- Moumita Paul Chowdhury
SALT AND DIABETES
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the pancreas does not produce insulin or the body does not use it efficiently as a result blood glucose which is supposed to be used by the cells builds up in the blood and crosses the upper limit. It can lead to dangerous health complications.
Basic 3 types of diabetes: TYPE 1 Diabetes mellitus, TYPE 2 Diabetes mellitus, Gestational Diabetes.
Diabetic individuals should take care of their salt consumption in order to prevent further complications.
The recommended daily salt intake for an adult is 5 grams i.e. 1 teaspoon. But over the past few years, we’re consuming more than the recommended. All credit goes to ready-to-eat meals, processed, pre-cooked and packaged, bottled food items that are loaded with hidden salts and sugars which are usually used as preservatives to increase the shelf-life of the product. Don’t forget pickles and extra salt sprinklers on the table (some of the examples).
Although salt does not affect blood glucose (sugar) levels, it’s important to limit the amount you eat as part of your diabetes management because too much salt can raise your blood pressure.
People with diabetes are more likely to be affected by high blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Sources of hidden salt/sodium:
Processed foods like ready meals, salted snacks, nuts, biscuits, soya sauce, ketchup, pickles, mayonnaise, bread, breakfast cereals, canned foods, junk foods, etc.
Tips to reduce your salt intake:
Reduce the amount you use in cooking and measure what is added instead of just shaking over the pan.
Instead of buying processed food, cook from scratch (direct food from nature).
Try black pepper, ajwain (carom seeds), amchur (dry mango powder), lemon, mint, coriander leaves, basil leaves for flavor.
Check food labels and ingredients list before buying any packaged items.
NOTE: Reduce salt intake (<5gms/day). Manage your meals and salt/sodium intake with help of a professional dietitian. Beware of marketing gimmicks especially the “low salt substitute” that are easily available, these are high in potassium too (people with kidney related issues need to be careful), so just need to be careful with the food labels. Take advice from a doctor/ dietitian.