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Potassium is an essential mineral, responsible for the overall functioning of the body system. It is crucial for the kidneys, muscles, nerves, and heart, to perform normally. As per medical data, the amount required by an adult on a daily basis is 3 - 6g. Any fluctuation from the normal levels leads to medical conditions like hyperkalemia and hypokalemia. Taking a note of high potassium foods, as well as the vegetables will help in planning a balanced diet, and maintaining normal levels.

The amount of potassium in the body is counterbalanced by sodium levels. Like for instance, presence of high sodium leads to depletion of potassium and vice versa. Similarly, intake of magnesium mineral has a direct impact in balancing potassium in the body. Researchers have found that a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium helps in controlling high blood pressure. On the contrary, patients diagnosed with chronic kidney problems are strongly recommended to consume these vegetables and fruits. A low potassium diet (1500 to 2700mg per day) is also recommended to reduce side effects of some medications.

List of Low Potassium Vegetables

The kidney plays a crucial role in maintaining potassium level in blood, thereby excreting excess of this mineral in urine. Considering this, a malfunctioning kidney can no longer filter potassium for elimination during urination, this leading to high levels in blood. Ultimately, the individual will experience hyperkalemia symptoms. Consuming a daily diet with these vegetables, fruits, and meat items will thus, help in combating the condition.

The amount of potassium can be reduced to a certain extent by certain preparation methods. For example, soaking raw and frozen vegetables in water for about 2 hours (or more) before cooking. Discarding boiling water or cooking water is another approach to lower its content. While following a low potassium diet plan, do not use salt substitutes in cooking, as they are formulated with salts. Following is a list of vegetable items that can be safely consumed.
  • Snow peas
  • Green beans
  • Wax beans
  • Leached potatoes
  • Crookneck
  • Zucchini
  • All summer squashes
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Canned chestnuts (without canned water)
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Rhubarb
  • Leached spinach
  • Leached collards
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Radish
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Eggplant
Vegetables to avoid with hyperkalemia are dried beans, tomatoes, beets, and winter squashes. Milk and dairy products are basically rich sources of potassium. Hence, it is logical to replace them with non-dairy, healthy foods, which contain optimal nutrients. While purchasing packaged foods, make a point to check the label, and avoid products that have potassium chloride in the ingredients list. At any point of time, do not use liquid portion of canned vegetables and fruits.

Knowing the list of foods with low potassium foods is not sufficient for controlling hyperkalemia. One has to keep a check on the food serving size (half cup is ideal) to make sure that the level is low. In simpler terms, intake of large portions of these vegetables will be of no use, as the potassium level will shoot up anyway. So, one has to have a thorough idea about the foods list, and limit the serving amount as per the recommendations of the concerned doctor.