The Top 9 Potassium Foods

  • Potassium has been shown to lower hypertension.
  • Potassium has been shown to stave off cardiovascular disease
  • It does this by balancing out the harmful effects of high levels of sodium

And considering that 1/3 of us of have hypertension and 103% of us eat too much salt, I decided to put together a list of the most potassium rich foods you can find.

Image from Angie at Food Musings – click on the image for the recipe

Drum roll please…

      1. Potatoes – 1 medium baked potato with skin – 1081 mg
      2. Halibut – 1/2 fillet – 840 mg
      3. Sweet Potatoes – 1 medium baked with skin – 694 mg
      4. Bananas – 1 medium – 422 mg
      5. Milk – 1 cup – 382 mg
      6. Cantaloupes – 1/4 medium – 368 mg
      7. White Beans – 1/4 cup – 297 mg
      8. Tomatoes – 1 medium – 292 mg – Tomato Paste – 1 tbsp – 166 mg – Tomato Sauce – 1/2 cup – 405 mg – Tomato Juice – 1 cup – 556 mg
      9. Oranges – 1 medium – 237 mg – Orange Juice – 1 cup – 496 mg

In choosing these foods, I tried to make it a usable list, with foods that people are fairly likely to buy and in quantities that actually make sense.

For example, the top 3 potassium foods as listed by the USDA are as follows:

      1. Tomato products, canned, paste, without salt added -1 cup – 2657 mg potassium
      2. Orange juice, frozen concentrate, unsweetened, undiluted – 6-fl-oz can – 1436 mg potassium
      3. Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt – 1 cup – 130 mg potassium
From this list, tomato paste looks like an amazing source of potassium…until you realize that the tested portion size was 1 cup.
.
What are the odds you’re going to eat 1 cup of tomato paste for dinner tonight?
.
But a nice plate of pan-fried halibut with some mashed potatoes and a glass of tomato juice (Bloody Mary) might be do-able.
.

Reference

    • USDA – Top Potassium Foods

9 thoughts on “The Top 9 Potassium Foods

  1. Doug, thanks for sharing! Why isn’t Kiwi fruit on the list? It has more potassium than an orange (252mg/1 medium fruit vs. 237mg/1 medium orange).

    Goji berries (aka Wolf berries) have 1,132mg/100g.
    Swiss Chard has 960mg/1 cup
    Spinach has 838mg/1 cup
    Crimini mushrooms have 635mg/5oz-wt
    Brussel sprouts & Cantaloupe each have 494mg/1 cup
    Papaya has 781mg/1 fruit* (beware that 50% of Hawaiian papaya is genetically modified)
    Yams have 911mg/1 cup
    Lima beans have 955mg/1 cup
    Avocado has 874mg/1 cup
    Pinto beans have 800mg/1 cup
    Lentils have 730mg/1 cup
    Soybeans have 885mg/1 cup* (Beware of soy anything. They are almost always genetically modified and caused more hormonal problems than have health benefits)

    Source: WHFoods.com. (which has even more sources).

    -Paul

  2. Hey Paul,

    According to the USDA numbers, a medium sized kiwi has 237 mg of potassium – the exact same as an orange (weird coincidence).

    Part of the reasoning behind my choices for this list were convenience and to choose foods that were most likely to actually be purchased by consumers. And as much as I love kiwis and they are popular, it’s pretty easy to sell a cup of OJ to someone who needs some help lowering their BP.

    This applies to the rest of the WHFoods list.

    What are the chances your family members are going to eat a cup of cooked swiss chard or a cup of avocado at a sitting. Not that those foods aren’t great, but they may not be the most user friendly

  3. VERY LIKELY ACTUALLY because I actually eat an ENTIRE CAN of tomato paste MOST DAYS as a snack! I freaking love it. I just dig my spoon in and ENJOY! YAY! 830 mg of potassium for me right there! 🙂

    Oh and apparently salmon has 530 mg per 3 oz serving and since I eat about 13 oz every day… I get like 2,296 mg! ha, now I am overdosing!

  4. Doug,

    Thanks for the great information. Most of these items can be picked up at any grocery store at a reasonable price, which is helpful to anyone who wants to take simple steps to reduce High BP.

    Follow us on twitter. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the citizens of Baltimore about the importance of good nutrition, regular exercise and preventive health screenings so that they might lead healthier, longer lives. @HealthyCityDays

  5. One of my FB friends reminded me that coconut water has a high potassium count

    1 cup of coconut water = 600 mg of potassium

    and it tastes great

  6. According to the USDA, dried apricots are good but not great

    Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked 35 gram – 10 halves – 407 mg potssium
    Apricots, canned, juice pack, with skin, solids and liquids 244g – 1 cup – 40 mg potassium
    Apricots, raw 35gms – 1 apricot – 91 mg potassium

Comments are closed.