EATING too much salt can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, a study shows.
Seasoning every meal boosted chances of the deadly disease by 39 per cent compared to never having it, US researchers found.
It is never too late to look into new ways to flavour foods that don’t involve salt, they said.
Dr Lu Qi, of Tulane University, said: “It’s not a difficult change to make, but it could have a tremendous impact on your health.
“This study shows for the first time that taking the saltshaker off the table can help prevent type 2 diabetes.”
More than 5million Brits are thought to be living with diabetes, with cases doubling in the last 15 years.
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The NHS spends at least £10billion a year on the disease — around 10 per cent of its entire budget.
It causes blood sugar levels to become too high and can lead to heart disease and stroke over time.
Previous research has shown having more salt in your diet can increase the risk of diabetes.
The latest study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, looked at whether adding salt to meals regularly is linked to the condition.
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Researchers surveyed more than 400,000 Brits about their salt intake and tracked them for an average of 11.8 years to see whether they developed diabetes.
Compared to those who “never” or “rarely” used salt, “sometimes” adding the condiment increased the risk of the condition by 13 per cent.
Meanwhile, “usually” adding it boosted the chances by 20 per cent.
Dr Qi said salt encourages people to eat larger portions, increasing their risk of becoming obese — a risk factor for diabetes.
The study showed a link between eating more salt and having a higher body mass index (BMI).
Dr Qi said: “Our study indicates that a higher frequency of adding salt to foods is significantly associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
“These findings provide support that reduction of adding salt to foods may act as a potential behavioural intervention approach for preventing type 2 diabetes.”
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