Because you crave foods rich in salt

Because you crave foods rich in salt

Salt is an addictive element In fact, our brains and bodies are designed to look for it because they deem it necessary to survive. Although this is true, it is good to remember that abusing it can lead to unpleasant consequences for health .

According to the World Health Organization, an adult shouldn’t take more than 4-5 grams of salt a day , equivalent to 1.5-2 grams of sodium , or one teaspoon .

However, many people exceed this level and in some cases not only because they love foods that are particularly rich in them, but because they are driven by a real need.

However, the intense desire for salt can be the indicator of a non-optimal health condition and should not be underestimated.

Desire for salt: causes

These are the most common conditions that can lead to an intense craving for salt.


The body needs to maintain a certain level of fluids in order to function properly.

If this level falls below the minimum necessary threshold, as well as feeling thirsty , you could start craving salt . This effect is the body’s way of encouraging you to drink more.

Electrolyte imbalance

Fluids in the body carry vital minerals , which help it function properly.

Sodium , found in common table salt, is one such mineral. If these elements, also called electrolytes , are out of balance , you may experience headaches , nausea or vomiting , tiredness or loss of energy, irritability and mood changes, confusion , headaches and seizures . The desire for salt is one of the ways to push us to drink.

Addison’s disease

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones vital for survival.

Addison’s disease is a rare disease that can reduce the amount of hormones these glands produce. People with this disease experience cravings for salt , as well as severe fatigue or lack of energy, pale clammy skin , low blood pressure , loss of appetite , unexplained weight loss , constipation , dark spots on the skin, especially on the face, ulcers of the mouth inside the cheeks.


The adrenal glands are also responsible for releasing cortisol .

This hormone helps regulate blood pressure and the body’s response to stress . Several studies have noted that people with higher sodium levels release less cortisol during times of stress . Salt cravings may therefore be one way the body is trying to cope with unusual stress.

Bartter’s syndrome

People with Bartter syndrome cannot reabsorb sodium . Everything they eat is lost through urine and therefore being constantly deficient in it, they feel the need for it more.


Expectant women often deal with vomiting and constipation . Both conditions can easily lead to dehydration and, as a result, a craving for salt.

Premenstrual syndrome

Several days before the start of the period, many women are faced with a series of unpleasant situations such as mood swings , loss of sleep and even cravings for specific foods . Among these, the one concerning savory dishes is not rare .


To arrive at a solution, the doctor must be able to evaluate any symptoms . For this reason, before going there it is essential to write down each of them in a diary , even the smallest, which may sometimes seem insignificant, but it is not.

This helps direct the doctor towards a specific diagnosis or narrow down the types of tests that may be needed to further investigate.

Tips to reduce your salt intake

Salt is present in many foods in large quantities, especially ready-made ones.

A single fast food meal , for example, can provide more than the total recommended daily salt intake, but many home-cooked meals also have plenty of it.

If the goal is to limit its intake, however, there are some elements that can replace it.

Black pepper

Black pepper has a pungent flavor that can partially compensate for that given by salt, even better if consumed freshly ground, more intense than pre-ground pepper .


Roasted or fresh garlic lends great flavor to foods , from vegetable side dishes to salad dressings . Adding it to dishes therefore allows you to reduce the use of salt.


One of the most effective ways to drastically reduce the use of salt is to rely on vinegars. There are many different types and it is precisely this variety that makes them adapt to almost all recipes. The most common are: red wine , rice , apple , balsamic and flavored vinegar .

Citrus fruits

Like vinegar, the sour taste of lemon , lime , or orange can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating salty foods when it’s not. A splash of citrus can make a chicken or fish dish perfect , without adding a gram of salt to it.



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