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Dietitian Q/A

Because of the contents of some questions and the large number we receive, the MUSC Dietitians only answer selected questions. Although we discourage questions regarding personal health problems, scheduling an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to address these concerns is encouraged. Appointments can be made after a physician referral is received.

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 Question:  I would like a list of foods and amounts for a low potassium and low sodium diet.


The list of foods for a low sodium and low potassium diet can be quite extensive. If you are on a low sodium/potassium diet, it can be beneficial to schedule an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to discuss the full extent of your food options.

For a low sodium diet the most important thing is to aim for 1500-2000mg of sodium or less daily. Start reading labels on packages in the store. As a general rule if it has 140mg or less sodium per serving it is a good choice. Often processed meats, boxed foods and many canned foods are high in sodium. Try to limit those in your diet.

The amount of potassium someone can eat on a low potassium diet varies based on their medical reason for needing a low potassium diet and would be individualized for you by your dietitian. As a general rule, for a low potassium diet, limit or avoid tomatoes, bananas, dried fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, dairy products, nuts, seeds and beans (kidney, navy, pinto, etc.). The list of foods that should be limited or avoided is quite a bit longer than this, but it is a place to start. Also the list of foods that can be eaten is nearly as long.

Answered: 02/10/2011

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