Deficiency in potassium symptoms:
- muscle spasms and fatigue, leg cramps, and ‘restless leg syndrome’
- hypertension (increased blood pressure)
- can cause kidney stones
- in the most severe cases, heart attacks
What causes potassium deficiency?
- people eating mostly processed foods
- consuming excessive quantities of licorice
- severe vomiting or diarrhea
- anorexia or bulimia
- excessive salt intake
- magnesium deficiency
- certain medications (diuretics, laxatives, cortisone, aspirin, cardiac drugs, steroids)
Rare: Too Much Potassium
Although having ratio of potassium too high is rare, it is possible. It is usually due to other medical conditions such as diabetic kidney disease and Hypokalemia which is the inability of the kidneys to filter out excess potassium from the body. The consequences can be fatal. If potassium becomes too high one may feel some weakness, numbness and tingling and can cause an irregular heartbeat or a heart attack. Again, this is rare.
If this is your condition, limit foods that are high in potassium. Here is a List of Food Very Low in Potassium.
Caution: If you think you have a medical problem, consult your physician. There is as simple blood test to detect low or high levels of potassium.
Most people eat way too much salt, sugar, and fats–which are the only food substances with no potassium in them. The no-potassium foods are table salt, sugar, pancake syrups, hard candies, cornstarch, baking powder, shortening, and salad oils (peanut, olive, sesame, sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean and canola). So, if your diet is full of these, then you may be potassium deficient.
Fortunately most real foods contain potassium so being deficient does not have to be a problem.
My thoughts are that unless you do have a serious medical condition as talked about above, this need not be a problem if you eat a wide variety of whole foods, not stuff out of packages. This real food video and article explains real foods.
Top 5 High Potassium Foods
Out of that whole list of foods, these 5 are what I would consider the healthiest choices. You can easily eat lots of them; none of them are fattening!
To help you and make it easy I have made a 3 page list of the Highest Potassium Foods with two categories:
- 20 Highest Potassium Foods
- 34 Second Highest Potassium Foods
Recipes High in Potassium:
Power Spinach Salad: You just HAVE TO know how to make a good spinach salad. This one is great and the spinach with give you a potassium boost.
Immune Booster Fruit Salad: Lots of high potassium kiwi fruit in this yummy fruit salad.
Bean Vegetable Stew: This recipe is full of three very high potassium foods. Potassium is just one of the ways this stew is good for you.
Baked Squash with Vegetables: This meal with high potassium squash and potatoes is so so tasty.