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

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.

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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

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 ...

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.

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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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.

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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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Food cravings occur in the same regions in the brain as memory, pleasure, and reward.

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  • Emotional eating can turn into a bad habit. Food provides satisfaction. When you experience satisfaction, your brain is flooded with dopamine, which motivates you to keep eating to feel good.
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Emotional hunger

  • It comes about suddenly or abruptly.
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Emotional hunger isn’t easily quelled

While filling up could work in the moment, eating because of negative emotions often leaves people feeling more upset than before.

This cycle typically doesn’t end until a person addresses emotional needs head-on.

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