Most of the time the anti-salt movement is worried about how salt consumption leads to an increase in blood pressure which ultimately puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease.
But mother nature is pretty good at keeping things in balance, so for most people the link between salt intake and cardiovascular disease is not direct.
The more salt you eat, the more water you pee out
Your body needs to keep the water levels up, so following a salty meal, you invariable feel thirsty.
So what does this have to do with putting on weight ?
The thirst puts on the pounds
Today we typically quench our thirst with beverages other than water.
The drinks we consume tend to be full of sugar which flips the energy equation.
NOTE : It’s not just fizzy cold drinks – fruit juices are packed with sugar and those fancy coffees are not much better.
More energy in, than energy out is the formula for weight gain and over a period of time is likely to create hefa lumps.
Some salty statistics
The obesity epidemic, which kick-started around the 1980s in America (a little bit later here in South Africa, although we’re currently catching up FAST), corresponded with a marked increase in salt consumption.
The energy intake from sweetened beverages also increased over the same period.
It isn’t just a hypothetical argument – crunching the salt numbers really does add up to obesity.
Fat interferes with salt regulation
Unfortunately, the spare tyre that develops around your middle when you put on weight is not just a decoration, it is metabolically active.
Fat produces chemicals which lead to inflammation. These inflammatory mediators interfere with the function of the salt regulatory system. If the salt regulatory system is not functioning correctly, you are at risk of developing salt sensitive hypertension i.e. when you eat salt, the normal regulatory mechanisms don’t kick in and your blood pressure goes up, permanently.
NB. High blood pressure brings lots of health problems because there is too much pressure. Long term pressure will eventually lead to a “break” of some kind of another.
PS. High levels of insulin also increases the odds that you will be salt sensitive. Remember you do not have to be “fat” to have high levels of insulin.
Salty snacks may be acceptable as long as you tame the salt thirst with good old fashioned water but don’t drink too much and be cautious if you have a spare tyre already…..
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..