Seniors living with diabetes must exercise extreme caution when selecting which foods to integrate into their diets. While people with this condition know to shy away from foods high in sugar content, a new study indicates that they should avoid those high in sodium, as well.
Study reveals salt may double risk of heart disease for diabetics
Diets replete with high-sodium foods may drastically increase diabetics’ risk for developing cardiovascular conditions down the road, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Medical News Today reported that researchers found a strong connection between high salt intake and increased cardiovascular problems among trial participants who had diabetes. Study author Chika Horikawa, from the University of Niigata Prefecture in Japan, explained that these were among the first medical findings that corroborated doctors’ recommendations that people avoid sodium.
“To reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control as well as watch their diet,” Horikawa said, as quoted by MNT. “Our findings demonstrate that restricting salt in the diet could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes.”
Tips for reducing salt intake in seniors
While those with diabetes are accustomed to limiting their intake of foods with high levels of sugar, they may not be as versed in the best ways to reduce sodium content. The American Heart Association recommended that seniors with diabetes limit their daily sodium consumption to under 1,500 mg each day. Aside from avoiding meals with high salt content, there are a few tips to follow that may lead to a reduction in your daily sodium levels.
Spice up your seasonings: Stock up your spice rack with a variety of other herbs and seasonings that will add flavor to your dishes. While a dash of salt may not do much harm to your overall cardiovascular health, sticking with more natural herbs can lead to a variety of other health benefits. Be sure to have lemon juice, oregano, basil, parsley, pepper and garlic on hand next time you’re cooking.
Purchase all-natural ingredients: It goes without saying, but fresh foods from the produce, dairy and bread sections are more likely to contain fewer preservatives and more nutrients than those that come from a box or have an abnormally long shelf-life.
Pass on fast food: While meals prepared by fast food institutions are generally cheap and easy to come by, they can be replete with high levels of sodium. From the meats to the fries to the buns, fast food restaurants load their ingredients with this spice, as it is a relatively inexpensive and widely used preservative.
Salt- and sugar-free lemon glazed chicken breasts
As you’re searching for the perfect meals to supplement your diabetic-friendly diet, opt for those with high levels of nutrients and fiber. The AHA recommended lean meats, such as skinless chicken and turkey. Consider this delicious chicken dish next time you’re cooking dinner for friends at the retirement community.
3 chicken breasts
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 lemons, washed and sliced
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large casserole dish, spread out chicken breasts. Combine white wine, olive oil and garlic in a medium bowl and whisk together. Pour mixture over the chicken, then season with your favorite spices. Arrange lemon slices around the chicken so the foods can blend while cooking. Allow the dish to cook for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the chicken is completely white on the inside. Serve with your favorite green vegetable, such as Brussels sprouts or collard greens.