High Potassium Foods for the Keto Diet

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High Potassium Foods for the Keto Diet

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Studies show that the ketogenic diet can be used to treat diseases such as epilepsy and diabetes. It has also proven to help with weight loss. Further research found the diet beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers, polycystic ovary syndrome, Parkison’s disease, and several other diseases.

An Overview of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet with an adequate supply of protein. Switching from a traditional diet to a keto diet creates a metabolic state known as ketosis where fat becomes the primary source of energy. The premise for the diet is to force the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.

Usually, the carbs contained in food are broken down into glucose and transported to various body parts including the brain to provide energy. However, with a low-carb diet, the liver converts fat into ketone bodies and fatty acids. Ketone bodies are transported to the brain to replace glucose for energy.

Increased levels of ketone bodies in the blood help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in young children; this effect persists after resuming a normal diet.

Experiencing Keto-Flu Symptoms

During the first few weeks of starting a ketogenic diet, it’s common to experience keto-flu symptoms. This is because of the low levels of potassium in the body. Potassium aids in glycogen metabolism which produces glucose in the body. With reduced potassium levels, glycogen (how the body stores carbs) gets depleted fast.

In addition, keto-flu symptoms occur as a result of changes in the electrolyte balance. Potassium is one of the main electrolytes in the body along with chloride and sodium.

Electrolytes send electrical impulses around the body which aid in muscle contractions, PH balance, digestion, blood pressure control, and water balance.

While the keto-flu symptoms wear out as the body adjusts to the diet, it is important to include high potassium foods in the Keto diet. Here are a few great high potassium foods to include on the ketogenic diet.


They provide a significant amount of fats and are rich in minerals and electrolytes. An average avocado contains 975 mg of potassium which is 27% of the Reference Nutrient Intake.

The number of calories in the avocado depends on its size. The best way to determine the number of calories in this flavorful fruit is to look at the avocado calories per tablespoon.


Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in nutrients. One cup (180g) of cooked spinach contains up to 839 mg of potassium. The amount almost doubles the potassium content in a medium-sized banana. Spinach also has the highest level of magnesium on the list.

?Cook your spinach in coconut oil. It will better absorb the minerals as well as shrink it which makes it easier to eat more.


A non-starch vegetable belonging to the Brassica species, broccoli is the most nutritious low-carb, low-calorie vegetable. There are different types of broccoli (Chinese broccoli, Italian heirloom, broccoli rabe) but the most popular is the broccoli head.

Other low-carb vegetables making great substitutes for high-carb foods include kale and cauliflower. A cup of raw chopped broccoli contains up to 458 mg of potassium.


It is an excellent source of omega 3 and packed with other nutrients like vitamin B, and D, a 3-oz serving of salmon has 416 mg of potassium, which makes up 12% of RNI. Different types of fish rich in potassium and magnesium include monkfish, sea bream, cod, herring, sardines, and mackerel.


Meats also make an excellent source of potassium. A four-ounce steak contains 260 mg of potassium. The amount of potassium found in a steak depends on the cut and will vary some. Other good meat sources of potassium include pork, poultry (turkey and chicken), and lamb.


An excellent ingredient for low-carb dishes, mushrooms are known for their high levels of vitamin B12 and anti-oxidizing capacity which fights free radicals. All edible mushrooms have a high level of potassium with up to 323 mg in a cup serving.


A cruciferous vegetable rich in nutrients including a high antioxidant profile in its sulfur compounds, cauliflower is another good choice. A one cup serving of cauliflower contains 320 mg of potassium.


Acorn squash is potassium-rich. Butternut and Winter squash also are high in potassium and great options.

High Potassium Keto Foods Chart

The Serving SizeA cup of sliced avocadoOne cup of cooked spinach (180g)A cup of raw chopped (91g)100 g100gOne Cup of raw mushroom (70g)Half size of cooked cauliflower (62g)
Potassium975 mg839 mg458 mg416 mg384 mg323 mg88.04 mg

Recommended LevelS

Adults have a potassium level of 40-50 mmol (1.6-2.0g)/kg of body weight. This concentration is higher in the intracellular fluid (150 mmol/L) than in the extracellular fluid (3.5-5.5 mmol/L). The body can’t produce potassium naturally, which means it must be supplemented through various foods.

The recommended intake of potassium in adults is 4.7 g/day i.e. (4700 mg/d). Since it’s not always possible to achieve this target, the lower reference nutrient intake (LRNI) is set as 2g/ day for adults. This amount of potassium is related to the level of lean muscle mass, so men may require a higher intake than women.

Extremely high levels of potassium cause a condition called hyperkalemia. It occurs when the potassium intake exceeds 17.6 g per day. Certain medications such as those used to treat kidney disease may also lead to high potassium levels. People with high levels of potassium are likely to experience an abnormal heartbeat with severe outcomes like cardiac arrest.

On the other hand, low levels of potassium (usually <3.5 mmol/L) cause symptoms including:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cramping
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Increased risk of developing kidney stones
  • Heart arrhythmias

Simple Keto Diet Salad

Easy Avocado and Egg Salad


  • Four large eggs
  • One large Avocado
  • Two garlic cloves
  • Half a cup of sour cream
  • 4 cups of mixed lettuce
  • Two teaspoons of Dijon mustard, pepper, and salt


  1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to prevent the eggs from cracking. Place the eggs in hot water and leave them to cook for ten minutes. Remove the eggs from heat and place them in a bowl of cold water. When the eggs are chilled, remove the shells.
  2. Prepare the dressing by mixing sour cream, with the crushed garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Wash and drain the lettuce and place it in a bowl to mix with the dressing. Cut the avocado in half and slice it. Place the slices on top of the lettuce and add the quartered eggs.
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