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Top 50 Foods High In Potassium

food-highest-in-potassiumWhile this is usually not a concern if your diet is healthy, potassium intake does play an important role in the diet and should not be overlooked.

If your diet is poor in whole foods, you could still lack potassium, and more importantly, your ratio sodium / potassium could be inadequate.

Adequate potassium intake is necessary both for muscle building and for normal growth. It plays a role in synthesizing proteins from amino acids and also plays a role in carbohydrate metabolism.

Potassium, as an electrolyte, also plays an essential role in the electric activity of your heart.

Increased potassium intake may reduce your risk of having a stroke, of having high-blood pressure, and even osteoporosis or kidney stones.

Here are the top 50 foods high in potassium, in mg per 100g (3.5 oz).

top 25 foods high in potassium

top 50 foods high in potassium

We often think of bananas as potassium champions. However, as you can see above, the real potassium champions are legumes: beans, lentils and chickpeas. Seeds, nuts, whole grains and some fish also contain high amounts of potassium.

How much potassium do you need?

There is no RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for potassium.

As I wrote in this post about sodium, some official recommendations suggest we should consume about 4700 mg potassium per day, while our sodium intake should be limited to about 1500mg.

This is still a lot of potassium to absorb each and every day, and a diet that’s poor in vegetables, fruit and legumes will be high in sodium and poor in potassium. This is what we want to avoid.

People, eat your veggies! 🙂

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Sources:
USDA Database – http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/
Potassium – http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-potassium
Medline Plus; Potassium in Diet; 2010
Oregon State University; Linus Pauling Institute: Potassium; 2010
University of Maryland Medical Center; Potassium; 2009
 
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10 Comments

  1. Jane

    thank you for this list. I have a problem with high potassium. There are many things listed that I do eat so this will help me plan better meals!

    Reply
    • Anne Guillot

      Hi Jane, so glad it helps! Reducing foods high in potassium will definitely help address the issue.

      Reply
  2. Wayne Herder

    I am coming to a conclusion, through much observation and discussion, that the older we get the more Potassium we seem to “consume”. My wife, and our best friend, both suffer from leg cramps and heart issues due to low Potassium. Talking to others above age 60 to 65 also state that they are having more and more issues and having to take Potassium (OTC or prescription strength), or eat Potassium rich foods (I noticed Peanut Butter is not on the list and many of whom I have talked to have found great relief with having a spoonful or two), or sometimes even Quinine, to relieve the cramping. Just some “food” for thought.

    Reply
    • Anne Guillot

      Hi Wayne, thanks for your input! Cramps definitely are linked to a potassium deficiency; when I was little people used to consume potatoes every day and for a good reason (many times, twice a day). We didn’t have the issue of pesticides and other chemicals in potatoes at the time where I lived. Cramps also come from a magnesium deficiency, and the OTC synthetic magnesium chloride can be poorly absorbed, especially over time. Look for natural magnesium chloride from Zechstein seabed. That could help, too.

      Reply
  3. Heather

    I need a little clarification. It is not specified whether some of the beans, legumes, and grains on this list are measured cooked or dry. I can guess, but am not really sure. It can be tricky to rank foods’ potassium levels highest to lowest especially since it would not be very healthy to consume the same quantity of, say, Brazil nuts, as of pork or salmon.

    Reply
  4. JoAnn

    Anne, thank you for this list. My doctor told me that I have high potassium. It appears that all the foods I came to believe are good for you, are high in potassium…legumes, nuts, oatmeal, yogurt, seeds, salmon. If I eliminate all these, I won’t know what to eat. Help?
    JoAnn

    Reply
    • Anne Guillot

      Hi JoAnn, no worries; it’s not about eliminating anything. It’s about reducing foods high in potassium. You can perfectly eat legumes once a week instead of three times a week (example); you can reduce the nuts, and eat ALL the other foods that are not on the list. You can do this 🙂

      Reply
  5. Elka Brown

    Hi Anne like JoAnn I too have been advised that I have high potassium and like JoAnn feel that everything I seem to eat is high in potassium and as I have just joined your healthy eating community look forward to trying some recipes with potassium control. Its very complicated trying to work out what to eat without going the opposite way and ending up with low potassium. I have atrial fibrillation so high potassium is not good for me.

    Ella

    Reply
    • Anne Guillot

      Hi Elka, I saw you joined the community, great! If you eliminate legumes, reduce greens, chocolate, avocado, and other foods on the list, you should lower your potassium level.
      What I recommend you do is look at your current diet and write down all the foods you eat that are on the list. Go from there and reduce the amounts of those foods, or cut them out.
      You can also look at this complete list: http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/info/books-phds/books/foodfacts/html/data/data5b.html it’s more visual and may help you make the right choices.
      Hope this helps.
      Anne

      Reply

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