Too much salt is bad for us; it can increase blood pressure, raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart disease and more. But two new studies have identified another downfall of a high salt intake - it can lead to overconsumption of fatty foods, increasing the risk of obesity.
While you may not be heavy handed with the salt shaker, it is processed foods and restaurant meals that are the primary culprit, accounting for more than 75 percent of our sodium intake. Grains, meat and processed poultry, soups and sandwiches are top contributors to salt intake. For instance, a single slice of bread can contain anywhere from 80-230mg of salt while a slice of pizza can contain up to 730mg of salt
The study which examined the effect of salt on food intake suggests that the amount of salt in a certain food may influence how much we eat. The team found that participants consumed around 11 percent less food and energy when their lunches contained low salt and high fat. However, when given high-salt high-fat foods, those same subjects consumed significantly more food and energy. Overall, the authors say their studies indicate that salt may interfere with the body's biological processes that stop us from eating too much.
Our body has biological mechanisms to tell us when to stop eating, however when salt is added to the food, those mechanisms are blunted and people end up eating more food. This can cause you to eat more fatty foods and over time, your body adapts or becomes less sensitive to fat, leading you to eat more to get the same feelings of fullness.
Adding salt to high-fat foods has the potential to speed up this process. High-fat and high-salt foods override our body's ability to recognize when we are full and cause us to eat more energy. If we eat too much energy, we get fat. This high fat and salt combination is a toxic mix for our health.