Published on February 20th, 2021 | by Katherine0
7 BEST FOODS FOR A LOW POTASSIUM DIET
Katherine from 00kidney here, welcome to our journey together to a better kidney health.
Here with me today I have the top 7 best SUPERFOODS you must eat in a low potassium diet!
I even have a negative potassium food in here!
Because if you have kidney problems, as you may already know, DIET is key to lower your creatinine levels.
And controlling potassium intake without missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients is the core of a healthy renal diet.
So, let’s start with a very important question: can people with kidney problems eat bananas?
Wow, what do we have here!
Mini bananas are incredibly healthy nutritional powerhouse!
They’re not just rich in many essential vitamins people with kidney problems really need, they also have so many health benefits!
In particular, unripe bananas, either regular sized or mini, are full of resistant starch and pectin!
This means that eating these bananas will improve your digestive health, lower your blood sugar levels and even help losing weight!
And these are a little bit too unripe yes, but in a couple of days they’re going to be sweeter than regular bananas, with a vanilla like, almost floral scent.
But wait, aren’t bananas full of potassium? Sure, a whole banana contains around 420mg of potassium!
But what about a mini banana? Well, this weights 75 grams, and it contains just around 200mg of potassium – same potassium as a medium sized apple!
This means that with some portion control, yes, many kidney patients can still eat mini bananas or even regular bananas, but maybe just half a day?
Now, when it comes to potassium in the diet it’s all about cost versus benefits!
Bananas, especially small unripe ones, have incredible health benefits, as we have seen, but they are still rich in potassium.
So, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before adding any of the foods I show you in my videos.
Now, for this video I’ve also prepared a benefits vs potassium scale – so you can easily tell what foods will give you most benefits per potassium content.
So, what’s the score of mini bananas?
Let’s see, mini bananas can improve digestive health and lower blood sugar levels, but they also have around 360mg of potassium per 100grams of fruit – which is a lot.
This means… a 5 out of 10! Not bad, but we are going to see a lot of healthier foods!
Our number 1 for today in particular is going to tip the scale since it is a negative potassium food!
Is that even possible? Well, you will have to wait and see!
Because it’s time for our number 6 now – another food many kidney patients didn’t know they can eat!
But let’s make this more interesting!
Let’s play a game!
I have a question for you guys!
The food in this bag is a very peculiar food!
It’s a bean! It’s the bean with the lowest potassium content OF THEM ALL!
So, answer this question, WHICH BEAN IS the lowest in potassium:
Ok guys, you have 10 seconds to think about the answer and to write it down in comment section!
The answer is in this bag! Let’s play, write, write, write
Are you ready?
The bean with the lowest potassium content is…
Garbanzo bean !
Also known as Chickpeas, garbanzo beans are a very healthy food.
They are high in vitamins: especially folate and other vitamins of the b group. Remember that vitamins of the b group, along with vitamin D are those you need the most.
And garbanzo beans also have several health benefits for people with kidney problems.
They may help prevent high blood pressure, lower triglycerides and prevent insulin spikes, thanks to the fiber and minerals they contain.
And, most of all they taste amazing and – even if some doctors still recommend to avoid them – they’re low enough in potassium:
For half cup, boiled, Garbanzo beans only have 173mg of potassium!
For comparison half cup of boiled Black beans have 306mg, White beans 350mg and Kidney beans 360mg.
Now guys, I know that a lot of doctors are forbidding kidney patients from eating legumes, but listen to this:
There is a proven way to leach out the potassium from legumes like you would do with potatoes.
It’s a very easy, 3 steps method you can use for any legume.
Here we go-
Let the legumes soak in a bowl of water for 12 hours or more (do it before your bedtime!).
Discard the soaking water (now full of potassium) and rinse the legumes well.
Cook them in a pressure cooker or boil in lots of fresh water.
Doing this, will reduce the potassium content of up to 80%!
Which is frankly amazing and it means that you can even add some other legumes to your diet, at least once in a while!
So, don’t forget to share this precious piece of info with anyone you know who is battling with kidney problems!
They will tank you!
So, what is the score for garbanzo beans on the benefits versus potassium scale?
Let’s see, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides and prevent insulin spikes versus 173mg of potassium per half cup (that you can leech).
Well, that’s 6 out of 10! wonderful !
Ok, time for our number 5 now! This is a food you probably never saw before and it’s a controversial one! Let’s see it!
