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Salt Cravings

Posted by tinako on March 15, 2012

I was telling my friend about reducing the salt in my diet, and she had an interesting observation.  She said she had noticed that salt makes her want to eat more salt.  For instance, when she buys raw (unsalted) nuts,  a serving is sufficient, but when she buys regular salted nuts, a serving leaves her unsatisfied; she wants more.  I asked her if the craving would last – would she still be thinking about salted almonds the next day, and she said not really – she mostly noticed it right after finishing.

I suppose you could argue that the salted nuts just taste better, but I bet that’s not what’s going on – I know what she means, and it’s stronger than just a more pleasant taste.  When I was young and (more) foolish and kept Bearitos Tortillas, which are quite salty, in the house, I would eat the whole bag even though I was full halfway through.  I didn’t even want any more, but the salt was driving me on.  And yet when they were not around, I didn’t give them a second thought.

It’s not a new idea that people crave a salty taste, but I never really thought before about how eating some salt might derail our satiety signals and cause us to overeat.

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3 Responses to “Salt Cravings”

  1. This is why there is so much salt and sweetener added to so many processed foods… and why our society is fighting so many related health problems. I remember reading that salts and sugars cause the brain to release dopamines. Our bodies eat salt or sugar, our brain says “Wheeeee! More more more!” and a feedback loop starts.

  2. I have this intense craving too!! When eating salty popcorn usually. It’s like no amount of popcorn could fill my stomach, I just need to keep eating more!

    Sometimes sugars do this to me too, depending on how processed they are. I made the raw vegan brownies from My New Roots (blog) and after 2 small pieces, my brain no longer craved the sugar, or food at all actually.

  3. […] examples of foods that I suspect create cravings in me are salt and diet soda.  I have no interest in diet soda unless I have had a few cans of it in the past few […]

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