Study Finds Not All Diabetes Patients Know Enough About Sodium

While sodium intake is a concern for those with diabetes and can lead to high blood pressure and stroke, among other complications, a new study finds that most diabetics have no idea how much salt they should be eating – and many are taking in too much.

“Despite knowledge that a high salt diet is related to high blood pressure it was not a high level of concern for this population group,” said Kristy Gray, a researcher with the University of South Australia School of Pharmacy and Medical Science who co-authored the study.

More than 80 percent of 143 diabetes patients who responded to the survey knew that processed foods such as pizza were high in sodium, but only 30 percent considered white bread and cheese as foods with high salt levels.

Almost half of those surveyed were more concerned about sugar, while 41 worried about saturated fat and 35 said that fat in general was their biggest concern. Only 10 of those surveyed viewed sodium as the nutrient that generated the most dietary concern.

Only six percent of those surveyed were aware of the recommended sodium intake for a diabetes-friendly diet, and although the majority of those surveyed read labels and purchased low-sodium products, most still took in too much. Women and those with type 1 diabetes had a lower salt intake than men and those with type 2, researchers said.

The research appeared in the journal Appetite.

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