0
61SKH8DANC

Waking up hungry? Your salt intake
might be at fault!

Waking up hungry? Your salt intake might be at fault!

Your appetite is regulated by a plethora of complex interactions that are related to hormonal, neurological, psychological, and mechanical signals. One of the most important factors in it is your salt intake and it is the pivot of all your daily activities.

You take too little of it, your blood pressure drops. You take much of it, you get a racing heart. This observation calls for a proper judgment of the time and place of having this white mixture. Modern research believes that it is a major factor that affects the proper management of appetite and weight.

What is salt?

Chemically known as Sodium Chloride (NaCl), salt is a mineral that assumes great significance to human and animal tissues. It maintains appropriate levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, and water in the body. These levels are also related to our immunity and agility indirectly.

What is iodized salt?

Iodine is a natural element that dissolves in our bloodstream and DNA to promote thyroid health. It is also important to develop our immune and nervous systems, and to register cognitive senses. When iodine is added to the table or common salt to attain these benefits, the resulting compound is called iodized salt.

Health benefits: Is salt good for you?

It is important to consume salt because it:

1. Maintains blood pressure levels

2. Maintains blood sugar levels

3. Improves thyroid growth

4. Registers cognitive functions

5. Is antibacterial and antiseptic

6. Maintains body fluids

7. Maintains nerve and muscular functions

How much sodium should you take per day?

Ideally one should take not more than 2.3 gm of salt in a day. This is equal to about one tablespoon of salt in a day and is recommended by several healthcare agencies around the world. If you are indeed waking up drained every day, your sodium consumption might be on the higher side.

Nutrition and composition of salt:

Here is what common salt or table salt is comprised of:

Amount Per 1 tbsp. (6g)

% Daily Value*

Sodium 2,325.5 mg 96%
Calories 0%
Total Fat 0%
Saturated fat 0%
Polyunsaturated fat  0%
Monounsaturated fat 0%
Cholesterol  0%
Potassium 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0%
Dietary fiber 0%
Sugar 0%
Protein  0%
Vitamins 0%

The above data was compiled based on research by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is available here.

Since the sodium content in one tablespoon of salt is so high, people who eat more salt are prone to health-related and heart-related issues. There is zero or near-zero content of other vitamins and proteins in it so the more salt you eat, the more you are filling yourself up with less desirable things.

What is the recommended intake of salt?

The recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans are to limit the sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg (or 2.3 gm) per day. This amount is equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt. Please find below the recommended values of salt intake as per different age groups and as approved by the World Health Organization (WHO):

1. For adults:

WHO recommends that adults should consume less than 5 g (just under a teaspoon) of salt per day.

2. For children:

As per the WHO, the recommended maximum intake of salt for children should be about half a tablespoon.

Eating less than this amount can help you control several health- and fitness-related issues like weight gain, obesity, low blood sugar, and high blood pressure levels.

Reasons why you are eating more salt

Having late-night meals or snacks can contribute to physiological changes that may increase your hunger when you wake up. Such junk foods contain a lot of unprocessed sugars and salts, and preferring them over regular food items can quickly become worse for you. This is another reason why you should go for a low-sodium diet.

Here’s how eating too much salt can detrimentally affect your health:

1. Nocturnal or Binge Eating

Most of us snack on foods rich in carbs or sugar at night, an act induced by our appetite-inducing hormones. This increases the levels of insulin in our blood, thus causing glucose to be rushed into cells. This continuous process keeps running even while you are sleeping.

Since your blood sugar levels are continually dropping, the body stimulates the release of regulatory hormones and the appetite center of your central nervous system to counter it. While some people may wake up in the middle of the night for a quick snack, others may wake up ravenously hungry.

2. Dehydration

Start your day with a tall glass of water. Mild dehydration can make you feel fatigued and sluggish, and a severe one can even lead you to unconsciousness. Both these scenarios will force your body to look for easily available sources of fuel that it can utilize like carbs and sugar- and they can hurt you!

3. Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep is associated with higher levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. What makes it worse is that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re most likely going to turn towards high-calorie or high-carb foods to make up for your lack of energy. This may explain why people who do not get enough sleep are prone to obesity.

