With all of the processed, packaged foods at our disposal it can be difficult to maintain a healthy blood pressure. The culprit of high blood pressure? Sodium.
According to Amy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, nutritionist at Joslin Diabetes Center, “Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to cut salt and sodium from your diet. However, people with diabetes should cut back on their sodium intake since they are more likely to have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease, than people without diabetes.”
To successfully monitor your sodium intake, it’s important to know how much salt is safe to consume each day. According to the U.S. FDA, the general population should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day, which is about a teaspoon. People with diabetes or high blood pressure should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. Many people today are consuming much more sodium than the recommended amount due to processed foods.
Since sodium is in many of the foods we eat, healthy or not, it’s important to not add any excess salt to our foods. A better way to flavor your foods is to use other herbs or spices that lack sodium. You should also be on the lookout for the nutrition facts on your packaged foods. Avoid snacks high in sodium. Some healthy alternatives include foods high in potassium, such as leafy green vegetables and fruits from the vine. According to the U.S. FDA, foods high in potassium help curve the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
Some foods to limit due to high sodium levels include frozen dinners, vegetable and fruit juices, prepackaged deli meats, canned soups and condiments like ketchup. If these are some of your favorite foods, find healthier substitutes. For example, instead of premade vegetable and fruit juices, try fresh squeezed juices. Instead of ketchup, try small amounts or salsa or hummus.
If managing your blood pressure, cholesterol and A1C levels is a priority for you, we invite you to try a 60-day free trial of My Diabetes Home. Start by registering here. If you want to learn about healthy, yet tasty recipes, check out our Desserts You Don’t Have To Feel Guilty About blog post.