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Published on November 7th, 2016 | by Michaelw


How to control high potassium levels with these 4 foods

For a kidney patient, monitoring potassium levels is absolutely critical.
In fact, eating what is considered to be an healthy diet for everybody else, can put your heart at risk.

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How to control high potassium levels with these 4 foods

As a kidney patient, there’s one thing you should keep always in mind.
If you’re eating what is considered to be an healthy diet for everybody else, high potassium level can cause your heart to stop.
“Never let a slice of tomato pass your lips” has become a mantra for kidney patients.
Potassium makes the biggest differences between an healthy diet for most people and an healthy diet for kidney patients.
A lot of foods considered healthy, are absolutely not healthy for kidney patients.
This is because a lot of fruits and vegetables are too high in potassium.
Due to the impossibility of the kidneys to work properly, it will cause high potassium levels (hyperkalemia).
High potassium level can have no symptom and, in the worst case, can result in cardiac arrest and death.
How to make sure your diet isn’t putting your heart at risk?
In this video we will see what “healthy foods” are the worst for your blood potassium levels.

Number 1 Tomato
Considered by the expert a superfood, tomato is rich in Vitamin C, rutin, lycopene, and other useful minerals.
It can act as a diuretic, ease swelling and lower high blood pressure.
It is easy understandable why people are asking “can people with kidney disease eat tomato”?
Some kidney patients can. Especially those in the early stages of kidney disease and nephritis.
Unfortunately, a single medium sized tomato contains 300 milligrams of potassium.
Even worse, a cup of canned stewed tomatoes contains up to 600 milligrams of potassium.
This mean that patients doing kidney dialysis should totally avoid it.
Also be very careful because tomato is a very common ingredient, widely used in a lot of dishes.

Number 2 Spinach
Nutritionists say eating raw spinach can reduce risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is, in fact, a nutritious, healthy food.
But not necessarily good for kidney patients.
A single portion of cooked spinach contains 839 milligrams of potassium.
This alone is enough to be dangerous for dialysis patients.
Raw spinach can even be dangerous for stage 2 and 3 chronic kidney disease patients.
Raw spinach contains oxalic acid – an anti-nutrient – which will bind to the mineral calcium and other minerals in the intestine. This will not just reduce the absorption of those minerals, but can also cause kidney stones.
This is why kidney patients are not suggested to eat spinach.
NUMBER 3: Potatoes
Potatoes of all kind contain a large amount of potassium. A single, whole, baked, medium sized potato contains up to 1000mg of potassium. If eaten without the skin, potassium is reduced to about 750mg.
This is still a dangerous quantity, if you’re on a low potassium diet.
So it is not advisable for kidney dialysis patients to eat potatoes this way.
Good news is that there’s a chance you can still eat them.
Soaking potatoes in water has been shown to lower their potassium. This method is called potassium leaching.
A very thorough leaching can greatly reduce the quantity of potassium ingested.
Researches show that, to get the best results, you should do the following:
1) peel the potato
2) slice into small pieces – no more than 1/8 inch wide.
3) Wash thoroughly and rinse.
4) Boil the pieces
5) then rinse them
6) boil again the pieces
This way the potato pieces should remain compact enough, and will be a lot safer to eat.

Number 4 Hidden potassium
FDA regulations do not require food labels to include the amount of potassium.
This means that, even if no potassium is mentioned on the label, there’s still a chance that potassium may be included in that food.
This is not always the case, as many brands are publicizing potassium levels of their packaged foods.
But there’s still a chance of hidden potassium.
Which foods may include hidden potassium?
Mainly herbal, dietary supplements and diet or protein drinks and bars. Also sports drinks do include it very often.
The idea is to replace potassium lost during exercise. Which is great for athletes, but not for kidney patients.
Also salt substitutes are often very rich in potassium.
When you’re limiting your potassium, avoid these kind of foods unless you’re 100% sure there’s no potassium. Ideally, all supplements should be prescribed by your doctor.
Other high potassium foods you need to avoid are:
white beans
greens (beet)
baked acorn squash
white mushrooms
dried apricots
orange juice

It is not always easy, to follow the proper diet, given all the restriction a kidney patient should sustain.
A careful planned diet plan is essential for kidney patients. Every change in the diet should be planned accordingly with the development of the conditions.
Eating the wrong foods can cause severe health problems.
However, planning and following the right diet plan can really help with the treatment of kidney disease.
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Thank you for watching!


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About the Author

Hi, my name is Michael and in this blog I'm gonna share the story of how I got off kidney dialysis for good. Getting off dialysis isn't easy at all, and that's why I'm trying to help people as much as I can.

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