Potassium

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Potassium is a mineral, which is found in all cells of the body and a certain level in the blood. Potassium helps to maintain fluid balance and normal muscle function. If your kidneys are unable to rid the body of excess potassium you must limit foods high in potassium. If too much potassium builds up in the blood it cam interfere with the normal action of the heart muscle – you could have a heart attack (cardiac arrest)

Normal blood potassium is 3.5 – 5.1 mmol/L

Guidelines for Controlling Potassium

  1. Choose foods from the “Low Potassium Foods”
  2. Avoid foods from the “High Potassium Foods”
  3. Cooked vegetables are lower in potassium than raw ones, remember to cook vegetables well in plenty of water and then drain and discard cooking liquid. Steaming or microwaving vegetables does not lower potassium levels.
  4. Use pre cooked drained vegetables in soups and stews
  5. Potatoes contain a great deal of potassium so make sure potatoes are cooked in lots of water and drained and then discard the cooking liquid. If making potato scallop the potatoes should be soaked in water for about 8 hours and then drained. Avoid potatoes that are not cooked in water such as baked potatoes, french fries or potato chips. Potatoes should only be eaten once per day.
  6. Drain and discard liquid from canned fruit to help lower potassium content.
  7. Try eating 3 to 4 low potassium fruit servings and 2 to 3 low potassium vegetable serving daily and only 1 potato serving daily. Serving sizes are about ½ cup or 1 small piece.
  8. Do not use a salt substitute such as No Salt, NuSalt, Low Salt or Half Salt and salt-free cheese as these contain potassium. Mrs. Dash is okay to use as this is a spice mix and spices are okay to use.

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