High Potassium Foods – Cereal, Grains, and Pasta Table

Grains, especially whole grain, are a great source of potassium. Before processing, they are among the high potassium foods. How they are processed after harvest determines their value for the health benefits we have previously mentioned – reduction of blood pressure and stroke, improved bone density, and kidney stone reduction.

The table includes the crude grains, the flours made from the grains and many of the pasta products. Some have been excluded because they do not have the healthful 3 to 1 ratio of potassium to sodium. Japanese noodles, both soba and somen, have several times as much sodium as potassium. Japanese crunchy flat noodles and Chinese chow mein noodles also have more sodium than potassium. Precooked and instant white rice have a poor ratio of potassium to sodium. Canned hominy, like most canned foods, has a very high sodium to potassium ratio. Dry corn grits (found in the cooked cereals table in a previous post), either white or yellow, are just the opposite and have a roughly 140 to 1 ratio of potassium to sodium, though. Canning adds a lot of sodium.

Probably the largest category of excluded grain products is that of self-rising flour. Self-rising flour has approximately 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt to every cup of flour. Baking powder has a great deal of baking soda (NaHCO3). All self-rising flours will have too much sodium to be included in the table. Of course, the products derived from self-rising flour or flour that has baking powder or baking soda added also will not provide the favorable potassium to sodium ratio. In fact, that is why the discussion of baked goods was as a low potassium food – helpful to those who have poor kidney function or otherwise retain potassium.

A lot of subcategories of grains are included so you can compare aspects of their preparation. Notice that fortifying or enriching the flour has only a little effect on the potassium and sodium.

Cooking has a big effect, though. But that can be misleading. The researchers threw out the water after cooking, and just measured the potassium in the food itself. Because the potassium is leached into the water during cooking, the leached potassium is lost. Previously we discussed that if you consume the water the food is cooked in, you will get the full amount of potassium contained in the food prior to cooking. This is done with soup, stew and chili.

The weights for the potassium and sodium are milligrams. The potassium and sodium values given are for 100 grams of food.

As usual, K is potassium, and Na is sodium.

Except for the potassium to sodium ratio (which we calculated), the source of data is: USDA National Nutrient Database Standard Reference – Release 22.

