The abundance of salt in the processed foods we eat works against us when it comes to maintaining healthy blood pressure, says Chris Smith, The Diabetic Chef. For people with diabetes, controlling blood pressure is important in preventing, delaying, and minimizing microvascular damage that affects eyes, nerves, and more.
That's why federal guidelines for daily sodium intake are under scrutiny. The recommendations are:
For the general public: 2,300 milligrams daily
For people with high blood pressure: 1,500 milligrams daily
For African-Americans: 1,500 milligrams daily
For all adults over age 50: 1,500 milligrams daily
Yet nearly all Americans exceed the recommended amounts, consuming an average of 4,000-6,000 milligrams of sodium each day. An estimated 70 percent of Americans, especially older adults and people with high blood pressure (75 percent of PWDs have high blood pressure), could lower their blood pressure by reducing their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams each day.
"Help is on the way as food manufacturers and restaurateurs are being nudged by health organizations and activists to lower the sodium count of their foods," Smith says. Early deliberations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee (the report is expected in fall 2010) indicate a target of 1,500 milligrams daily for adults.
Action item: Cut down on processed foods, restaurant foods, and using the saltshaker. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods, which boost your potassium count and blunt sodium's effects on blood pressure.
Try these low-sodium recipes
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is estimated to affect 7% of the US population. Because of the burden and costs resulting from the disease, preventing it has attracted interest . This paper discusses the various ways of preventing type 2 diabetes. Preventing the disease is critical to reducing its costs and burden and improving health.
It is possible to prevent type 2 diabetes. Weight loss has been the primary prevention mechanism. Screening, lifestyle modification, education and pharmacotherapy are the pillars of preventing the disease. Among women with gestation diabetes and at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, continuous screening and assessment of fasting blood glucose, lipoprotein and cholesterol levels are recommended. Assessments for prediabetes ought to begin at age 45, with the screenings repeated at 3-year intervals in the case of normal results. However, among those under high risk of diabetes, screening should be done even when younger than 45 years.
Exercises can contribute to preventing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modifications aiming at increasing exercise and reducing weight would hinder the development of the disease. Interruption of sedentary behaviors ubiquitous in daily living such as prolonged television watching and replacing such with increased bouts of walking throughout the day. When lifestyle interventions fail or are unsustainable, pharmacological intervention is considered as a second-line preventive strategy for high-risk patients.
Education is crucial in diabetes prevention, especially among the high-risk individuals. Such is the case considering few individuals positively change their lifestyles. Lifestyle education should be provided to the high-risk individuals. For education to be effective, it ought to be provided prior to any evidence of disease becoming apparent .
In conclusion, prevention of type 2 diabetes would assist in reducing the costs incurred in managing the disease and improving individuals’ health. Such prompts attention towards preventing its onset. It is upon the relevant parties to facilitate the adoption of the prevention strategies, while the public should be aware of how to protect themselves from the disease.