Salt and Weight Loss: Does salt affect your weight?

February 22, 2010

Diets & Nutrition

Kitchen salt (sodium chloride) has no energy and therefore does not cause any body weight loss nor weight gain. Excessive consumption of salt can cause a temporary increase in weight because of water retention. On the contrary, low salt consumption can lead to weight loss because of the increase of diuresis in the absence of salt minerals. You can conclude that salt and weight loss are linked somehow.

There are a number of drastic diets that are based on foods that contain very little salt and result in weight loss by basically eliminating excess water but after you will return to normal you will immediately regain the "lost" pounds.

At the same time you can not say that salt has no long-term impact on weight. In fact, diets rich in salt affect blood pressure, which in turn is associated with overweight. This is explained by the fact that foods that are high in salt also have a high caloric content a minimum of fibers and are very processed. Conversely, a hypo saline diet will consist generally of healthy, low calories and that are associated with weight loss.

Is it salt or sodium? Generally, we add salt during cooking in the kitchen plate to improve the taste of food. Manufacturers from the food industry add significant amounts of salt to processed foods to improve their taste and to preserve them better. But when you look on the food label, look for the amount of sodium the product contains. So the notions of salt and sodium are different: sodium is found naturally in unprocessed foods and kitchen salt is 40% sodium. So when add it to food, extra salt will increase the sodium intake of that food with 40%

Why does salt causes water retention? Our body contains a number of electrolytes (mainly sodium and potassium) that conduct the nerve impulses that control the basic functions of our body. For a good functioning of the body it is necessary that these electrolytes have a constant concentration and therefore the total elimination of the salt in the diet is recommended. At the same time, excessive concentrations of electrolytes found in the bloodstream, trigger the sensation of thirst and therefore you will consume a certain amount of water, by doing so the electrolyte concentration rebalances. This is why so many bars and restaurants offer free chips and very salty peanuts, just to consume plenty of fluids.

Kidneys are those who maintain a constant electrolyte concentration by increasing or decreasing the amount of water they hold. As a result of fluid buildup in the blood, the blood pressure increases and it is known that hypertension, it is a major risk factor for the cardiovascular system.

So salt be consumed with moderation to keep the body’s electrolyte balance constant, the blood pressure within normal limits and a body weight that is not changed by water retention.

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