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Excess salt intake can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes

Keep a tab on your intake of salt; it can lead to diabetes along with hypertension.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : January 23, 2018 1:15 PM IST

We all are well aware of the connection between salt and high blood pressure. Excess intake of salt (sodium) disrupts the electrolyte balance in the body. This causes the kidneys to remove water and increase the pressure on the walls of the arteries. This is the reason why people with hypertension and cardiovascular disease are advised to limit the intake of salt. However, it is also seen that salt can also put you at risk of type 2 diabetes. It is known to have a direct effect on the insulin resistance and also promotes high blood pressure and weight gain, which are known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Here's what research has to say. Read about ways extra salt can kill you!

According to a recent study [1], sodium intake was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. It also puts the individual at risk of developing Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA). It is a type of diabetes in which the immune cells destroy the insulin-producing cells. However, unlike type 1 diabetes, the process is very slow, which is the reason it appears late in adulthood and is mistaken for type 2 diabetes. Another study [1] revealed that adding salt to meals acts as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Also read Table salt VS Rock salt which is better for your health?

How does research say?

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As per the study reports [1], it was found that the sodium intake was associated with an average 65% increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for each extra gram consumed per day. The study also revealed that the effect of sodium intake on the risk of developing LADA was even greater, with an 82% rise for each gram consumed per day. Also, adding salt to meals is not a good idea. This is because another study showed that subjects who add salt to prepared meals when there is not enough, or almost every time without tasting have about a two-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to subjects who never add salt to prepared meals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a global target of a maximum salt intake of 5 g/day for adults (which corresponds to 2.0 g/day of sodium). Here's more on how much salt should you consume in a day.


1. Kim MK. Dietary Sodium Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Metab J. 2016 Aug;40(4):280-2. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2016.40.4.280. Erratum in: Diabetes Metab J. 2017 Feb;41(1):79. PubMed PMID: 27550209; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4995182.

2. Radzeviciene L, Ostrauskas R. Adding Salt to Meals as a Risk Factor of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Case-Control Study. Nutrients. 2017 Jan 13;9(1). pii: E67. doi: 10.3390/nu9010067. PubMed PMID: 28098780; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5295111.

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