Drive to Get Off Meds
A few years ago, I just felt a desire to get off of most of my medications, but particularly the blood pressure medication. I started doing some research and what I found was the a plant-based diet, high in potassium, was highly recommended for that. I had never paid too much attention to potassium, before.
Going a Little Bananas
When people talk about potassium, they usually mention bananas. The daily recommended value for potassium (adults) is 4,700 mgs. There are 422 mgs of potassium in an average banana. So, that means that you’d have to eat about 11 bananas every day, to meet your potassium needs. That’s a lot of bananas!
I had already stopped my blood pressure medication and my doctor was very concerned. So, I set out to prove to her that I didn’t need them. At all. And that’s what I did.
At the time, I was eating a banana or two, every day. Along with other high potassium fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts, it was relatively easy to meet my potassium needs and lower my blood pressure. I’m fairly certain that backing off on the meat, eggs, and dairy helped, too.
After six months on a plant-based Flexitarian diet, my blood pressure was normal. And I was not exactly a lightweight, at 230 pounds. My doc was duly impressed and I’ve been off of blood pressure meds, ever since.
Unfortunately, I didn’t lose any weight, my tissue health suffered, and my insulin resistance was out-of-control, with all the tropical fruits, breads, pasta, and potatoes that I was eating. So, I felt the need to add some more eggs, meat, and dairy back in, as well as cut way back on the carbs.
Low-Carb + High Potassium
Now, getting enough potassium is easier when you’re not super concerned about your carb intake, because there are SO many more options. You can actually EAT bananas. With low-carb, you can’t. So, you have to find low-carb sources of potassium that fit within your macros. That’s a little trickier, but it’s very doable, with a little knowledge.
Recently, I felt the need to tighten up on the carbs, even more, and I found myself having a hard time getting enough potassium, on-the-daily. I figured that I probably wasn’t the only one. So, that’s why I decided to put together this resource. It not only has lists of basic foods that are high in potassium, for a quick reference, but also ideas for prepared foods that you can make, which are rich in potassium.
High-Potassium Low-Carb Foods
- black beans *
- black soy beans
- edamame beans
- green beans
- kidney beans *
- lentils *
- soy milk
- apricots *
- cantaloupe *
- cherries (tart)
- coconut meat
- coconut water *
- grapefruits *
- oranges *
- peaches *
- watermelon *
- artichokes *
- beet greens
- bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- butternut squash *
- celery juice *
- leafy greens
- swiss chard
- tomatoes *
- bone broth
- coconut milk
- tomato sauce *
- Brazil nuts
- flax seeds
- hemp seeds
- peanuts *
- pine nuts
- pistachios *
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
* higher in carbs, for those not on a strict keto diet
I don’t necessarily have the time or patience to look up all the potassium stats for each item listed, here. If you want to do that, knock yourself out. You’ll find resource links, at the bottom of the post.
However, I’ve learned some tricks. Plus, I use Cronometer.com to track my daily intake of potassium. I recommend that you do so, too, at least for a little while.
A Banana’s Worth
Unfortunately, bananas are not considered low-carb and are generally to be avoided on the low-carb diet. However, we can use the banana as a kind of measuring stick.
I will tell you that overall, meats, legumes, and vegetables are generally the best sources of potassium. Some have as much potassium as a banana, if not a little more.
Most nuts and fruits have about half a banana’s worth of potassium.
If you’re really trying to keep the carbs down, go for greens. I’ve come up with a zillion ideas for spinach, for example. I put it in everything. And I’m not normally a kale fan, but I’m going to try making kale chips, soon.
Zucchini is another great one, because it’s so versatile. You can make zoodles, you can roast it, you can even throw it into a vegetable juice, if you’re not SUPER sensitive to carbs, and you can bake it in keto breads.
Mushrooms are another of my fave high potassium vegetables, because they can sub for meat, in some dishes, and they’re also quite versatile. I sometimes make a plate of stuffed mushrooms for dinner, because I love them, so much.
Portobella mushroom caps make great “burgers” and “pizzas”. Oyster mushrooms are delicious, too, in case you haven’t tried them, yet. Sauté them with some garlic, sea salt, and avocado oil, for a unique side dish. Anyone else getting hungry, right about meow?
Of course, there’s cauliflower, too. Low-carb people love their cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, roasted cauliflower…there are so many options.
Just note that cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables can be hard to digest, which may contribute to constipation.
Melons and Stone Fruits
Melons (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon) and stone fruits (peaches, apricots, cherries) are really good sources of potassium and can be refreshing with breakfast, as a dessert, or along with meals. But, they are a bit higher in carbs.
Berries are Your New Best Friend
If you’re super concerned about carbs, stick to berries, when you need a bit of fruit. Strawberries are your best bet for potassium. They are also delicious and low in carbs.
While milk is a good source of potassium, but it’s not allowed on the low-carb diet. And unfortunately, most low-carb dairy foods are not the best sources of potassium.
That being said, there is some potassium in fresh cheeses, like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Green yogurt has a notable amount of potassium, as well.
Soy Milk as Creamer
I don’t put cream or butter or MCT oil in my coffee. In fact, I rarely drink coffee. What I DO drink is a chicory latte with half brewed chicory and half unsweetened soy milk. 20 oz of that covers about 11% of my daily potassium needs and I usually drink 2-3, per day.
Of course, soy milk can be added to regular coffee, too. Most stores sell cartons of shelf-stable unsweetened soy milk, so it’s easy to stock your kitchen cupboards or keep some in a cabinet, at work.
For shelf-stable soy milk, I really like the one that Trader Joe’s sells, which is usually near their coffee. For refrigerated soy milk, I prefer the 365 half gallons and Whole Foods.
This list of high-potassium recipe ideas is sorted by whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian (eggs and dairy), or vegan. Within that, it’s sorted by type of cuisine. I will probably be adding to this, as I go along. But, I have a friend who needs this resource, as she is suffering from high blood pressure on a dirty keto diet. So, I wanted to get it out, ASAP.
- Thanksgiving: turkey, garlic roasted Brussels sprouts, curried butternut squash soup, mashed cauliflower with mushroom gravy
- New England Clam chowder (low-carb variation; sub cauliflower for potato and don’t use flour to thicken)
- Tuna salad lettuce wrap with zucchini chips
- Thai green curry with chicken, bell pepper, onions, eggplant, butternut squash + cauliflower rice
- Chicken curry (coconut base) with cauliflower rice & steamed veggies
- Lamb vindaloo with curried cauliflower and palak paneer
- Stuffed bell peppers: ground beef, bell peppers, onion, cauliflower rice, zucchini, marinara sauce (no sugar added), cheese
- Zoodles with meaty marinara and cheese
- Lemon garlic salmon with roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes
- Lamb gyro plate: “gyro” meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, (grilled) red onions, tzatziki sauce
- Low-Carb Moussaka: ground beef, tomatoes, eggplant, cheese sauce (no potatoes or flour)
- Steak fajita bowl: steak, grilled peppers, onions, and zucchini, salsa, and guacamole
- Chili con carne with ground beef, black soy beans, veggies and spices.
- Spinach artichoke stuffed mushrooms
- Chaffles with mashed avocado
- Spinach salad with strawberries, pecans, bleu cheese, avocado, baked garlic tofu, and low-sugar vinaigrette
- Red pepper cauliflower soup with goat cheese crumbles
- Portobello mushroom burger (no bun) with cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and sauteed onion.
- Mushroom and veggie shepherd’s pie with mashed cauliflower topping
- Frittata with spinach, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms
- Spinach parmesan zucchini noodle nest with eggs (sunny side up)
- Margherita pizza on cauliflower or spinach crust
- Creamy mushroom (cauliflower) risotto with shaved parmesan
- Zucchini pizza boats with olives, diced bell peppers & mushrooms, sauce & cheese
- Caprese salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt & olive oil
- Zucchini noodles with beef bolognese
- Avocado egg boats with shakshuka sauce & cloud bread
- Greek salad with veggies, feta, and dressing
- Thanksgiving plate: herb baked tofu, almond bread stuffing, creamy (coconut) butternut squash soup, garlic roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed cauliflower with mushroom gravy
- Chocolate strawberry smoothie
- Juice with celery, cucumber, lettuce, avocado
- Celery sticks with peanut butter
- Juice with celery, cucumber, kale, and lemon
- Seasoned kale chips
- Zucchini chips
- Tofu satay with spicy peanut sauce and stir fried broccoli
- Stir fry with broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, green onions, and edamame beans, over cauliflower rice
- Green Thai curry with bell peppers, onions, basil, japanese eggplant, tofu
- Roasted cauliflower hummus and veggie plate with broccoli, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes & orange bell peppers
- “Faux lafel” with tahini sauce, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes + spicy kale chips
- Veggie paella with saffron cauliflower rice
- Shish kabobs with seasoned cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, bell peppers, zucchini + tahini lemon garlic sauce
- Chili with black soy beans, veggies, and spices; topped with diced avocado and tomatoes
- Fajita bowl with seasoned tofu, grilled veggies, salsa, and guacamole
Love and Blessings!