WCHS (Charleston, WV) reports:
Our bodies naturally crave salt, a necessary nutrient, and research shows that we gravitate to the amount we need for our bodies to function properly. Salt deficiency has been linked to a host of health concerns, including insulin resistance, increased risk of heart attacks and reduced cognition. But what if eating less salt also increases your weight by making you eat more?
“Over the past 30 years, an interesting phenomenon has occurred: the rates of obesity have dramatically gone up but the amount of salt we consume has remained fairly stable,” says Mort Satin of the Salt Institute. “Food producers have been lowering the amount of salt they use, under pressure from the government and consumer activists, so we are either eating a lot more food to get the salt we need or have drastically lowered our activity levels, or both.”
In the U.S., research shows that people have been consuming about the same amount of salt on a daily basis for 50 years. And around the world most people eat about the same amount of salt – about 3,500 mg/day, according to the World Health Organization. It appears that we all, when free to choose, eat enough to keep us in a “safe range” between 2,300 mg/day and 4,600/mg a day, according to medical researcher Bjorn Folkow.
“It stands to reason that if the amount of salt in food is lowered, we will eat more to get to our safe range,” Satin says. “More food equals more calories and that means more weight gain, unless we increased our physical activity to burn off the extra calories.”