Oh, white eggplant!
They surely look quite like a big egg!
And we’re talking about a nutrient-dense food here, meaning white eggplant contains significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber – but very few calories.
When it comes to nutritional values, white eggplant is very similar to regular eggplant!
Yes, the vitamin & mineral content of white eggplant is quite impressive – it may even help you produce more red blood cells and fight anemia, a very common and dangerous condition for people with kidney disease.
White eggplant contains almost no seeds and are sweeter than purple ones. They are best suited for cooked applications such as sauteing, grilling, and baking.
And they can also be sliced and used as a substitute for meat in pasta dishes – a great way to reduce protein and phosphorus in your diet!
Now, white eggplants should not be too hard to find right now, this vegetable is available year-round.
So, dig a little deeper at your local farmers market and you’re likely to find this white variety!
this food is, in my opinion, the perfect explanation of why eating healthy is the best thing you can do for your kidneys.
So , what is the score on the benefits versus potassium scale for white eggplant?
White eggplants can help you fight anemia and have an impressive nutritional profile
One cup or 80 grams of chopped eggplant contains about 188mg of potassium.
This means a
8 out of 10! A real high score for a food some people consider poisonous and will tell you to avoid!
And, if you think this one is healthy, you should see our number 1 for today! I’ll tell you a secret: it’s a candy! Yes, that never happened before!
Talking about foods people with kidney problems are told to avoid, broccoli – one of the healthiest foods on Earth we will NOT see today – is rich in potassium and often discouraged.
But broccoli offers some important detoxing, cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory properties.
What if there was a lower potassium alternative with similar nutritional profile?
Let’s take a look!
Romanesco-Broccoli! What an incredible vegetable! And it’s beautiful isn’t it? It has an almost hypnotic pattern!
This veggie is also known as broccoflower and Romanesco cauliflower in the United States, and it is a plant of the same species of broccoli: Brassica oleracea.
Now, when I say that this superfood has a similar nutritional profile to broccoli, I do not take it lightly.
Broccoli is definitely one of the healthiest foods on Earth, and just like regular broccoli, this vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients.
It’s reputed to benefit digestion, the cardiovascular system and the immune system, and to have anti-inflammatory and even cancer-preventing properties.
It also has detoxing properties – very useful to lower your creatinine levels and improve the health of your kidneys – thanks to unique phytocheimcals called glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin.
Together, these plant compounds, they aid all steps of the body’s detoxification process, from activation to neutralization and elimination of contaminants.
Incredible benefits for sure you don’t want to miss out!
Just make sure not to overcook it so you don’t end up losing some precious nutrient!
According to a recent study on cruciferous vegetables, the best way of cooking these superfoods is sauteing for up to 5 minutes, steaming for up to 20 minutes or microwaving!
Boiling, on the other hand, will remove lots of essential nutrients and health benefits!
And while the benefits of Romanesco-broccoli are similar to what you would get eating regular broccoli, Romanesco-broccoli has less potassium – just 240mg per cup chopped, around 90 grams, while broccoli has 300mg of potassium per cup.
Let’s see how this puts it in the benefit versus potassium scale!
Benefits: better digestion, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, cancer preventing
Potassium: 240mg per cup
Score is: 9 out of 10! Amazing! Be sure to eat this one regularly!
We’re in the top 3 now – these superfoods are a must in a well-planned renal diet!
Number 3 in particular has detoxing and heart healthy properties!
Number 3 is…
Leeks might look like overgrown green onions, but they have incredible health properties!
A diet rich in leeks may help improve your circulation, immune system gut health and even stimulate your kidneys!
The reason behind all these incredible benefits are the sulfur compounds leeks are rich in!
Sulfur is a component of several processes that detoxify the body.
Sulfur is a part of glutathione, the primary antioxidant that detoxifies sulfuric acid and toxic substances you get from pollution and pesticides in foods.
Yes, leeks are a real detoxing food!
Also – sulfur binds the two chains of amino acids that form insulin. It may seem I talk about insulin a lot, and that’s because, for people with diabetes, finding ways to improve insulin resistance is the key to a better kidney health.
For all these benefits, it is very useful to eat leeks in abundance!
The white base and green stalk are used for cooking in creamy soups, fresh, stocks and more.
But if you really want to benefit from the sulfur this superfood contains, try it raw – maybe in a salad – since cooking breaks down the sulfur compounds.
