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Question : My friend has stage 3 kidney disease. His doctor asked him to eat foods low in potassium. So far, we can’t find potassium in the nutrition information available on food labels. Is there anywhere he can get a list of foods low in potassium?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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April 06, 2012
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A:

You can have a high blood potassium level (hyperkalemia) for several reasons. Kidney disease is one of the most common causes. And medicine that makes the kidneys hold on to potassium can also cause it, including:

  • Certain diuretics such as spironolactone (Aldactone, generic) and triamterene (Dyrenium, generic)
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors)
  • Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen

Two other causes of high potassium include:

  • Using a salt substitute that has potassium in it
  • Or taking a potassium supplement

Instead of looking for foods low in potassium, it might be easier for your friend to avoid foods that are high in potassium.

Here are some foods with the highest potassium content:

  • Potatoes with skins
  • Halibut
  • Raisins
  • Bananas
  • Acorn squash
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce

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4581, 7995, 23938,
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7995

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