There are more diets out there than most of us can imagine. Some of them are prescription type diets; they address a particular disease or condition.
Others range from fad to useful. Most of it depends a great deal on the person on said diet.
Some of the current popular diets are low carbfoods with potassium. The emphasis is on protein and fat and away from carbohydrates.
This can help some people lose weight. Going into the drawbacks of this diet is problematic, so we’ll go with the flow.
One of the most important aspects of any diet is to make sure that the body still gets all of its required nutrients.
On a carb restricted diet, this can be difficult. One of the key sticking points is potassium.
What foods have a lot of potassium?
Avocados: This creamy fruit is considered a superfood. It packs healthy fat, protein and a lot of vitamins and minerals. That includes potassium.
One serving of avocado will deliver twenty percent of the daily requirements of potassium.
This is also good for people on other types of diets, including for heart health. Animal fat can lead to heart problems, plant based fats don’t.
Brussel sprouts: You may be making a face at this food, but it is worth eating. There are recipes that actually taste good.
Boiled, they are blah. Stir fried, they are excellent. How much potassium? There is fourteen percent of the RDA of potassium in this low carb food.
Low carb diets tend to also be low fiber diets. Dietary fiber does a lot of good for the entire body.
Mushrooms: Most people either love or hate mushrooms. However, on a low carb diet and needing better sources of potassium, this is a good choice.
Big portabellas can take the place of bread… or pizza crust. Dainty button and/or cremini mushrooms can be added to salads and other foods.
Mushrooms are also heart healthy. Low carb diets tend to be very hard on the cardiovascular system, especially if a lot of animal fat is consumed.
Summer squashes: Most of those on low carb diets that also do a lot of cooking already know this; crookneck and zucchini squashes can replace noodled in any pasta dish… including lasagna.
However, these provide both potassium and magnesium, another needed mineral.
For lasagna, the squashes are sliced thin, usually horizontally for longer noodles. You can buy them already spiral cut in most supermarkets, but for freshness and to get the most nutritional benefits, get a spiralizer.
These can be hand held items or they can be attachments for a food processor or an Artisan Pro mixer. The latter is preferred, as it means that it is one of many important attachments rather than a one use only tool. (11) (12)
Pumpkin seeds: If you remember making jack-o’-lanterns, you will remember the seeds along with the slimy goo inside the pumpkin.
Those in the know save the seeds and either roast or dry them for a healthy snack.
These seeds aren’t just a good source of potassium. They have a lot of other vitamins and minerals.
One important one is tryptophan, which can help if you have sleep issues. They are also good for those who are diabetic or have heart issues. They are a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
These can be eaten as a shack, like nuts or other foods. They can also be added to salads, oats, other cereals and even some sauces. In fact, at least one Mexican sauce requires the use of these seeds. (13) (14)
Spinach and other leafy greens: If there was one food to add to your list of low carb foods with potassium, these would be it.
Not only does it contain all needed electrolytes, it is also a good source of vitamins. Vitamin A, C and several others are in these leaves.
By far the best way to eat them is raw. Cooking will cause them to lose some of their nutritional content. However, if that’s the only way you can eat them, by all means, cook them.
You can find them in the produce section of the supermarket, canned in the vegetable aisle or frozen. Some premade salads have them, also.
Be wary of kale, though. It is on the “dirty dozen” and only organic kale should be consumed.
If it isn’t certified organic, it could contain a lot of pesticides and herbicides that are known to cause cancer and other serious illnesses. In fact, try to get all of what you eat as certified organic. (15) (16)
Wild caught salmon: Actually, this includes all fatty fish, although most people know about salmon. Even farm raised salmon is decent.
Other fish choices include trout, halibut, tuna, mackerel, pompano and snapper. Most of these fish are relatively inexpensive, although halibut and wild caught salmon tend to cause more.
What’s so good about them? Besides having a great deal of potassium, they have a lot of other nutrients.
One to keep in mind is omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to improve heart and cardiovascular health. It is an easy way to add potassium rich foods to your diet.
When cooking these fish, choose the method wisely. While the point of diets like the Keto diet is to eat more meat and fat, too much of it is unhealthy. Choose them wisely and cook them wisely.
Clams: There are a ton of recipes for this delectable crustacean. Most people are familiar with New England clam chowder, but there are other soups that have them. Several pasta dishes are available and they are good in paella.
Clams are low fat and high in protein. They don’t contain much in the way of omega-3 fatty acids, but they make up for it with other minerals as well as B-12. If you live close to a coast, it may be possible to find them fresh. However, those inland can still eat them.
They come frozen, canned and sometimes in the meat case in the deli. There are a wide variety of them. Canned clams come both whole and minced.
