Kidney Diet Tips

Putting Potatoes Back in Your Low Potassium Diet

Potatoes are a favorite staple in many diets and for many occasions. Warm mashed potatoes and gravy is a must on Thanksgiving, and a summer picnic is not the same without potato salad. When you are on a low potassium renal diet, you are instructed to limit or give up potatoes due to the very high potassium content.

One small potato (1-3/4″ to 2-1/4″ diameter) contains over 700 milligrams of potassium. However, there is a way to prepare potatoes by double-boiling which removes fifty percent of the potassium in the potato. This process lowers potassium to about 200 mg for a 1/2 cup serving, low enough so you can include potatoes in your meal plan again.

The first step to reduce potassium in potatoes is to peel, slice thin, and rinse potatoes. After doing this, cover potato pieces with twice as much water as potato and bring to a boil. Next, remove from heat and pour off the water. Then, add fresh water and cook until potato is tender.

Now you can drain and cook as you like it. The suggested serving size is 1/2 cup because the potassium was reduced but not completely removed.

This method can be used for other high potassium vegetables including sweet potatoes, yams, beets, winter squash and rutabagas.

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue works as a dietitian in Carpentersville and Marengo in Illinois She has been a dietitian for the past 15 years. The last eight have been in kidney care. In her spare time, Sue enjoys reading and riding her bike.