Leeks are sweeter and milder than onions and taste a lot better raw.
What about the benefits versus potassium scale?
Leeks have antioxidant, detoxing and anti-diabetes properties.
And, one leek, weighting around 90 grams contains just 150mg of potassium.
This puts this superfood fairly high on the benefit versus potassium scale, with a substantial 9 out of 10 score! Impressive!
But wait, still 2 foods to go! Are we going to find even healthier superfoods here? How is this even possible?
Number 2 is…
Oh, a food as healthy as misunderstood!
These little berries are a favorite for their delicate taste, the fact that they are really nutrient dense and even boast some powerful medicinal properties!
In fact, scientific studies suggest that consumption of currants can have potential health effects against cancer, aging, and neurological diseases.
Now, red currants are especially healthy for your kidneys because they provide powerful anti-inflammatory and detoxing benefits, especially for the urinary tract.
Redcurrant even boasts some stress reducing properties. Consuming this tart berry may help decreasing cortisol production – very important for the health of your kidneys.
Now, this berry is really impressive, because it’s also a powerful alkalizing food – exactly what your kidneys need.
Currants are usually available in grocery stores on a seasonal basis.
What however many are not aware of, is that redcurrants are prohibited in some states of the US.
For a long time, both blackcurrants and redcurrant were a forbidden fruit in the United States.
Farmers thought that the tart berries, native to Europe and Asia, helped spread a fungus that killed pine trees, so cultivation of these delicious berries was forbidden.
The ban is now lifted in many states, but production of these berries is still mainly in Europe and Asia.
So it may be easier to find dried redcurrants than fresh ones.
What about the benefits versus potassium scale?
Redcurrant has anti-inflammatory and detoxing benefits and it’s very alkalizing.
And 1 oz of Redcurrants or 28 g also contain just 75mg of potassium.
This is a … 10 out of 10! Incredible!
And you still haven’t seen the number 1!
Kidney health tip of the day: avoid hidden potassium!
Planning a diet around potassium is hard – every single one person suffering from kidney disease can tell you that!
So don’t let hidden potassium ruin all the hard work you’re doing to lower your creatinine levels!
What is hidden potassium?
Hidden potassium is a danger for people with kidney disease.
Many supplements, herbal remedies, but even packaged foods are not supposed to have potassium in them, but they are actually full of it.
It is also in sports drinks, which are meant to replace potassium people lose during exercise.
Actually, as we can see here, many supplements related to sports may contain potassium in large amounts.
Also, “lite” salt. Be very careful with salt substitutes, because they’re actually made from potassium.
So, even if they’re marketed as heart healthy, this doesn’t work for people with kidney problems.
What to do then?
When you’re limiting your potassium, avoid this kind of foods unless you’re 100% sure there’s not too much potassium.
So, be sure to always double check the label of what you’re buying.
Time for our number 1 for today! and it is a … candy!
Even more incredible, this sweet in some ways, changed the way scientists see the human kidney!
Let’s see it!
Our number 1 is…
Licorice is both a candy and an herbal remedy!
In fact, licorice has been used to soothe an upset stomach, reduce inflammation, and treat upper respiratory problems since the times of ancient Egypt!
Today Licorice is mostly eaten as a candy or to flavor foods and beverages.
Now the interesting part: the sweet taste of licorice is due a plant compound called Glycyrrhizin.
It’s up to 50 times sweeter than sugar, but it doesn’t get metabolized by the body and has no effect on glycemic index.
So, Glycyrrhizin is responsible for the root’s sweet taste, as well as its health benefits.
Now, the reason why licorice is our number one today, is a very interesting side effect of Glycyrrhizin.
Glycyrrhizin causes the human body to excrete potassium. But not just trough the kidneys.
In fact, when hemodialysis patients received 500mg of glycyrrhetinic acid in a 6-month double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the frequency of hyperkalemia, too high levels of potassium in blood was dropped from 9% to 0.6%.
And this is one of the reasons why many researchers are starting to doubt the association between potassium in foods and potassium in blood.
Now, I’m not suggesting to eat licorice to treat high potassium levels – but what about eating this sweet treat once in a while and benefiting from all its health properties?
Ok guys, a new video is coming next Tuesday.
In the meantime, keep taking good care of your kidneys and be good to yourself.
This is all for today, thank you for watching!