Food Labels and Potassium
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.