You should know that potassium is a mineral which is important for life. This mineral is necessary for many organs to work correctly such as the kidneys, heart, etc. But in high doses, this mineral can be dangerous.
Remember one thing you should never take potassium supplements without consulting your doctor. Your body uses this mineral in homeostasis (balancing the electrical and chemical processes in the body), regulation of muscle tissue, digestion, and metabolism.
Excess potassium might cause loss of nerve and muscle control, cardiac arrest, and irregular heartbeat.
As a matter of fact, your kidneys remove the excess potassium, but in case of renal disease, which is caused by diabetes, the kidneys can’t work normally. A build-up of potassium, known by the name hyperkalemia may have fatal consequences.
3 Steps to Plan Low-Potassium Diet
The best way to deal with this is to prevent it. Prevention is the key. Therefore. following a low-potassium diet can be beneficial.
Read on to find out more about low-potassium diet.
You need to pick carbs which are low in sugar and potassium. You should know that carbs have a direct influence on the blood glucose and most people with diabetes count their carbs.
The bad news is that low GI high fiber carbs which are recommended for individuals who have diabetes might be high in phosphorous and potassium.
Therefore, instead of consuming two slices of whole grain bread, consume just one slice of white bread. This should be one serving of a low potassium carbs.
You need to avoid processed proteins. Sausages, lunch meats, meats, and cold cuts with nitrates seem to be higher in potassium. This is in comparison to lean cuts of poultry, meat, fish, eggs, and seafood.
Also, you need to limit the intake of dried legumes and nuts. Make sure to limit the intake of low-fat dairy products. Consult your doctor about consumption of protein.
Individuals with renal failure sometimes need to follow a diet which is low in protein, in case they haven’t already begun with dialysis. On the other hand, dialysis patients often need more protein, because of tissue loss.
You need to learn which vegetables and fruits are better for your renal diabetes diet. You might have been avoiding starchy vegetables due to their high carb content.
However, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, okra, and tomatoes need to be avoided in case you have kidney disease. Make sure to pick fruits like grapefruit, berries, and apples.
You should know that you cannot judge how much potassium food contains, therefore, you might need a renal diet guide which lists the electrolyte content of food. Below you will see some foods which are high in potassium and which you need to avoid.
Foods High in Potassium
- Dairy foods and milk
- Dried beans
- Citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges
Make sure to pay close attention to portion control. In case you have 3 servings of low-potassium food, you still might be consuming too much.
Do your best to cook at home. You should know that at restaurants you have less control over portion control, food preparation, and fat and sodium content.
Word of Caution
In case you have any signs of hyperkalemia, like weakness, nausea, weak heartbeat, fainting, or shortness of breath consult your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor before you make any changes to your diabetes management plan.