Does Eating Salt Make You Gain Weight?
Many body processes require salt, or sodium, an essential mineral. Salt helps balance blood sugars, aids in cell performance, helps the gut absorb nutrients, and regulates fluid and electrolyte balance in our bodies, to name just a few of its functions.
However, excess salt can throw many of our bodily functions out of balance as well, resulting in a host of adverse consequences, including weight gain.
Too much salt signals the body to retain water. Water helps the body absorb excess sodium and evens out the amount of sodium in the body by flushing it out. However, constant high salt intake never allows this natural “dispatch” mechanism to take place, or at least significantly slows it down.
This results in weight gain in the form of fluid (fluid) accumulation, not fat. A person can gain as much as 1.5 kg – in extreme cases, more – of extra water weight on their body due to excessive sodium intake.
There are more health downsides to eating too much salt. High salt content can cause high blood pressure. This results in hypertension, which in turn stresses the body’s cardiovascular system.
Too much salt can also interfere with kidney and digestive function, resulting in further weight gain and possibly serious health problems from excess buildup of toxins in the body.
The recommended maximum daily salt intake for adults is about 2,300 mg, or one teaspoon. People who need to watch their salt intake should eat significantly less than this. Consult your doctor for the exact amount of salt you should be consuming.
Reducing salt intake almost always requires dietary and lifestyle changes. Avoid processed foods, especially fast food. These foods usually contain a lot of sodium.
Also, avoid using salt when cooking and do not add salt to already cooked food. Pay attention to the labels of the products you eat, and choose low-sodium options. Even more important may be to eat whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins.
Exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water also help flush excess salt out of your system.