Low Potassium Diet – Baked Goods

The prior post showed a table of the potassium and macronutrient values of some baked goods with a favorable potassium to sodium ratio. They had a low potassium content as well as being low in sodium. Almost all baked goods will be low in potassium, but high in sodium unless labeled low sodium. They can be a good source of nutrition for those on a low potassium diet.

Foods with less than 250 mg of potassium per serving are generally considered low potassium foods. Most of the people requiring a low potassium diet are those with chronic kidney disease. Healthy kidneys are very good at maintaining a potassium balance so that most people do not need to be concerned about getting too much potassium. But when the kidneys do not function well, the amount of potassium consumed should be reduced so that it does not accumulate in the blood stream. It is usually recommended in that case to keep the potassium intake below 2000 mg a day.

Generally, all baked goods are low in potassium. There are also some low potassium fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat or meat substitutes that should be consumed. From the table, a number of baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, tortillas and bread will provide minimal amounts of potassium and sodium. Unless a high potassium food is added to the dish, such as bananas or nuts to a pie or beans to a tortilla, the potassium content of all baked goods is low. Usually the sodium content is high from the baking soda or baking powder used in the dish.

Since fruits and vegetables are the main source of potassium, even in baked goods – such as pies, tarts, tortillas and tamales – the potassium can be reduced by first drawing the potassium out of the fruit or vegetable before putting in the dish. This can be done by soaking the vegetable for several hours in water. Even more effective is cooking the vegetable in water, at least partially, prior to putting it in the baked dish. This will draw some of the potassium out of the vegetable into the water, even if it is a low potassium food to start.

In addition to what is put in the baked good, what is put on it has to be looked at. Crackers and chips are low potassium foods. Many toppings and dips, such as avocado or bean, are high in potassium and should be avoided.