How much sodium should a type 2 diabetic have per day?
The American Diabetes Association recommend that people with diabetes have 2,300 mg or less per day. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), you should be shooting for 1,500 mg or less per day.
Decreasing the amount of sodium in the diet can help many people lower their blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure also means you are decreasing your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other common diabetes complications.
2300 mg of sodium or less per day is a very realistic goal, but it still requires eating a lot of fresh, unprocessed foods throughout the day and decreasing high-sodium foods. Limiting your sodium intake to 1500 mg per day of sodium is a much more difficult goal to achieve with our current food supply, which is full of hidden sources of sodium and highly preserved foods.
Fresh, unprocessed foods are the lowest sodium foods out there. So, an easy strategy to cut back on sodium is to eat more of these foods and less highly-processed foods. Fresh, unprocessed foods include:
- fresh fruits
- fresh vegetables (both starchy and non-starchy)
- dried beans, peas, and legumes (buying dried beans, peas, and legumes is best since canning adds a significant amount of sodium)
- whole grain foods prepared without salt like brown rice, wild rice, oats, quinoa, popcorn, and whole grain barley
- unsalted nuts and seeds (raw or dry roasted)
We recognize that keeping sodium to less than 1500 mg per day is very difficult, but you should still work to keep the sodium in your diet to a minimum. Learning which foods are the major sources of sodium, making smart food choices, and controlling portion sizes can help.
We often don’t realize how much sodium is in the foods we eat. Foods that are usually high in sodium include:
- Frozen meals
- Canned goods
- Table salt
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Processed meats and cold cuts
- Prepared pasta or rice mixes
- Pickled foods like pickles and olives
- Many restaurant foods
You can compare the amount of sodium in foods by looking at the nutrition facts. You can also opt for llower sodium versions of many canned foods and some condiments.
Learn more about foods that have sodium and how to reduce the sodium in your diet.
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