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Can Tabular Array Salt Increase Calorie Intake?

The struggle rages on over whether dietary tabular array salt (NaCl) increases the direct a opportunity of cardiovascular events, amongst no clear respond inwards sight.  Yet few people are paying attending to another, to a greater extent than insidious upshot of salt: it may increment our calorie intake, together with eventually, the size of our waistlines.


Humans are born amongst specific hard-wired nutrient motivations, which guide us to nutrient properties that kept our ancestors last together with fertile inwards times past.  We own got an instinctive attraction to sweetness because, inwards the basis of our ancestors, it indicated ripe fruit or honey-- both of import sources of calories together with other nutrients.  Most of the other nutrient properties we're instinctively drawn to, such every bit starch, fat, together with glutamate, signify high-calorie foods.

Yet i of our hard-wired nutrient motivations stands out from the rest: our attraction to salt.  Since tabular array salt is calorie-free, tabular array salt appetite is i of the few instinctive nutrient drives that doesn't relate straight to acquiring calories.  Interestingly, tabular array salt is the alone essential micronutrient (vitamin/mineral) nosotros tin sense of savor at the concentrations unremarkably constitute inwards food.  Not alone our brains, but every bit good our tongues, are hard-wired to attempt tabular array salt higher upward all other micronutrients.

Sodium together with chloride are essential micronutrients for all animals, but non all animals honour dietary tabular array salt appealing.  For example, rats don't exhibit a tabular array salt appetite unless they've been deprived of tabular array salt intermittently (1).  Yet humans are together with therefore drawn to tabular array salt that when at that spot are no constraints on our behavior, nosotros eat many times to a greater extent than of it than our hunter-gatherer ancestors did (presumably, every bit judged past times modern together with historical hunter-gatherers).

Although tabular array salt itself doesn't incorporate calories, it is a powerful vantage factor.  If you lot don't believe that, endeavor eating nutrient that contains no added tabular array salt for a day.  This is simply some other means of maxim that the human encephalon instinctively values salt.  And when the encephalon places a high instinctive value on food, it tends to drive us to eat to a greater extent than of it.  We know that applies to other nutrient vantage factors, but does it apply to tabular array salt every bit well?

The Study

To bear witness the hypothesis, Dieuwerke Bolhuis together with colleagues recruited 48 volunteers together with fed them a standardized breakfast, followed past times an experimental dejeuner of elbow macaroni together with sauce.  Volunteers were randomized to 4 dissimilar versions of the experimental lunch, together with each somebody ate each version on a dissimilar solar daytime (2):

1) low-fat (0.02% fat, wt:wt)/low-salt (0.06% NaCl, wt:wt)
2) low-fat/high-salt (0.5% NaCl, wt:wt)
3) high-fat (34% fat, wt:/wt)/low-salt
4) high-fat/high-salt

Volunteers were allowed to eat every bit much every bit they wanted of the experimental lunch, together with calorie intake was recorded.

The Results

As expected, volunteers served the calorie-dense high-fat pasta consumed to a greater extent than calories-- inwards fact, a total threescore per centum more.  This is consistent amongst previous findings that people tend to overeat foods that are calorie-dense.

Yet tabular array salt every bit good increased calorie intake, past times a smaller but withal meaningful xi percent.  This held truthful inwards both the low-fat together with the high-fat context.


This straightforward written report adds to the evidence that nutrient vantage factors tin increment calorie intake.  Yet it every bit good extends the evidence, showing that fifty-fifty non-caloric vantage factors tin indirectly increment calorie intake when they're added to caloric foods, past times increasing the overall vantage value of the meal.

The xi per centum divergence inwards calorie intake may non appear similar much, but function on inwards heed that xi per centum is to a greater extent than or less the divergence inwards calorie intake betwixt a lean somebody together with an overweight person.

I don't know whether this upshot would persist over weeks, months, together with years-- which is what actually matters for torso weight.  Hopefully, futurity question volition address this.  Yet judging past times the mightiness of other types of nutrient vantage restriction to drive long-term weight loss, including low-carbohydrate, low-fat, together with vegan diets, it seems plausible.

Despite countless studies together with massive funding, nosotros withal don't own got a real clear stance of the constituent of dietary tabular array salt inwards human health.  About the alone thing researchers grip on is that real high intakes are in all likelihood harmful.  The fact that together with therefore much disceptation remains afterwards together with therefore much question suggests to me that tabular array salt intake in all likelihood isn't a major determinant of health, at to the lowest degree cardiovascular health, which has been the primary focus.  But inwards the absence of clear evidence, I tend to autumn dorsum on the evolutionary view, which suggests that it may non last a skillful thought to eat a quantity of tabular array salt that far exceeds what our ancestors would own got eaten for around all of our evolutionary history.



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