It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What diet should those with diabetes and high potassium levels follow?

My husband's borderline diabetes is compounded with a high potassium count. This makes it very difficult to maintain a Mediterranean diet. Do you have recipes or advice for this particular problem?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a beet and arugula salad - beets are high in potassium

There can be a number of reasons for high potassium levels in the blood. With diabetes issues, changes in kidney function and medications are the two most common reasons and it's important to make sure that these and other causes have been fully evaluated.

Depending on the recommendations of your physician, limiting foods that are high in potassium is the first step. Here are two lists showing the potassium content of foods sorted both by total potassium content and alphabetically (both in PDF format).

We know that for most diabetics, especially Type 2 diabetics, the Mediterranean diet is the best choice. Dr. Gourmet recipes follow those principles and translate them for your American kitchen. Every Dr. Gourmet recipe also has the amount of potassium listed in the Nutrition Facts box so this may help you. Here's more information on eating well and eating healthy for diabetics.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet