June 1, 2023

⏰ Timestamps ⏰

Hey everyone welcome to plant-based kidney health my name is michelle krosmer and i am a renal dietitian and i’m doing this short episode solo today just to go over um some common myths that i always hear about surrounding potassium and kidney disease so i’m going to give you three myths and we’re going to dive into each one and what the actual truth is about them

Myth number one is i oftentimes hear people say i have kidney disease so therefore i have to restrict my potassium intake and that is just simply not true first of all people have various types of kidney disease different stages of kidney disease everyone with kidney disease has different labs um so it really truly is individualized and you want to make sure that

You know your labs and then you’re adjusting your potassium intake according to that so um dr hoshmi explained in a actually one of our previous two episodes on potassium so definitely check those out after you watch this video because we dive in depth into what can cause high blood potassium levels but it can either be because potassium is shifting from inside of

Our cells to the outside of our cells causing blood potassium levels to be elevated or it can be because we’re our kidneys are having um difficulty getting rid of excess potassium in the body and so knowing that those are the two most common causes of high potassium some people with kidney disease have absolutely no problems controlling their potassium levels and

It’s important to remember too that usually we see higher blood potassium levels or more difficulty controlling blood potassium levels in um you know when the gfr drops below 30 or sometimes below 20. and that’s oftentimes where we see it but again whether someone has early stage kidney disease or late-stage kidney disease it doesn’t mean that they have to restrict

Potassium if their blood levels are completely fine you’re looking at your trend in your labs and they continue to be normal the other thing kind of surrounding this myth is you know people will be told okay you have kidney disease they go online they google what to eat and then they find all this information saying okay now you have to restrict potassium and again

Surrounding that it’s important to remember that it’s going to come down to your individual lab so please keep that in mind don’t restrict potassium if you don’t need to it’s actually not beneficial potassium doesn’t harm your kidneys it doesn’t accelerate progression of kidney disease foods that are rich in potassium can actually help to lower blood pressure which

Can actually in turn help to protect your kidney function so restrict potassium if you need to if your blood levels indicate that and your doctors told you hey your blood potassium levels are high you need to limit it but otherwise if you um have kidney disease it doesn’t mean you automatically need to restrict potassium and it’s not going to be beneficial unless

You actually need to restrict it myth number two so myth number two is people often say i’m on a potassium restricted diet so i can’t eat any high potassium foods and i think the number one thing that i want people to know is that you have choices in what you eat and a big part of it comes down to the portion and the volume and the frequency that you’re consuming

Because low potassium foods eaten in very large quantities can add up to be very high in potassium so a couple examples i’ll give you one is bananas right bananas are a high potassium food they’re often on that high potassium food list to avoid and blueberries are a low potassium food and they are on that green light list of foods to eat with kidney disease if

You have about two cups of blueberries that’s the equivalent potassium to about half of a large banana so really it comes down to what fruit do you like what portion are you consuming because if you eat an entire large banana that’s going to be very high in potassium if you have half of a banana and you’re doing it because you know because you love bananas and

You’re doing it in place of the berries then that’s always your choice and your option now one caveat to that that i do want to say is that we want people eating more fruits and vegetables more produce more whole plant foods in general because that’s very protective for the kidneys so if you are on a restricted potassium diet then ideally choosing more of those

Lower potassium fruits and veggies for the bulk of your diet is going to be good because it allows you to eat in you know larger quantities of food and larger quantities of fruits and vegetables but it doesn’t mean if you love banana you can never eat banana a couple other examples one is avocado avocado is a high potassium food a quarter of an avocado a quarter

Of a medium avocado is about 170 to 175 milligrams of potassium that’s a doable low to moderate amount of potassium now if you sat there and you ate half a cup of guacamole that’s over 400 milligrams of potassium and therefore very high in potassium so again it comes down to that portion and another common food that we often hear this with is oh i can’t eat nuts

Because nuts are high in potassium so first of all again sound like a broken record but the portion matters one ounce of nuts or about one quarter cup of nuts is one standard serving and so if you are sticking with that serving you can help keep the potassium level low in the diet um but the other thing is there’s low potassium nuts so walnuts pecans macadamia nuts

Those are all lower in potassium for one ounce walnuts have about 125 milligrams of potassium your pecans are about 116 milligrams of potassium and then macadamia nuts are about 104 milligrams of potassium and again that’s for a one ounce portion so ultimately with everything if you’ve been told you know hey you’re on this potassium restricted diet it doesn’t mean

No potassium it just means low potassium and that could be usually anywhere two thousand to three thousand milligrams of potassium but there’s still room for higher potassium foods it really just comes down to the portion and the frequency that you’re consuming it and then what else you’re eating in your diet okay myth number three that i hear all the time is that

Cooking um leafy greens like spinach increases the potassium content of the leafy green so this is just it’s simply not true it’s not that okay i have this cup of spinach now i cook it and now it’s suddenly higher in potassium it’s that you know if you take a cup of raw spinach that’s around 167 milligrams of potassium and you cook it down you’re really only going

To get it cooks down so much that you only get about one to two tablespoon portion that still remains around 160 milligrams of potassium where people fall into trouble is that if they um eat a cup of cooked spinach that is over 800 milligrams of potassium and that’s very high in potassium but you don’t take a cup of raw spinach and then get a cup of cooked spinach

You have to cook like eight cups of raw spinach to get about one cup of cooked spinach so that’s why there’s such a big difference so that’s important to keep in mind again leafy greens yes spinach regardless of whether it’s cooked or raw is a higher potassium leafy green but if you love spinach and you want one cup raw and you want to throw it into your vegetable

Saute or your stir fry um or you want to put a little bit on your pizza that you’re making at home or throw it into a soup then that’s totally doable what you want to avoid is cooking an entire container of spinach which is going to cook down in this tiny amount and then you eat that full amount that’s very high in potassium and then again things like arugula and

Kale are going and even collard greens are going to be lower potassium leafy greens compared to spinach so you can always choose that if you want but again it doesn’t mean just because spinach is higher in potassium that you can’t consume it it just comes down to what your individual needs are and then the portion that you’re having so just to summarize our three

Myths that we just debunked about potassium number one is that you have to restrict potassium just because you have kidney disease that is not true it’s individualized foods that are rich in potassium are actually very protective of the kidneys they can help lower blood pressure you want to know what your labs are how much potassium you’re taking in your diet and

Then adjust your intake based on that if your labs are staying perfectly normal and in a normal range then you likely don’t have to restrict potassium in your diet um second myth is that you are on a potassium restricted diet and therefore you can’t eat any high potassium foods it’s going to come down to the food the portion the frequency that you’re having and

If you are on a potassium restricted diet and you love a very high potassium food then work with your dietitian to figure out what portion can you consume and what frequency that way it’s safe for you to still have and then myth number three is that cooking leafy greens like spinach increases the potassium content and again that’s not true it more comes down to the

Actual volume of leafy greens that you consume cooked because it cooks down so much so if for the leafy greens measure it raw then you can cook it and that’s how you can make sure that you are not consuming too much potassium if you’re on a potassium restricted diet again those are our three myths for today check out our other two videos that dr hashmi and i have

On potassium we dive into all sorts of things on what can raise potassium what can lower potassium treatments for high blood potassium um foods that are high in low in potassium medications and the impact that that can have and so check out those channels um please if you can share this with your friends family subscribe to our channel leave comments um questions

That you have that you would like us to address in upcoming episodes and you can always email us as well and let us know

Transcribed from video
3 Myths About Potassium: Renal RD debunks 3 common myths about dietary potassium for kidney disease! By Plant Based Kidney Health