If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you may know that potassium is a key mineral and electrolyte that supports the healthy functioning of every cell in your body.  Bananas are widely known for their high potassium content, but they are too high in carbs to include in a keto diet. So, what are some of the best foods to get your potassium on keto, and how will they help you on your journey to better health? Let’s take a look!

Why is potassium important?

It plays an essential role in regulating blood pressure, supporting the nervous system, and preventing kidney stones. Everybody needs this mineral, but it is especially crucial when following a low-carb diet. 

Getting enough potassium on keto can save you from experiencing negative side effects like “keto flu.” According to the PlanKetogenic guide for beginners, potassium and other electrolytes can prevent symptoms that often occur when starting keto without proper nutrition, including:

  • Headache
  • Brain fog
  • Low energy levels
  • Dizziness or feeling weak
  • Dehydration
  • Mood swings
  • Upset stomach

Since many potassium sources are also high in carbs, many people choose to skip them completely without replacing them with something keto friendly. It is therefore beneficial to eat keto-friendly foods with potassium in order to reduce these effects.  

Benefits of potassium

Whether or not you’re on a keto diet, this nutrient supports your body in many ways:

  • Regulates blood pressure: Potassium plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. It does this by working with sodium to control the amount of water that is retained in the cells. When there is too much sodium in the diet, it can cause the body to retain water, which leads to an increase in blood pressure. 
    • It helps to offset the effects of sodium and can help to reduce blood pressure. 
    • It also helps to relax the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels, which also lowers blood pressure. 
  • Maintains healthy nerve function: This mineral is also essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It helps to transmit nerve impulses and is necessary for the proper regulation of muscle contraction. 
    • Without adequate potassium, muscles would not be able to function properly and nerves would become over-stimulated, leading to potentially serious health problems. 
  • Helps prevent kidney stones: It helps to regulate the levels of calcium and other minerals in the body, keeping them in a safe range to avoid forming stones. 
    • It also increases urine output, which helps to flush out any potential stone-forming materials before they have a chance to coalesce.
    • Potassium-rich foods are often high in water content, which helps to keep the kidneys hydrated and functioning properly. 

Let’s see which potassium sources are keto-friendly and low in carbohydrates.

List of Keto Foods With Potassium

  • Salmon

Serving size: 3 oz (85 grams)

  • Calories: 121
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Net carbs: 24.4 g
  • Total carbs: 27.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Potassium: 416 mg
  • Sodium: 37.4 g

Salmon with Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower: This healthy and flavorful dish can be on the table in just 30 minutes. Simply roast broccoli and cauliflower in the oven, then top with fresh salmon and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa: This recipe is perfect for summertime BBQs. Season salmon fillets with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, then grill until cooked through. Serve with a fresh avocado salsa made with diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

Salmon with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce: This elegant meal is surprisingly easy to prepare. Start by cooking asparagus in a pan on the stovetop. Then, add salmon fillets and cook until browned and cooked through. Finally, top with a homemade hollandaise sauce made with egg yolks, lemon juice, butter, and cayenne pepper.

  • Spinach

Serving size: 3 cups (85 g)

  • Calories: 20 
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Potassium: 470mg
  • Sodium: 64.6 mg

Sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil:  This simple dish is full of flavor and nutrients. Sauté garlic with olive oil, then add fresh spinach leaves and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For something a little heartier, try spinach and bacon quiche. This recipe uses a few eggs, bacon, and shredded cheese to create a delicious and satisfying meal. In a pie plate or quiche dish, cook the bacon and add the spinach and eggs. Top with shredded cheese and bake until set.

Finally, make a healthy spinach smoothie for a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Simply blend spinach leaves with almond milk, ice, and your favorite keto-friendly sweetener. Add some frozen berries or avocado for extra flavor and nutrition.

  • Avocado

Serving size: 100 g (approx. ½ fruit)

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 14.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.7 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Potassium: 485 mg
  • Sodium: 7 mg

Avocado toast with egg:  To prepare, top a slice of keto bread with avocado and a fried or poached egg and enjoy. If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can also add some bacon or sausage to the mix, or top with arugula for more nutrients.

Avocado chips: Cut thin slices of avocado, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in the oven until crispy. Serve with dipping sauces like Greek yogurt or hot sauce for an even tastier treat.

Avocado-stuffed chicken: Season chicken breasts with your favorite spices, stuff them with slices of avocado, and bake in the oven until cooked through. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a salad for a complete meal.

  • Broccoli

Serving size: 1 cup, chopped (91 g)

Calories: 31

Fat: 0.3 g

Carbohydrates: 6 g

Fiber: 2.4 g

Protein: 2.6 g

Sodium: 30 mg

Potassium: 316 mg

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad: This flavorful salad can be served as a side dish or main course. It features roasted broccoli and cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese. The salad is tossed in a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

Sautéed Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan: This quick and easy side dish is bursting with flavor. It features sautéed broccoli florets tossed with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve it alongside grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.

Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche: This quiche makes a delicious breakfast, brunch, or dinner. It features a flaky low-carb pie crust filled with eggs, broccoli, cheddar cheese, and diced ham. 

  • Eggplant

Serving size: 1 cup, cubes (82 g)

Calories: 20.5

Fat: 0.1g

Carbohydrates: 4.8g

Fibre: 2.4g

Protein: 0.8g

Potassium: 188mg

Sodium: 1.6mg

Eggplant Parmesan: This classic Italian dish can easily be made keto-friendly by skipping the breading and using mozzarella cheese in place of Parmesan. The eggplant should be cut into thin rounds and topped with tomato sauce and cheese, and then roasted in the oven until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.

Eggplant Lasagna: Lasagna is usually off-limits on a keto diet, but this eggplant version is just as delicious and far easier to make. Simply layer thinly sliced eggplant rounds with your favorite pasta sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbling and hot.

Eggplant Pizza: Craving pizza but trying to stay low-carb? This easy recipe uses eggplant as the crust, topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings. The eggplant can be chopped into thin rounds, topped with sauce and toppings, and baked until the cheese has melted.

  • Edamame

Serving size: 1 cup (155 g)

Calories: 188

Fat: 8 g

Carbohydrates: 13.8 g

Fiber: 8 g

Sugars: 3.4 g

Protein: 18.4 g

Potassium: 436 mg

Sodium: 9.4 mg

Edamame Hummus: This dish is perfect as a dip or spread and can be made with either fresh or frozen edamame. Just combine cooked edamame, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. For extra flavor, try adding in some freshly squeezed lemon juice or smoked paprika.

Edamame Fried Rice: This dish is a delicious way to get your fix of Takeout without all the unhealthy carbs and oil. To make it, start by cooking konjac rice in chicken broth until tender. (Regular rice has too many carbs.) Then, sauté diced onion and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add in cooked edamame and sauté for an additional minute. Finally, stir in the cooked konjac rice and season with soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Edamame Succotash: This colorful dish makes a great side or vegetarian main course. Instead of the traditional corn or lima beans, use zucchini. Sauté diced onion and garlic in olive oil until softened then add in zucchini and cook for an additional few minutes. In the last step, combine the edamame, diced tomatoes, green onions, parsley, white vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. The dish can be served either warm or cold.

FAQ about potassium on keto

Have you got any more questions about getting enough potassium on keto? We’ve got answers!

What’s the recommended intake for potassium?

According to the US National Institutes of Health, the adequate daily intake of potassium 3,400 mg for adult men and 2,600 mg for adult women. This amount is increased during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

We recommend seeking specific advice from your healthcare provider regarding potassium intake if you have kidney disease or take certain medications. 

What happens if you don’t get enough potassium on keto?

If you don’t get enough potassium on keto, you may experience a few negative side effects. For one, you may feel fatigued and have muscle weakness. This is because potassium is essential for proper muscle function. Without enough potassium, your muscles may begin to cramp or feel weak. You may also experience an irregular heartbeat and changes in blood pressure. 

Is it possible to have too much potassium?

Yes. Although this mineral that is essential for many bodily functions, you can have too much of it. When levels of potassium in the blood become too high, it can lead to a condition known as hyperkalemia. 

Symptoms of hyperkalemia include muscle weakness, cramping, and irregular heartbeat. Although rare, hyperkalemia is a serious condition that should be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. 

So, while potassium is necessary for good health, it is important to remember that too much of a good thing can be harmful.

Can you take potassium supplements?

Yes, you can, however, supplements should not be taken unless a physician has prescribed them for you. Potassium supplements are generally considered safe when taken as directed. However, consuming too much of this mineral can also be harmful to the body, so it is important to speak to your doctor first to see if you need supplementation in the first place.

If supplementation is not prescribed by your doctor, the consumption of potassium-rich foods, such as those mentioned in this article, is a much healthier alternative to supplements.

Potassium-rich low-carb recipes

  • Grilled Salmon With Avocado Salsa
  • Low-Carb Salmon Soup
  • Cauliflower Casserole with Spinach
  • Poached Egg in an Avocado
  • Beef Tenderloin With Balsamic Asparagus
  • Grill-Smoked Baba Ghanoush

Bottom line

Potassium is an essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. It also helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and nerves. The potassium levels in your body need to be checked if you are new to the keto diet and experiencing keto flu symptoms. Symptoms of low potassium, which are common among those on low-carb diets, include weakness, cramping, fatigue, and irritability. Fortunately, keto diets do not make maintaining potassium levels difficult, as long as you are mindful to eat certain foods. 

Wondering why to do keto in the first place, or need some motivation to power you along your journey? Read our article about healthy reasons to lose weight.

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