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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Where can I find a list of high-potassium foods?

My mother is taking Lasix and is not tolerating the 20mg x 1/ day potassium tablet well. Where can I find a potassium rich food guide with potassium levels / serving size? Is it possible to eat enough potassium rich foods in a day to make up the 20mg dose?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Cooked beet greens are high in potassium

Lasix is one of the most prescribed diuretics on the market. The generic name is furosemide and one of the side effects can be loss of potassium. When we prescribe Lasix we will usually prescribe potassium along with it for this reason.

Many folks can do well by supplementing potassium through their diet as you suggest, but you'd definitely want to check with your mom's doctor so that this can be carefully monitored.

The prescription that was given to your mother is likely in milliequivalents (meq) and not milligrams. There's about 400 mg of potassium in a 10 meq pill.

Lots of foods have much more than 400 mg of potassium in a serving, and here's a list of common potassium-rich foods from the USDA database. Go over them with your mom's doctor to make sure that there's no reason for her to not try replacing potassium with food rather than through pills.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet