Patients at risk of Type 2 diabetes are generally advised to avoid sugar, new research suggests it may be time to also limit salt. The recent finding revealed that frequently adding salt to food was associated with a growing risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The report published in the journal 'Mayo Clinic Proceedings' studied more than 400,000 adults about their salt intake. Over a median of 11.8 years of follow-up, more than 13,000 cases of Type-2 diabetes developed among participants.
Research reveals surprising insights
Compared to those who 'never' or 'rarely' used salt, participants who 'sometimes,' 'usually,' or 'always' added salt had a respective 13 per cent, 20 per cent, and 39 per cent risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The lead author, Dr Lu Qi, Professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health in US and Tropical Medicine, said, "We were aware that limiting salt can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, but this study shows for the first time that taking the saltshaker off the table can help prevent Type-2 diabetes as well."
However, further research is required to determine why high salt intake could be linked to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. Dr Qi believes salt encourages people to eat larger portions, increasing the chances of developing risk factors such as obesity and inflammation.
Next step is to conduct a clinical trial
The study found a link between frequent consumption of salt and higher BMI and waist-to-hip ratio. Dr Qi said the next study is to conduct a clinical trial controlling the amount of salt participants consume and observing the effects. Still, Dr Qi said it's never too early to search for low-sodium ways to season your favourite foods. "It's not a difficult change to make, but it could have a tremendous impact on your health," said Dr Qi.
(With IANS inputs)