It is often said that hyperkalemia is unlikely to occur in people with kidney disorders if they opt for a potassium-restricted diet. Foods that can be included and excluded from this type of diet are discussed in the following NutriNeat article.
When the kidneys are not functioning efficiently, one should be cautious about including potassium in the diet. This is because kidneys are not able to filter surplus potassium from the blood. This can lead to accumulation of potassium in the body, a condition commonly referred to as hyperkalemia. To avoid these issues, people with impaired kidney function need to follow a potassium-restricted diet. It is discussed below:
Foods to Avoid
Quite a few vegetables are found to be a good source of potassium. These have to be avoided, intake of which may lead to elevated potassium levels in people with kidney disorders. They are mentioned below:
- Winter squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Dried fruits
Foods to Include
Foods that contain relatively low amounts of potassium can certainly be included in the diet recommended for patients with kidney impairment. It is mentioned below:
Following are the medium to low potassium vegetables that can be included in the diet.
- Turnip greens
- Iceberg lettuce
- Berries that include blueberries and strawberries
Other Food Items
Those diagnosed with kidney diseases are often advised to stay away from chocolates. The reason is simple; Chocolates contain a great deal of potassium and eating them can increase the burden on the kidneys that are already working inefficiently. Nuts that include walnuts, almonds, and cashew nuts also are excluded from the diet as they contain potassium in significant amounts. Salty chips as well as salt substitutes have high potassium content and therefore need to be discarded from the diet. However, certain herbal recipes act as natural salt substitutes and so can be included in the diet. Meats that includes lean beef, roasted turkey as well as dark meat should also not be consumed.
Foods to be Eaten in Moderation
Apart from vegetables and fruits, there are foodstuffs and beverages that are rich in potassium. Whether it is cow’s milk or soy milk, potassium content is always high in any type of milk. However, avoiding milk can deprive patients of other essential nutrients and so it is recommended to minimize intake of milk and other dairy products. So, having just half a cup of milk and yogurt is recommended to maintain healthy potassium levels in these patients.
A point to note here is that although the aforementioned vegetables and fruits are low in potassium, indulgence must be avoided. Eating them in moderate amounts, which means restricting intake to just half a cup is essential to keep health in good condition.
Keep in mind that following a potassium-restricted diet is imperative for patients with serious kidney problems. This will ensure that blood potassium levels remain healthy and the kidney function does not deteriorate further.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.