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There's A Reason Why You Might Crave Salt More Than Others

The recommended salt intake for adults is no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, ideally under 1,500 milligrams, according to the American Heart Association. Americans end up consuming nearly 50 percent more than that on average, a habit that comes with health risks.

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There's A Reason Why You Might Crave Salt More Than Others

There's A Reason Why You Might Crave Salt More Than Others

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-do-i-crave-salt-so-much_n_5c0ea641e4b08bcb27eb3148

huffpost.com

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Key Ideas

Common reasons to crave salty foods

  • Your body is depleted of sodium when we sweat, which then makes us need to consume more;
  • You're dehydrated
  • You’re stressed;
  • You’re not getting enough sleep
  • Salt lights up the pleasure center in your brain and releases a hormone called dopamine, which makes you feel happy;
  • Humans have an innate drive to seek salt because it is necessary for survival and historically a rare mineral to find;
  • You may have an underlying health issue.

Excessive salt consumption has been linked to diabetes, kidney disorders, high blood pressure and heart disease, so you want to be mindful of how much you are eating. If you feel like you may ...

Excessive salt consumption has been linked to diabetes, kidney disorders, high blood pressure and heart disease, so you want to be mindful of how much you are eating. If you feel like you may be consuming too much salt, you may want to attempt to reduce how much sodium you ingest.

Excessive salt consumption often is just a habit

We crave salt just out of habit or conditioning.

So if you catch yourself yearning for salty foods:

  • Choose whole foods that are higher in a natural sodium content: celery, leafy greens, carrots or seaweed.
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt;

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Food cravings

They are an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and the person's hunger may not be satisfied until they get that particular food. We usually feel cr...

What causes food cravings
  • An imbalance or changes in hormones
  • Emotional issues (eating for comfort)
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dehydration 
How to reduce cravings
  • Lower stress levels: stress promotes cravings for comfort foods.
  • Drink plenty of water: Dehydration manifests itself as hunger, so when you get a craving, drink water.
  • Get enough sleep: not getting enough sleep alters the hormonal balance.
  • Eat enough protein.
  • Avoid hunger: under-eating can make food cravings worse.
How craving are stimulated artificially
How craving are stimulated artificially
  • Salivary response: the more a food causes you to salivate, the more it will cover your taste buds.
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Building better habits means changing your environment

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.

Nowhere is this more true than with food.

The reasons we crave junk food
  1. The sensation of eating the food: what it tastes like, what it smells like and how it feels in your mouth.
  2. The blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains: junk food companies are looking for a perfect combination, that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.

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Eating Distract from Emotions

We often associate eating with relief or even excitement, and it’s only natural that we’d reach for those same feelings when we’re worried or sad.

Why we choose comfort food

Comfort foods don’t tend to be healthy. We want cake or pasta or chips when we’re emotionally eating. We have emotional memories around certain foods, which are more likely to involve your grandma’s lasagna than a salad. 

But after we eat for emotional reasons, we’re replacing our original feelings with the emotions that arise out of eating.

Comfort food

We associate comfort food with positive memories.

Think about all the happy and comforting memories you have involving food. Maybe your family used to celebrate occasions with a trip to the ice cream shop, or maybe your mom or dad used to soften the blow of a bad day with macaroni and cheese. When you’re feeling rejected or anxious today, eating one of those foods is an instant connection to that soothing time.

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