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Low Potassium Advice During Your Hospital Stay

Date issued: April 2023 

Review date: April 2025 

Ref: C-372/KO/Dietetics/Low potassium advice during your hospital stay v3

PDF:  Low Potassium Advice During Your Hospital Stay final August 2022 v2.pdf[pdf] 115KB

Potassium is a mineral that is always present in the body. Potassium in your blood may rise if your kidneys are not working properly or due to certain medications. This leaflet explains how to reduce your potassium intake whilst in hospital, if it becomes too high.

If you are required to lower the potassium in your diet a dietitian will discuss restricting specific foods which will help in reducing your potassium levels.  You may also be offered the renal menu which is lower in potassium than the standard menu. This leaflet will assist you with choosing foods which are lower in potassium during your hospital admission. 



High Potassium foods to avoid

Low Potassium alternatives

Fruit juice

Sugar-free/no added sugar fruit cordial or squash

Bananas and prunes

Swap to other fruit alternatives such as easy-peel oranges or apples, melon and grape pots

Milk and yoghurt (limit to ½ pint)


Limiting to ½ pint milk a day, which includes yoghurt (available at breakfast) and with cereal and drinks.

Cereal with dried fruit or nuts such as Fruit & Fibre

Weetabix®, cornflakes, porridge

Lunch:  Select from either the standard menu or the renal menu

Supper:  Select from the renal menu, or choose a salad or sandwich.

                Items to avoid:  tomato or mushroom soup, jacket potatoes, baked beans

Snacks and Drinks available in Hospital

Snacks and drinks available in hospital

High Potassium foods to avoid

Low Potassium alternatives ü

Hot chocolate, malted drinks, coffee, milk, beef drink. Milk (limit to ½ pint)

Tea, peppermint tea, sugar-free fruit cordial or squash.

Country fruit cake

All other cakes and biscuits without dried fruit, nuts or chocolate.


Small fresh fruit or fruit salad (draining off juice)


Snacks and drinks brought in by friends or family

If you have friends or family bringing in food or snacks it is recommended to discuss suitable low potassium choices with them.

High Potassium foods to avoid

Low Potassium alternatives ü

Nuts, dried fruit and potato crisps

Corn snacks e.g. tortillas, popcorn, plain crackers

Chocolates, fudge, liquorice 

Hard boiled or jelly sweets, mints, marshmallows1

Coffee, fruit juice, smoothies, Ribena and previous drinks mentioned

Camp coffee, tea, flavoured water, fizzy drinks1

  1. If you have diabetes, choose diet fizzy drinks and limit any sweet and sugary foods                         

If you would like more information on following a low potassium diet please ask to speak with the ward dietitian.

Your potassium level will be monitored on the ward.  The doctors or dietitian will advise you if you need to continue with these restrictions at home.

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