Managing diabetes and potassium levels is a double challenge, as you must eat foods low in sugar and potassium. You should make careful food selections that are rich in vitamins and minerals, which are essential for good health. Also become familiar with all the foods that are low in sugar and potassium to help regulate your sugar and keep your potassium levels low.
High Potassium Risks
Potassium is essential for muscle building, healthy heart, regulating blood sugar and for transmitting nerve impulses. Potassium is filtered through the kidney and the excess is excreted through urine. If your potassium levels become high, you are at risk for a disease called hyperkalemia. This disease manifests itself with general weakness, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing and in extreme cases, paralysis.
Fruits and Vegetables
Select produce that is both low in potassium and sugar. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some low potassium vegetables are cucumbers, lettuce, green beans and cauliflower; these vegetables are also low in sugar. Some fruits that are low in both sugar and potassium are blueberries, grapes, grapefruit and strawberries. Blend some berries with crushed ice and 1 tbsp. of nondairy topping in your blender, and freeze for a delicious sweet treat. Make a salad of lettuce, cucumbers and mushrooms with a salad dressing of lemon juice and whipped cottage cheese for a low potassium and low sugar salad.
Protein and Dairy
Most protein has some potassium content; select carefully and limit portions and servings. Turkey, skinless chicken breasts, tuna and shrimp are low in potassium and are naturally low in sugar. The recommended serving for these choices are 3 oz., according to University of Maryland Medical center. Cheddar and Swiss cheese are both low in potassium as well as cottage cheese. The recommended serving amount is 1 oz. for the hard cheeses and and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.
Manage your portion size to make sure you are consuming the proper sugar and potassium levels in your diet. Vegetables and fruit are excellent for most healthful diets; however, even eating low potassium and low sugar produce in large quantities can cause a rise in both blood sugar and potassium. A serving size is generally 1/2 cup.
Lower Potassium Content
Soak both fruits and vegetables in water to lower the potassium content. Cook vegetables in a large pot of water to reduce more of the potassium. Rinse canned vegetables thoroughly to remove potassium content. Read your labels on all foods for potassium and sugar content.
Foods to Avoid
There are many fruits, vegetables and carbohydrate selections that are extremely high both in potassium and sugar. Some fruits and vegetables high in sugar and potassium are bananas, dried fruits, sweetened canned fruits, potatoes and acorn squash. Sports drinks, seasoned salt, canned vegetables are often high in sugar, potassium and undesirable preservatives and additives, according to the Cleveland Clinic.