Who? Who knows how to manage a low carb, low potassium diet?
Spending the day online looking for low carb/low potassium recipe ideas, I see many others asking the same questions I have, like:
How are you supposed to eat on this crazy, nonintuitive diet? And where can you find reliable information that follows sensible guidelines?
Reliability is a big problem. The same food will be listed as “high potassium” on one site, and “low potassium” on another. When I put “low carb AND low potassium” in a search, I have to carefully review each recipe that comes up, because they are seldom (I’m tempted to say never) low in both.
And then there’s the mutating nature of potassium in food. The USDA site shows that a cup of white mushrooms is a low potassium food until you cook it (223mg before/555mg after); a cup of cauliflower is high potassium when raw and low potassium when cooked (320mg raw/176mg cooked).
The typical low potassium diet relies on processed carbs to fill in calories; the typical low carb diet relies on foods heavy in potassium. So I sure have my work cut out for me.
The main thing is, I need a daily target in both carbs and potassium so I can build menus that stay within the targets (you would think his doctor would have given him daily targets to manage his prediabetes and hyperkalemia, but no).
Finding low carb dietary goals online is relatively easy; sites like US Dept of Health and Human Services provide a formula that for my hubby comes out to a daily target of 275 grams of carbs a day (formula based on target calories by gender, age, and level of activity).
For potassium, I am settling on keeping him to about 2,000 mg of potassium a day, recommended on several sites (like the National Kidney Foundation) for Chronic Kidney Disease patients (a kidney function problem, though not hyperkalemia). I am still considering making an appointment with a nutritionist, but I just would like to see if I can create healthy, YUMMY meals that are low in both carbs and potassium, and judge my success by how his labs come out next time. I doubt any other patient with the completely unhelpful advice his doctor gave him (watch carbs, watch protein, watch potassium) has spent all the time I’ve spent on this, but I hope all this effort benefits not only my hubby but someone else out there struggling on a low potassium, low carb diet.
Perhaps I will become a pioneer in online low potassium/low carb meal planning! Who knew.