Background: Despite good evidence that reducing sodium intake can reduce blood pressure (BP), salt intake in people with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) or type 2 diabetes (T2DM) remains high. The purpose of this study was to describe the knowledge and beliefs of health risks associated with a high salt diet in adults with diabetes. Methods: Men and women with T1DM (n = 27; age 38 ± 16 years) or T2DM (n = 124; age 60 ± 11 years) were recruited. Results: Nine (6.0%) respondents knew the correct maximum daily recommended upper limit for salt intake. Thirty-six (23.9%) participants were not concerned with the amount of salt in their diet. Most participants knew that a diet high in salt was related to high BP (88.1%) and stroke (78.1%) and that foods such as pizza (80.8%) and bacon (84.8%) were high in salt. Fewer than 30% of people knew that foods such as white bread, cheese and breakfast cereals are high in salt (white bread 28.5%, cheese 29.1%, breakfast cereals 19.9%) and 51.0% correctly ranked three different nutrition information panels based on the sodium content. Label reading and purchase of low salt products was used by 60-80% of the group. Estimated average 24 hour urinary sodium excretion was 169 ± 32 mmol/24 h in men and 115 ± 27 mmol/24 h in women. Conclusion: Label reading and purchase of low salt products was used by the majority of the group but their salt excretion was still high. Men who used label reading had a lower salt intake. Other strategies to promote a lower sodium intake such as reducing sodium in staple foods such as bread need investigation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics