Posted on Nov 03, 2023, 3 p.m.
Those at risk for developing type 2 diabetes may already be aware that they need to limit sugar intake, but this study from Tulane University published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that they may want to consider avoiding something else that they may not be aware of: skipping the salt as well.
This study involved over 400,000 adults who were enrolled in the UK Biobank, who were surveyed about their salt intake. The analysis showed that over a median of 11.8 years of follow-up over 13,000 cases of type 2 diabetes developed. Compared to those who never or rarely added salt, those who sometimes, usually, or always added salt had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes of 13%, 20%, and 39%, respectively. Additionally, an association was found between frequent consumption of salt and a higher BMI as well as waist-to-hip ratio.
"We already know that limiting salt can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, but this study shows for the first time that taking the saltshaker off the table can help prevent Type 2 diabetes as well," said lead author Dr. Lu Qi, HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
While further research is required to determine why high salt intake could be linked with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the researchers believe that the practice encourages people to eat larger portions which increases the chances of developing risk factors such as inflammation and obesity.
The researchers' next step is to conduct a clinical trial controlling salt intake to observe the effects. The researchers also note that it is never too early to cut back on added salts and utilize other ways to season your food with the abundant sources of spices and foods that are readily available.
"It's not a difficult change to make, but it could have a tremendous impact on your health," Qi said.
Food doesn’t have to be plain and boring, spice up your life, and your taste buds will thank you.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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