Food K Na Ratio
K:Na
AMARANTH GRAIN, CKD 135 6 22.5
AMARANTH, UNCKD 508 4 127
ARROWROOT FLOUR 11 2 5.5
BARLEY FLOUR OR MEAL 309 4 77.2
BARLEY MALT FLOUR 224 11 20.4
BARLEY, HULLED 452 12 37.7
BARLEY, PEARLED, COOKED 93 3 31
BARLEY, PEARLED, RAW 280 9 31.1
BUCKWHEAT 460 1 460
BUCKWHEAT FLR, WHOLE-GROAT 577 11 52.5
BUCKWHEAT GROATS, ROASTED, CKD 88 4 22
BUCKWHEAT GROATS, ROASTED, DRY 320 11 29.1
BULGUR, COOKED 68 5 13.6
BULGUR, DRY 410 17 24.1
CORN BRAN, CRUDE 44 7 6.3
CORN FLR, DEGERMED, UNENR, YEL 90 1 90
CORN FLR, MASA, ENR, WHITE 298 5 59.6
CORN FLR, MASA, ENR, YEL 298 5 59.6
CORN FLR, WHOLE-GRAIN, BLUE (HARINA DE MAIZ
MORADO)
381 5 76.2
CORN FLR, WHOLE-GRAIN, WHITE 315 5 63
CORN FLR, WHOLE-GRAIN, YEL 315 5 63
CORN, WHITE 287 35 8.2
CORN, YELLOW 287 35 8.2
CORNMEAL, DEGERMED, ENR, WHITE 152 7 21.7
CORNMEAL, DEGERMED, ENR, YEL 152 7 21.7
CORNMEAL, DEGERMED, UNENR, WHITE 152 7 21.7
CORNMEAL, DEGERMED, UNENR, YEL 152 7 21.7
CORNMEAL, WHOLE-GRAIN, WHITE 287 35 8.2
CORNMEAL, WHOLE-GRAIN, YEL 287 35 8.2
COUSCOUS, COOKED 58 5 11.6
COUSCOUS, DRY 166 10 16.6
KAMUT, CKD 202 6 33.7
KAMUT, UNCKD 446 6 74.3
MACARONI, CKD, UNENR, ELBOW SHAPED 44 1 44
MACARONI, COOKED, ENRICHED, ELBOW SHAPED 44 1 44
MACARONI, DRY, ENR, ELBOW SHAPED 223 6 37.2
MACARONI, DRY, UNENRICHED, ELBOW SHAPED 223 6 37.2
MACARONI, PROTEIN-FORTIFIED, CKD, ENR,  SMALL SHELLS 42 5 8.4
MACARONI, PROTEIN-FORTIFIED, DRY, ENR, SMALL
SHELLS
201 8 25.1
MACARONI, VEG, CKD, ENR, SPIRAL SHAPED 31 6 5.2
MACARONI, VEG, DRY, ENR, SPIRAL SHAPED 285 43 6.6
MACARONI, WHOLE-WHEAT, CKD, ELBOW SHAPED 44 3 14.7
MACARONI, WHOLE-WHEAT, DRY, ELBOW SHAPED 215 8 26.9
MILLET, COOKED 62 2 31
MILLET, RAW 195 5 39
NOODLES, EGG, CKD, ENR 38 5 7.6
NOODLES, EGG, CKD, UNENR, WO/ SALT 38 5 7.6
NOODLES, EGG, DRY, ENRICHED 244 21 11.6
NOODLES, EGG, DRY, UNENR 244 21 11.6
NOODLES, EGG, SPINACH, CKD, ENR 37 12 3.1
NOODLES, EGG, SPINACH, DRY, ENR 355 72 4.9
OAT BRAN, COOKED 92 1 92
OAT BRAN, RAW 566 4 141.5
OAT FLR, PART DEBRANNED 371 19 19.5
OATS 429 2 214.5
PASTA, CORN, DRY 294 3 98
PASTA, FRESH-REFRIGERATED, PLN, AS PURCHASED 179 26 6.9
PASTA, FRESH-REFRIGERATED, PLN, CKD 24 6 4
PASTA, FRESH-REFRIGERATED, SPINACH, AS
PURCHASED
272 27 10.1
PASTA, FRESH-REFRIGERATED, SPINACH, CKD 37 6 6.2
QUINOA, CKD 172 7 24.6
QUINOA, UNCKD 563 5 112.6
RICE BRAN, CRUDE 1485 5 297
RICE FLOUR, BROWN 289 8 36.1
RICE, BROWN, LONG-GRAIN, CKD 43 5 8.6
RICE, BROWN, LONG-GRAIN, RAW 223 7 31.9
RICE, BROWN, MEDIUM-GRAIN, CKD 79 1 79
RICE, BROWN, MEDIUM-GRAIN, RAW 268 4 67
RICE, WHITE, GLUTINOUS, RAW 77 7 11
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, PARBLD, ENR, CKD 56 2 28
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, PARBLD, ENR, DRY 187 3 62.3
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, PARBLD, UNENR, CKD 56 2 28
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, PARBLD, UNENR, DRY 187 3 62.3
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, REG, CKD 35 1 35
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, REG, CKD, UNENR,
WO/SALT
35 1 35
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, REG, RAW, ENR 115 5 23
RICE, WHITE, LONG-GRAIN, REG, RAW, UNENR 115 5 23
RICE, WHITE, MEDIUM-GRAIN, RAW, ENR 86 1 86
RICE, WHITE, MEDIUM-GRAIN, RAW, UNENR 86 1 86
RICE, WHITE, SHORT-GRAIN, RAW 76 1 76
RICE, WHITE, SHORT-GRAIN, RAW, UNENR 76 1 76
RICE, WHITE, STMD, CHINESE RESTAURANT 20 5 4
RICE, WILD, COOKED 101 3 33.7
RICE, WILD, RAW 427 7 61
RYE 510 2 255
RYE FLOUR, DARK 717 2 358.5
RYE FLOUR, LIGHT 224 2 112
RYE FLOUR, MEDIUM 374 2 187
SEMOLINA, ENRICHED 186 1 186
SEMOLINA, UNENRICHED 186 1 186
SORGHUM 350 6 58.3
SPAGHETTI, CKD, ENR, WO/ SALT 44 1 44
SPAGHETTI, CKD, UNENR, WO/ SALT 44 1 44
SPAGHETTI, DRY, ENRICHED 223 6 37.2
SPAGHETTI, DRY, UNENRICHED 223 6 37.2
SPAGHETTI, PROTEIN-FORTIFIED, CKD, ENR 42 5 8.4
SPAGHETTI, PROTEIN-FORTIFIED, DRY, ENR 201 8 25.1
SPAGHETTI, SPINACH, COOKED 58 14 4.1
SPAGHETTI, SPINACH, DRY 376 36 10.4
SPAGHETTI, WHOLE-WHEAT, CKD 44 3 14.7
SPAGHETTI, WHOLE-WHEAT, DRY 215 8 26.9
SPELT, CKD 143 5 28.6
SPELT, UNCKD 388 8 48.5
TAPIOCA, PEARL, DRY 11 1 11
TEFF, CKD 107 8 13.4
TEFF, UNCKD 427 12 35.6
TRITICALE 332 5 66.4
TRITICALE FLR, WHOLE-GRAIN 466 2 233
WHEAT BRAN, CRUDE 1182 2 591
WHEAT FLOUR, WHOLE-GRAIN 405 5 81
WHEAT FLR, BREAD, UNENR 100 2 50
WHEAT FLR, WHITE (INDUSTRIAL), 10% PROT,
BLEACHED, ENR
149 2 74.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE (INDUSTRIAL), 10% PROT,
BLEACHED, UNENR
149 2 74.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE (INDUSTRIAL), 10% PROT,
UNBLEACHED, ENR
149 2 74.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE (INDUSTRIAL), 15% PROT,
BLEACHED, ENR
120 2 60
WHEAT FLR, WHITE, ALL-PURPOSE, ENR, BLEACHED 107 2 53.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE, ALL-PURPOSE, ENR,
CALCIUM-FORTIFIED
107 2 53.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE, ALL-PURPOSE, ENR, UNBLEACHED 107 2 53.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE, ALL-PURPOSE, UNENR 107 2 53.5
WHEAT FLR, WHITE, BREAD, ENR 100 2 50
WHEAT FLR, WHITE, CAKE, ENR 105 2 52.5
WHEAT GERM, CRUDE 892 12 74.3
WHEAT, DURUM 431 2 215.5
WHEAT, HARD RED SPRING 340 2 170
WHEAT, HARD RED WINTER 363 2 181.5
WHEAT, HARD WHITE 432 2 216
WHEAT, SOFT RED WINTER 397 2 198.5
WHEAT, SOFT WHITE 435 2 217.5
WHEAT, SPROUTED 169 16 10.6