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Many patients with chronic kidney disease are advised to eat a low-potassium diet. But what foods actually contain how much potassium? This article gives you an overview and a few basic rules about the most important food categories.
Here's what you need to know
Das solltest du wissen
Ecco cosa c'è da sapere
Voici ce qu'il faut savoir
Esto es lo que debe saber
  • Many fruits and vegetables contain relatively high amounts of potassium - but the logic behind it is unfortunately not very transparent. Here, you will need to do some studying!

  • You should reduce mushrooms, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate and potato products

  • As always, it is most important to balance your food portions adequately to avoid a potassium surplus

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Potassium is a nutrient mainly found in vegetable foods, but is in principle present in all foods. However, this does not mean that you have to do without delicious and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. It is much more important to learn which things contain how much potassium in the individual food categories. The portion size of foods is also incredibly important. As an example, parsley and potatoes both contain relatively high amounts of potassium. But who eats 100g of parsley? 100g of potatoes on the other hand can be eaten in just a few bites.

Unfortunately, potassium is not necessarily logical. There is no good rule of thumb with which you can easily estimate whether a food contains more or less potassium.

Below, you will find an initial overview of the most important food categories:


Low-potassium fruits include apples, pears, blueberries and sour cherries.

On the other hand, you should try to avoid apricots, bananas, raspberries, honeydew melons, currants, kiwi, quinces or rhubarb.

Dried fruit such as dried apricots or banana chips should be avoided completely, if possible. They still contain the same amount of potassium as before drying.

Canned fruit contains less potassium than fresh fruit. However, it is better to pour away the liquid and eat only the fruit compote, because the liquid contains the potassium that is no longer in the vegetables.


Vegetables that contain less potassium include iceberg lettuce, chicory, Chinese cabbage, endive, lamb's lettuce, mung bean sprouts, onions, cucumbers, radicchio, green peppers, radishes, white cabbage and zucchini.

On the other hand, avocado, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, kohlrabi, pumpkin, leeks, corn, radishes, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, tomatoes, salsify, celery and savoy cabbage contain a lot of potassium. You should also be careful with legumes like peas and lentils. These contain a lot of potassium - especially green beans.

Like fruit, canned vegetables contain less potassium than fresh vegetables. However, it is better to pour away the liquid, because it contains the potassium that is no longer in the vegetables.

Milk & dairy products

Cow's milk, but also dairy products such as yogurt, buttermilk or kefir contain relatively high amounts of potassium. A possible alternative to cow's milk is soy milk - in direct comparison with cow milk, it contains only about 20% of the potassium.

By the way, cheese is generally rather low in potassium.

Potatoes, breads & cereals

Little potassium is contained in bulgur, cornflakes, couscous, corn tortillas, pasta, rice, polenta, spaetzle, bread dumplings, toast, rusks, white flour pasta or white bread. On the other hand, you have to watch out for muesli mixtures and whole grain products. Those, you should only consume in small quantities.

You can enjoy the notorious potato (in any variation) but only with caution. Boiled potatoes, potato dumplings, chips, crisps and other potato products (including frozen products) are all real potassium bombs. As you may know, you can also cook potatoes longer and without salt to reduce their potassium content. By the way, you should be a bit more careful with food from the deep fryer or from the pan. These cooking methods reduce the potassium less and therefore more potassium remains in the food.

Mushrooms & nuts

Both mushrooms and nuts contain a lot of potassium, so you should only consume them in small portions. Maybe you can try not to reach into the bowl of peanuts with your whole hand. However, small amounts of nuts in cakes, pastries or mushrooms in salads should not go beyond the limit.

By the way, shiitake mushrooms are a positive exception when it comes to mushrooms. They contain less than 250 mg of potassium per 200 grams. All other types of mushrooms contain double or more potassium, which is why you should always go for shiitake mushrooms when you have the choice between mushroom types.


Sugar is generally not an indicator of high or low potassium. Sweets are therefore generally okay in terms of potassium. However, you should be careful with chocolate, especially dark chocolate - it contains a lot of potassium. You should try to replace larger amounts of chocolate with something else. Everyone knows that an occasional snack is necessary to satisfy the soul but maybe not be a whole bar of chocolate - the quantity matters!

Fish, meat & sausages

Depending on how the other blood values behave, up to 120g per day of meat, fresh fish and sausages should be fine.


There are potassium-rich and potassium-poor drinks. While teas (with the exception of nettle tea), mineral water and tap water contain rather little potassium, coffee, fruit and vegetable juices, wine and beer are potassium-rich.


Even though fresh, dried herbs are quite high in potassium, they are usually used in smaller quantities for seasoning. Since spices are often recommended as a salt alternative in cooking, they can usually be used mindfully in cooking - even if they contain more potassium.

What else?

Beware of cream of tartaric baking powder, as it tends to contain a lot of potassium. Sour cream products and their vegetable alternatives are generally low in potassium. Beware of diet salts, because table salt substitutes often consist of potassium chloride. They are therefore not good for you in case of renal insufficiency.

How much do I need to pay attention to all these things?

As you can see, at first glance it's not necessarily easy to understand what food contains how much potassium. Everyone knows that it's not easy. But it's incredibly important to get a better handle on your health.

Professional nutritionists can help you with a few smart adjustments to your diet, so that you don't have to give up almost anything completely. As always, the most important thing is to get the dosage of foods right to avoid excess potassium: larger portions of low-potassium foods and smaller portions of high-potassium foods.

You can find many more tips & tricks in the Mizu app. For example, you can check several thousand foods and recipes for potassium, or even keep a food diary and evaluate it. This way you'll become a real potassium pro in no time!

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