Q:

What are the benefits of a low-potassium diet for a diabetic person?

A:

Quick Answer

For diabetics who are suffering from kidney problems, a low-potassium diet keeps potassium from accruing in the blood. Excess potassium in the bloodstream places the heart at risk. Some medications increase potassium in the blood, which means managing intake with a physician is important, reports Diabetes Forecast.

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Full Answer

Potassium does help with reducing blood pressure, so it is a beneficial nutrient for people with healthy kidney function. It is also present in many foods, particularly vegetables and fruits. However, it is possible to choose produce that is lower in potassium. Examples include cherries, plums, broccoli, kale, spinach and red cabbage. These have less than 200 milligrams of potassium per serving. Potatoes, tomatoes and avocados are higher in potassium, so diabetics with kidney issues should minimize or avoid their consumption, according to Diabetes Forecast.

One issue that makes potassium monitoring more difficult is that it does not appear on the nutrition labels for many products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains a website that provides complete nutritional information about a wealth of foods, and the data on that site includes potassium levels. Finding a balance between a kidney-friendly and a diabetes-friendly diet is a must that patients can accomplish with a dietitian, as stated by Diabetes Forecast.

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