People with diabetes have a higher than average risk of having hypertension which later can cause a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, people with diabetes are encouraged to limit the sodium in their diet to help prevent or control high blood pressure. Maintaining blood pressure within limit also means you are decreasing your risk for heart attack or stroke.
According to a recent Japanese study, the risk of developing heart diseases is double in people who consume on an average of 5.9 grams of sodium than those who consume on an average 2.8 grams of sodium daily. Moreover, this risk increases to 10 fold if the diabetes is not well controlled. Usually we all focus on how to control blood sugar, but we should also emphasize on salt intake to prevent heart diseases. Diabetes and salt both have similar harmful effects on the cardiovascular system, both harden blood vessels and both increase the risk of blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. So, track your diabetes diet for more than just carbohydrates.
The largest portion of extra salt we take comes from commercially available packed and processed food such as wafers, cookies, pickles, canned fruits and vegetables, canned juices, frozen meat, frozen and canned fishes, ready to serve food preparations etc. To avoid complications due to excess of sodium, try to cut out the options rich in salt and opt for other simple options including eating fresh fruits and vegetables instead of packed or canned food, enjoy unsalted nuts, consume whole grain food prepared without salt, avoid frozen and processed meats and fishes. In addition, when you eat something always check its label for the amount of sodium.
Sometimes, fat free or reduced fat products have high sodium, so beware of it. Use a variety of herbs and condiments while cooking instead of high sodium for taste and flavour.
The AHA recommends a maximum daily sodium intake of 1,500 mg. So, if you are diabetic than for a very obvious reason, limit your salt intake and reduce chances of having heart diseases.