Why you need to control potassium

Potassium is a mineral that occurs naturally in your body. Potassium helps maintain the correct electrical environment for your heart.

It is important to have the right amount of potassium in your body. If you have too much or too little, it can affect your heart rhythm.

Some medicines may increase the amount of potassium in your body while others may cause it to drop.

You may need to avoid or eat more foods high in potassium. Ask your health care team about what is right for you.

The charts below show foods that are high, moderately high and low in potassium.

Foods high in potassium Foods moderately high in potassium Foods low in potassium
  • all varieties of winter squash
  • avocado
  • baked potato
  • banana
  • blackstrap molasses
  • canned prune juice
  • canned tomato juice
  • canned vegetable juice (high-sodium choice)
  • eggnog
  • french-fried potatoes
  • frozen orange juice
  • salt substitutes
  • All Bran®
  • apricots and apricot nectar
  • Bran Buds®
  • canned grapefruit juice
  • canned pineapple juice
  • canned white or red beans (high-sodium choice)
  • cantaloupe
  • cooked parsnips
  • dates
  • dried figs
  • dried prunes
  • honeydew melon
  • lima beans (high-sodium choice)
  • mashed or hashed brown potatoes
  • milk and buttermilk
  • raw mushrooms
  • raw oranges
  • raw plums
  • raw spinach
  • raw tomatoes
  • yams (baked in the skins)
  • yogurt
  • applesauce
  • green peas
  • green beans
  • raspberries
  • watermelon
  • cucumbers
  • oatmeal
  • English muffin
  • tea (brewed)
  • blueberries
  • egg
  • eggplant
  • rice (brown or white)
  • tortilla (corn or flour)
  • cranberries
  • bagel (plain or egg)
  • hummus
  • bread (white)
  • spaghetti or macaroni
  • cranberry juice cocktail

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, fifth edition
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/10/2015