Potassium—the "other" salt that can make your heart skip a beat. Or worse.

Potassium is an important mineral, it helps regulate your heart rhythm. It’s found in lots of foods and doesn’t cause a problem for people with healthy hearts and kidneys. But when you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your kidneys have trouble keeping your potassium levels balanced. When your level is too high, it can cause:

  • An irregular heartbeat
  • A heart attack


Shopping gets easier with a pocket list of foods you should choose or limit. 
FOODS to choose for ESRD

Know Your Potassium Numbers

For a person with CKD, a good daily amount of potassium is typically about 2,000 mg. However, check with your doctor or dietitian to find out how much potassium is right for you.

Here are some basic guidelines when thinking about your kidney-friendly diet and potassium. Let’s start by looking at what foods are high or low in potassium.

High-potassium foods

Low-potassium foods

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Potassium portion control means you’re in control

Portion control helps you control your potassium levels. A portion is generally one half cup. Remember, eating more than one portion can turn a lower-potassium food into a high one—simply because of the amount you’re eating. Don’t super-size potassium foods even if they seem healthy.


Swap out high-potassium foods for lower-potassium ones. Know that even low-potassium foods need portion control. Always.