How Does Salt Affect Weight Loss?

If you’ve ever gone heavy on the salt shaker at dinner, only to wake up looking like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, you know that salt can cause water-weight gain, edema, and bloating. It does interfere with weight loss, but it’s only a temporary setback until the sodium flushes out of your body. Salt plays a role in permanent weight gain.

Salt can cause your appetite to increase.

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that salt affects your blood pressure and can cause temporary swelling of extremities from water retention. Scientists have discovered something new about salt. People who ate a diet normally higher in salt didn’t drink more fluid. They drank less than people who included less salt in their diet. Instead of drinking more water or other liquids, they ate more food. They were hungrier and the increased food intake caused an increased calorie intake and weight gain.

Space exploration has brought several revelations about life on Earth.

Since astronauts train in a controlled environment, it’s the perfect time to conduct experiments that would be hard to do otherwise. One study conducted in Russia when ten cosmonauts were training for travel to Mars included varying only one aspect of their diet. That variance was the amount of salt consumed. In the initial 28 days of the study, cosmonauts were given 12 grams of salt in their food, twice as much salt as recommended. During the next 28 days, scientists reduced the amount to 9 grams. In the last four weeks of the study, each cosmonaut had only 6 grams of daily salt.

So how did the study show a link between salt and those extra pounds?

The salt content was higher in the first 28 days, and the cosmonauts were hungrier and would have gladly eaten more. As the portion of salt reduced, so did their appetite. The scientists concluded that the salt increased their appetite. Other studies backed the conclusion. A study on school-age children showed a link between a high-salt diet and childhood obesity. Why does this happen? Some feel it’s because the body mistakes thirst for hunger. Others feel it’s because, in the case of the children, they consumed more high-calorie drinks.

  • Various studies have linked a diet high in salt to an increase in calorie intake by approximately 11%. Some scientists believe it may be due to the increased need for calories to create urea. It’s necessary to balance sodium and water.
  • Some people love the taste of salt in their food. Whether you’ve accustomed your taste buds to extremely salty food or simply hate bland food. Salt can make food taste better so you might eat more of it.
  • Cutting back on salt can provide many benefits. It can help lower your blood pressure. It can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • You don’t have to give up flavor when you give up salt. There are many spices and herbs you can add that have health benefits. You’ll find several herb and spice salt substitutes available.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

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