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Diabetes and Salt

You're likelier to have high blood pressure if you have diabetes. Getting too much sodium can raise your blood pressure, too. So your doctor or dietitian may ask you to limit or avoid these high-salt foods:

  • Salt and seasoned salt (or salt seasonings)
  • Boxed mixes of potatoes, rice, or pasta
  • Canned meats
  • Canned soups and vegetables (with sodium)
  • Cured or processed foods
  • Ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, other spreads, and canned sauces
  • Packaged soups, gravies, or sauces
  • Pickled foods
  • Processed meats: lunch meat, sausage, bacon, and ham
  • Olives
  • Salty snack foods
  • Monosodium glutamate or MSG (often added to Chinese food)
  • Soy and steak sauces

8 Low-Salt Cooking Tips for Diabetes

If you have diabetes, these tips can help you lower the amount of salt in your diet:

  1. Use fresh ingredients or foods with no salt added.
  2. For favorite recipes, you may need to use other ingredients and delete or decrease the salt you would normally add. You can take salt out of most recipes, but don't try it if the recipe calls for yeast.
  3. Try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat marinades.
  4. Avoid canned soups, entrees, and vegetables; pasta and rice mixes; frozen dinners; instant cereal; and pudding, gravy, and sauce mixes.
  5. Select frozen entrees that have fewer than 600 milligrams of sodium per serving (140 mg of sodium per serving is considered low sodium). Check the nutrition facts label on the package for sodium content. Limit yourself to one frozen entree per day.
  6. Use fresh, frozen, or no-added-salt canned vegetables.
  7. You can use low-sodium canned soups.
  8. Avoid mixed seasonings and spice blends that include salt, such as garlic salt.

After about 2 weeks, your body will adjust and you will not miss the added salt in your diet.

Seasonings to Replace Salt

Herbs and spices are the answer to improving the natural flavors in food without using salt. These salt-free seasonings include:

  • Basil
  • Celery seeds
  • Chili powder
  • Chives
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Dill
  • Flavoring extracts (vanilla, almond, etc.)
  • Garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • No-salt seasoning blends
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Pimiento
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Thyme

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