As some recipes call for clam “juice” this can also be purchased on the canned fish aisle. (19)
Pork chops: Traditional sides may be hard when it comes to a low carb diet, but pork chops still fit the bill. It is best to get the loin chops, as they are leaner than the other cuts. They are low carb and relatively low in calories.
As with any meat, what you choose, both in cut and in how the animal was raised, is extremely important.
Grass fed pork, grown organically, is your best bet. It will have some omega-3 fatty acids and it won’t have added hormones, water or color.
It also will never have had antibiotics, something that is of growing concern.
If your local grocer doesn’t have this product, you can ask. You can also look online.
Places like Sprouts and Whole Foods have a delivery service that is worth looking at. Again, make sure it is certified as organic.
Plain coconut water: This one is a little tricky, because it does have more carbs than is usually desired in a food.
However, a small amount of plain coconut water makes up in what it does for the extra carbs.
It has a large amount of potassium, which is important to the keto diet… or any other low carb diet.
You do have to be careful. Prepackaged coconut water tends to have a lot of added sugars.
This puts additional carbs in the drink, which you don’t need. If you don’t want to get the water straight from the coconut, read the labels very carefully to make sure it doesn’t have anything else in it.
Which of these foods have more potassium than bananas?
Bananas are traditionally turned to for added potassium, but they tend to be higher in the carb department.
That’s why this question is a very popular one. In order to meet the keto potassium needs, lower carb foods need to be consumed.
On the above list, several foods are higher in potassium than bananas. Avocados, spinach, coconut water, Swiss chard and beet greens (see spinach and other greens) all have more than the banana. They are also lower carbs than that fruit. (20) (21)
What helps lower potassium?
There are two reasons for this question. The first is that keto depends on electrolytes like potassium in order to work properly.
It helps keep the body in ketoacidosis, and that is the goal. In ketoacidosis, the body burns fat because it doesn’t have the glucose to spare.
The second reason has to do with your health. Too much potassium is unhealthy even on the keto diet. It is also extremely hard on the kidneys.
People with any form of renal problem need to be careful about the amount of potassium they consume. For them, potassium rich foods are difficult.
The first way is to choose foods that are lower in the nutrient. However, that’s hard to do and it reduces the amount of foods that someone with renal problems can eat. Therefore, there are methods that will reduce the amount.
Fresh or frozen: Canned fruits and vegetables have a higher concentration of the mineral. Fresh or those that have been frozen without additives is far better for those with this problem.
Fresh is always best and frozen second, no matter whether or not potassium is a problem.
Leaching: This method won’t help those on a low carb diet, much, though it is still possible. This is used mostly for potatoes and other hard vegetables, which also happen to be high carb foods.
The vegetable is sliced one eighth of an inch thick and soaked in water for a minimum of two hours. They can soak longer, but change the water every four hours.
When the soaking is complete, toss the water and rinse the vegetables again in cool water before cooking.
While there is no literature on using this method with greens or other high potassium foods, the probability is that it will help.
Low carb warnings
Before starting any diet, it is best to speak with your doctor about what you wish to use.
He or she will want to make sure that there are no medical problems that would give you fewer choices. There are quite a few for the Keto and other low carb diets.
Medical guidance: These diets should not be done without supervision. If you choose this diet, you will need to go in for routine tests more frequently than if you were using another program.
The high amount of fat, protein, sodium and potassium in this diet can create a medical crisis.
Diabetics: Very few diabetics are able to handle this diet. Blood sugar spikes are not good, nor are drops in blood sugar.
The kidneys of those with diabetes are also at risk, and the amount of potassium needed is too high.
Cardiovascular disease: If you already have cardiovascular disease, this diet is dangerous. If you are at risk for it, as in you have close relatives with it, you may want to choose another way.
Hydration: Adequate hydration is important no matter what diet you choose. To avoid a dangerous potassium level it is an imperative. Dehydration allows a lot of things to concentrate in the blood.
It then passes through the kidneys which have to work harder to get rid of them.
In this, if potassium is a problem, water is your best friend.
Addison ’s disease: At the top of the kidneys, there are glands called the adrenal glands. These glands do a lot of things for the body, but in this instance the important thing is that it regulates potassium levels. If these glands are damaged, the body can develop a dangerous potassium level.
Medications/supplements: Some medications and any supplement that contains potassium can increase levels to the danger point.
Alcohol/drug use: Those who drink heavily or use drugs can be at risk. Eating a lot of potassium isn’t a good idea, though stopping would be wiser.
Trauma: Burns and crush injuries are the worst for this, but any severe injury can increase levels.
This is because they damage muscle tissue and/or bones and the potassium leaks out.
USFDA required: This article is for information purposes only. None of these statements have been approved by the USFDA.