Does Salt affect weight loss?
Diva - 03 Feb 22
Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash
The Big question....Does salt affect weight loss? Our Clients often do not fully know what they are putting into their bodies and what the side effects or consequences of their actions can be. We have a found a big gap of knowledge in people who are trying to lose weight and the topic of salt.
So can salt really cause weight gain?
Researchers have found there is a role in hunger and weight gain when it comes to consuming salt. Several recent studies shed light on why salt may encourage us to overeat.
Salt and Our Health
Sodium, the main ingredient in salt, is an essential part of our diet, and not just for flavour either. It keeps our muscles and nerves working properly, and it helps our bodies to maintain a proper balance of fluids. The problem comes in when sodium levels rise too high, then your blood pressure often goes up as well.
As a result over time, high blood pressure can have serious, life-threatening consequences. It can lead to strokes, heart attacks, kidney disease, and other health problems. To protect yourself against high blood pressure, dietary guidelines recommend that we get less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. That’s about a teaspoon of salt. The ideal target for most adults is no more than 1,500 milligrams daily.
Using salt in excessive amounts may make you retain waterA lot of people associate salt in their diet with fluid retention.This is because eating too much salt causes your body to conserve water. High salt intake increases thirst. This fact has been proven. Your body uses the extra fluid consumed to dilute the excess sodium that it’s unable to excrete quickly enough.
The problem is your urine volume does not change, that means all this extra fluid stays in your body. It comes to prove that a sudden increase in sodium intake may cause you to gain weight in the form of fluid.
This is why you will find yourself feeling puffy after eating very high salt foods like take-out foods and salty restaurant meals.
It’s important to note that this fluid retention is generally only temporary. Body fluid levels typically return to normal after a few days.
Most of the foods that are high in added salt are high in caloriesFoods that are high in salt are also often high in calories. For example, take out food, fried foods, boxed meals like frozen cottage pie, creamy pasta dishes, and pizza are typically very high in salt and calories.
Eating too many foods that are high in salt and overall calories may lead to weight gain. Studies have also found that high sodium intake may increase your risk of obesity — independent of your calorie intake.
Changes you can make to cut back on added saltFor most people, the sodium found naturally in foods like eggs and shellfish isn’t an issue. But it is important to monitor your added salt intake to ensure that your diet isn’t excessively high in salt. Typically, most added salt intake comes from the consumption of highly processed foods. Below are some high salt foods to cut back on to reduce your intake of added salt:
- Highly processed and salty take-out foods: pizza, mexican food, hamburgers, nuggets or fried chicken, french fries (Chips), etc.
- Packaged snacks with added salt: chips (Chrisps), pork rinds, pretzels, etc.
- Processed meats: Biltong, Dried Wors, bacon, salted and cured meat or fish, salami, sausages, etc.
- Salty condiments: salad dressings, soy sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce etc.
- High salt boxed or canned meals: ready-made pasta and rice dishes, canned soups, canned bullybeef, smash potato mash pockets, etc.
While most of our clients tend to trim fat and carbs from their diets when trying to lose weight (or just eat healthier overall), they don't realise they should be pushing away the salt shaker. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition reveals that salt is the culprit for eating more. As we mentioned above, salt can encourage us to eat more.
Salt increases how pleasant, people perceive food to be. This makes people crave more. The results from the study that was done shows that participants wanted to eat more of the high-salt meals than their low salt counterparts.