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Can I get potassium from food?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

You betcha. And that’s the best way to get it and any other vitamin and mineral as well. Most people name the banana when it comes to food sources of potassium, but avocados actually have more potassium in them than bananas! Other potassium powerhouses include sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, yogurt, milk, raisins, prunes, tomato paste, and beet greens.

 

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that adults aim for about 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium daily. Guacamole, anyone?

You can get potassium from the foods you eat. The following foods can be good sources of potassium: 

  • milk
  • bran, granola
  • peanut butter
  • tomatoes
  • peas, beans, lima beans
  • sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli
  • fruit: oranges, bananas, peaches, kiwi

Ask your doctor or nutritionist about additional sources of potassium.

While the current recommendation is for healthy Americans to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily, males are consuming only 3,200 milligrams daily, whereas females fall even shorter, consuming only 2,400 milligrams a day, on average. The good news is that potassium is found in a variety of foods, with vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy foods, and beans being potassium powerhouses:

  • Potato, baked including skin, small, 738 mg
  • White beans, ½ cup, 595 mg
  • Yogurt, nonfat, plain, 579 mg
  • Sweet Potato, baked with skin, medium, 542 mg
  • Orange juice, 1 cup, 496 mg
  • Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces, 490 mg
  • Soybeans, cooked, ½ cup, 485 mg
  • Cod, cooked, 3 ounces, 439 mg
  • Banana, 1 medium, 422 mg
  • Spinach, cooked, ½ cup, 370-419 mg
  • Tomato sauce, ½ cup, 405 mg
  • Milk, skim, 1 cup, 382 mg
  • Apricots, dried, ¼ cup, 378 mg
  • Soy milk, 1 cup, 372 mg
  • Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup, 358 mg

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.