrams of potassium without the skin. If you are on a low-potassium diet, this is a considerable amount for one serving.

Potato chips are another source of too much potassium. A comparison of 16 different varieties and brands reveals a range of 265 to 495 milligrams of potassium for one cup of chips or a one-ounce bag.

People on low-potassium renal diets should also beware of French fries. A small order of fries from five major fast food chains ranges from 470 to 510 milligrams of potassium. That’s about 20 milligrams for each French fry. A super-sized order has 1,210 milligrams potassium — more than half the daily allowance for a low-potassium diet.

What about other vegetables?

While leaching and soaking work for potatoes, it’s not recommended that you soak or boil all vegetables in water because water soluble vitamins including B vitamins and vitamin C can be lost in the water. Also, all vegetables are different and do not lose the same amount of potassium when leached or boiled.

A 2006 study on a variety of tuberous root vegetables (batata, cocomalanga, dasheen, eddo, black yam, white yam, yellow yam, yampi, malanga, red yautia white yautia and yucca) that were consumed as a staple by different ethnic groups determined that leaching alone did not remove enough potassium in these vegetables. By boiling, rinsing and boiling again, dasheen, yams and yampi were reduced below 200 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams. Batata, white yautia and yuca were reduced to below 300 milligrams after double boiling. Cocomalanga, eddo, malanga and red yautia remained over 300 milligrams after boiling.


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11-02-2008, 02:31 PM
Post: #7
RE: potassium
very interesting article sunshine ..while I was on hemo dialysis my potassium level was high now I'm on P.D dialysis the level is excellent .
I always soak potatoes in water before cooking ,problem is one cannot do that when eating out not that we do that very often
another thing I soak in water is bacon as it takes a lot of the sodium out ,not that bacon is all that good for you but is nice to have now and again
thanks for posting that information sunshine .

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11-02-2008, 02:44 PM
Post: #8
RE: potassium

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