Got Diabetes? Don't Eat This…

57532985Do people with diabetes have to follow a low-sodium diet? It depends. People with diabetes have the same recommended sodium intake as the general population – 2,400-3,000 mg per day, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). However, about 30% of Americans also have sodium-sensitive blood pressure.

People who have this condition, or mild to moderate high blood pressure, should aim for less than 2,400 mg per day, says the ADA. People with high blood pressure and kidney disease should eat less than 2,000 mg per day. Here are tips to help lower your sodium intake, courtesy of the ADA:

  • Avoid high-sodium menu items. Learn to recognize them by description (“smoked,” for instance, or “in broth”). Keep your order simple (without sauces or fillings) and request that it be prepared without added salt.
  • Remove the salt shaker from the table. Always taste food before salting.
  • Cook with less salt. Try herbs, spices, lemon juice, pepper or garlic.
  • Don’t use processed foods. Buy fresh meats, fruits and vegetables instead of canned soups or frozen dinners. Avoid high-salt meat products (bacon, cold cuts, ham).
  • Be cautious with condiments and sauces. Cut back on pickles, ketchup, soy sauce, salad dressing, steak sauce and teriyaki sauce.
  • Always check nutrition fact labels for sodium.