Kidney Diet Tips

Food Labels and Potassium

Food Label

Listing potassium on food labels is optional for food manufacturers. Dialysis patients be aware that just because potassium is not listed on the label, it does not mean the food is potassium free.

Potassium is plentiful in milk, meats, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. If these ingredients are in the food, it contains potassium.

Another potassium source to be aware of is potassium chloride, the main ingredient in salt substitute. Some manufactured low-sodium food products contain potassium chloride instead of salt. Avoid this ingredient for a low potassium diet because a single teaspoon contains 2800 mg potassium.

Currently, the FDA is studying revision of nutrients required on food labels. (Docket No. 2006N-0168, titled Food Labeling: Revision of Reference Values and Mandatory Nutrients). People with CKD will benefit if potassium and phosphorus are added to the revised nutrition label.

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.