Salt cravings are not only bad for your waistline, but they might be your body’s way of trying to communicate with you. Your body needs sodium to function properly, but too much sodium can have a negative affect. Regardless of the amount of salt you eat, you need to pay attention to your cravings instead of just consuming more sodium. Learn more about salt cravings and what conditions could be causing them. On average each American consumes 15 pounds of salt per year. This is too much and can lead to serious medical conditions.
If you lead a fast-paced, stressful life you may have periods of adrenaline exhaustion. This is where you exhaust your system by being in a constant state of anxiety and stress. When your body is under stress for long periods of time it tries to find ways to compensate, and a salt craving can be one of them. If you feel like you’re experiencing energy crashes after long, stressful periods or you’re experiencing salt cravings at the end of a stressful day, work on keeping healthy snacks handy. An energizing snack like almonds gives you an energy boost and a bit of salt to keep your cravings at bay.
Salt addiction is similar to sugar addiction: when you eat too much salt and then you cut back on the amount that you consume, then your body craves it. If this is the cause of your cravings, there is likely no major medical reason you’re having cravings. Your salt intake is connected to the pleasure zones in your brain. In order to keep the salt cravings at bay, use distraction techniques and allow yourself small treats that are low in salt, but enough to curb your cravings.
Your body could be craving minerals you’re low in. It will usually do this through salt cravings because of the high diversity of minerals in natural salt. Natural salt contains many minerals (some up to 84 different minerals) that your body needs, and when table salt is used you’re not getting those minerals. Table salt is stripped of all the minerals when it’s processed, and though iodine is added back in, the other minerals are not. Consider switching to natural salt (sea salt, kosher salt and other specialty varieties) and you’ll be able to consume less salt without the salt cravings.
You may be experiencing a combination of these craving triggers. If so, keep an eye on when your cravings hit. If they hit when you’re stressed or coming down from being stressed it’s likely adrenaline exhaustion. If you feel a little better instantly after eating salt, it’s likely salt addiction. If you crave salt with no real time frame attached, you could have a deficientcy and need to see your doctor.
If you’re experiencing salt cravings that you can’t shake, speak with your doctor immediately to find out what’s going on. If you consume more table salt to try to satisfy your cravings you are putting yourself at risk for medical conditions caused by high sodium intake. These can include hypertension, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes.