Antioxidants & Diabetes

Antioxidants are chemical compounds that can prevent cell damage. They inactivate harmful molecules called free radicals that are formed during the normal course of metabolism. Common antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene.

Early research suggested that antioxidants might help prevent CHD. However, in three large studies, neither vitamin E nor beta-carotene supplements prevented heart attacks and strokes in people with CHD or in people with diabetes or others at high risk for CHD. The American Diabetes Association does not recommend antioxidant supplements or any other vitamin and mineral supplements for people with diabetes unless they have vitamin deficiencies.

Sodium & Diabetes

If you have high blood pressure, restricting your sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day may lower your blood pressure. You can do this by using less salt at the table and in cooking and by avoiding foods that are high in sodium (for example, processed meats such as sausages, cured ham, and hot dogs; canned or dried soups; ketchup; and most cheeses).

Protein & Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes and normal kidney function can safely consume 15–20 percent of total calories from protein—the same amount recommended for people without diabetes. For people with kidney damage (nephropathy), however, reducing dietary protein to lower levels may help slow kidney damage.

Publication Review By: Written by: Christopher D. Saudek, M.D.; Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.

Published: 20 Apr 2009

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015