Can you go without salt for a day or two? Don’t be surprised when you’re told that there are a lot of people who restrict their salt intake for weeks and months. Who are they? Probably those with an abnormally high blood pressure or someone who professionally needs to maintain a shredded physique. There could be possibly many other circumstances that would require an individual to cut off salt entirely from his diet. On the other hand we’ve also seen people who would right away frown at a less spicy meal. What strengthens their desire for a strong salty flavor in food?
Though an abundance of studies have linked specific food cravings to a particular mineral deficiency, yet a part of the explanation remains undiscussed in such transcripts. Just because this post has to deal with salts in particular, let’s uncover some possible reasons that could be the culprit behind your uncontrolled salt cravings.
Most prominently salt cravings have been associated with low levels of minerals like chloride, silicon and sodium. If you find yourself craving for salt untimely and unusually, it could be possible that your body has been significantly missing on one or more of these minerals. Don’t let yourself binge on excessive salty food to satisfy your cravings instead try including food high is these minerals into your regime and carefully observe the result over a few days. Bell peppers, oats, brown rice, apples etc. are found silicon rich. Tomatoes, celery, lettuce etc. are a good source of chloride. Adding nuts, flaxseeds, fish etc. in your diet can help you deal with such cravings.
Addiction and False Cravings
Our body has been often referred to as a smart enough machine that could decide on its own, what food would suit best to a given mineral deficiency. It could trigger salt craving to signal a low level of chloride, sugar craving to notify that glucose is falling low and what not. Ideally, I cannot say that it’s wrong to go by your cravings. Mind the word ‘ideally’. This would only imply to the case where dietary habits remain ideal i.e. everything in a good proportion. Talking practically, taste has already ruled out the purpose of nourishment. Trusting your cravings in a situation where your dietary habits are not under check, won’t be advisable. If you are addicted to a higher level of salt intake in each meal of the day, your cravings for salty food do not remain a signal for mineral deficiency alone. The more you consume, more you habituate yourself to fall victim to your cravings.
Problem with Mineral Absorption and Retention
Certain health problems may cause mineral absorption aberrations. If the minerals are neither absorbed nor retained inside the body, your body continues triggering signals irrespective of the amount of minerals you put in. One such disorder is the Bartter Syndrome. This results in a kind of renal abnormality (related to kidneys) that cause excessive urinary losses of minerals like sodium, chloride and potassium. No matter how much salt you consume your cravings for salty food won’t hold back for long.
Whether or not you are suffering from a health problem, it is important to figure out false cravings to avoid crashing into more trouble. Note that the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for sodium can be met by an intake of 4gm of salt per day for a healthy adult. (1gm of sodium equals to 2.54gm of salt)
Practically, it’s not possible to restrict sodium intake from sources other than salt and therefore even 4gm salt per day could do bad to the body. Excess sodium in your body would tamper with the electrolyte balance and as a consequence make your kidneys hold more water inside the body. The upshot of this could be a significant rise in blood pressure and heart problems later on. Next time when you crave for a pack of French fries, be a little more decisive before you get it on the table.