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Potassium

Prepare your food the right way to lower its potassium content

Potassium is an essential element for our nutrition. It plays a key role in making muscle contractions possible. But as important as it is – an increased potassium level in your blood is a serious condition. Remember that the heart is a muscle as well, and too much potassium in your blood can create severe health hazards.

Okay. But why do I need to be careful about it?

One of the kidney’s functions is to make sure that you have the right amount of potassium in your blood. What is too much, is simply filtered it out. When your kidneys are not able to fulfil this function properly, the potassium level in your blood rises.

Although dialysis efficiently filters out potassium, it builds up quickly in your body in between your dialysis sessions. Therefore, you need to take care that you do not consume too much potassium.

So which food contains potassium?

The tricky thing about keeping potassium levels low is that it is present in almost all living organisms. Consequently, all fruits and vegetables contain potassium. Of course there are differences. Pasta and white rice for example are especially low in potassium. But you simply can’t avoid it – the key is how you prepare your food.

So how can I prepare food to lower its potassium content?

You will need to adapt your routines on how you prepare your potatoes and vegetables - but it is easy and you will get used to it quickly.

First, you slice them, and soak them in fresh lukewarm water for at least two hours. Then, dispose of the water and cook your potatoes or vegetables, ideally changing the water once in between. By doing this, large amounts of potassium will be removed. And don’t use the cooking water to prepare another dish or a sauce.

What about fresh fruit?

As far as fruit is concerned, you can have one serving of fresh fruit per day, but the other one should be compote. Please try to strongly reduce the consumption of fruits which are very high on potassium, like bananas and dried fruits.

And how do I notice that I have a high potassium level in my blood?

As mentioned before, too much potassium in your body can be very dangerous. If you ever feel that there is a strange tingling sensation in your tongue or your mouth, if your legs are tingling and you feel weak, you should contact a physician immediately.

Remember:

  • high potassium levels in your body are dangerous
  • slicing, soaking and cooking can lower the potassium level of potatoes, vegetables, and fruit
  • if you notice signs of a high potassium level in your blood, see a doctor immediately

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Phosphate

Phosphate is important for our bodies, it is essential for strong teeth and bones, and it is needed for all muscle activity.