Always seek advice from your Dietitian or Nutritionist.
Managing Potassium for Children and Adolescents
Potassium (K+) is needed for your heart, nerves and muscles to work properly.
Healthy kidneys keep the level of blood potassium in a very narrow range by removing excess potassium in urine.
If your kidneys are not working properly, potassium may build up in your blood.
Regular blood tests will check your potassium level.
High levels of potassium are very dangerous and may cause your heart to beat irregularly and even stop beating.
Ways to lower Potassium in your blood:
* Eat less of the foods that are high in potassium.
* Eat enough energy for growth and body maintenance to avoid weight loss.
* Ensure your diet contains plenty of fibre-rich foods to prevent constipation.
What foods are high in Potassium?
Potassium has no smell or taste and is found in many foods, of which plant foods are the highest.
Foods which are high in potassium, as listed below, should be avoided when your levels are high.
Your Dietitian will give you a guide on how many serves of fruit and vegetables to eat every day.
Try to include additional low potassium vegetables and fruit such as apples, pears, strawberries, green beans, beetroot, cucumber, capsicum and lettuce to ensure an adequate vitamin, mineral and dietary fibre intake.
What foods are high in potassium?
Fruits and vegetables:
* Fruit juice, apricots, avocado, banana, custard apple. Dried fruit, mulberry, rockmelon, tropical fruit salad
* Vegetable juice, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, parsnip, spinach, artichoke, brussel sprouts
Reduce potassium in fruit and vegetables by preparing as follows:
* Peel all fruit and vegetables
* Drain the juice from tinned or stewed fruit
* Chop vegetables into small pieces
* Double boil vegetables (do not microwave, steam or stir fry): bring to the boil in plenty of water, discard the water and add fresh water, then boil again until cooked.
Other foods that are high in potassium:
* Potato crisps, hot chips
* Nuts, peanut butter, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
* Dried fruit and nut mixes, fruit cake
* Cocoa, chocolate, chocolate chips
* Cow’s milk, soy milk, yoghurt, custard (limit amount)
* Coconut milk or cream, fresh coconut
* Heavy grain breads, dark rye bread
* Commercial and homemade vegetable soups
Nutrition information panels on packaged foods no longer display potassium. This does not mean a food is free of potassium. Your potassium levels should be checked by regular blood tests.
For further information, contact your Dietitian or Nutritionist.
This information is courtesy of the Queensland Dietitians and Nutritionists, Queensland Health – click here for more details.