We recommend you get in touch with a healthcare expert online to get a qualified opinion about your sleep patterns and how you should correct them. You might find this article a good starting point.

4. Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS

Women in the premenstrual phase have more progesterone that boosts appetite. It also creates that emotional mess that we all are so aware of.

5. Boredom

Dopamine is a chemical messenger that’s part of the reward center of your brain. It gives us those good feelings when we consume something delicious and sometimes potentially unhealthy. When you do not have too much fun in your life, the brain tricks you into eating more sweets and sugary foods.

If this sounds familiar, we suggest you look for some better ways to enjoy your time. These may include going out for a jog, reading a good book, listening to music, yoga, or just smelling the roses.

6. Poor fitness levels

You’re working out very hard in the gym and are counting your calories. You know how many carbs, fats, and proteins you’re taking every day and you are working out pretty much all the time. However, there’s still some weight that doesn’t seem to budge.

It could be due to an improper diet and excess consumption of salt.

While we may not create a personalized diet chart for you right now, we sure can advise you to consult a virtual wellness expert and fitness professional. The two can help you make healthy changes (including an intake of sodium) to your lifestyle to enjoy better results.

Why is water retention bad?

Salt retains water in the body and this is often one of the major causes of weight gain. It can also lead to dehydration and feeling lethargic. When you’re working hard to lose weight and your sodium levels are high, the salt you consume will inhibit water from performing its vital functions in the body.

This will not help metabolism or burn calories but will only remain stagnant in your body. This is sure to affect your weight loss goals. If salt content in your body increases beyond a certain limit, it can cause the weakening of kidneys and heart. This would lead to both long- and short-term health risks.

What are the side effects and symptoms of eating too much salt?

Your salt intake directly relates to your Body Mass Index (BMI) profile and weight gain (or weight loss) experience. When you consume salty foods, you feel dehydrated and thirsty. Some people quench their thirst with high-calorie beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks, and other store-bought fatty and sugary drinks. This makes the matters worse.

Salt also amplifies the taste of all food items and this may result in overeating. If you are a habitual and emotional eater, it may even lead you to diabetes and heart ailments. You may well add up the variables to know what a ghastly situation this may turn out for you!

How much salt is “too much”?

The American Heart Association recommends consuming 1500 mg of sodium (salt) per day in an ideal case scenario. However, an average American consumes more than 3000 mg of salt per day, which is double the recommended amount.

You cannot survive without sodium but that is no excuse to eat junk and unhealthy food. Processed food and snacks consist of heaps of salt and oil content. We advise you to check the packaging and find out how much salt (and unprocessed sugars) every serving contains before having something.

What is a low sodium diet?

A low sodium diet is a specialized diet that contains food items and diet plans that contain very little salt. It must be noted that the goal is not to entirely cut out salt from one's food but to reduce it in a systematic and calculated manner.

A low sodium diet can help you beat the aftereffects of eating too salty foods. Such a diet is especially important for those people who are suffering from anxiety, abnormal blood pressure and blood sugar levels, obesity, or even a sedentary lifestyle.

What foods are good for a low sodium diet and hypertension?

A low-sodium diet may consist of the following:

1. Fruits and vegetables

2. Grains and cereals

3. Whole-grain bread

4. High protein foods

5. Milk and dairy products

6. Fruit juices and vegetable soups

You can start with something as simple as green and leafy vegetables including broccoli and lettuce. You may also go for fresh produce like berries, bananas, apples, melons, and pears or dry fruits, grains, and beans. It is important to stay away from canned and frozen foods and cola drinks.

Be sure to back it up with an active lifestyle that relies a great deal on fitness workouts and sports.

What does gargling salt water do?

As mentioned above, salt has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Mixing a spoonful of it in warm water and then gargling with it can reduce the bacterial growth in your throat. It would also reduce plaque formation in your teeth and gums.

Do you have a salty taste in your mouth?

If you are experiencing a strong or mild salty taste in your mouth, it could be because of oral bleeding, sinus infections, allergy, medications, or poor dental hygiene. It may also result if you have been stressed for quite some time.

How can you reduce salt from your diet?

Your best bet would be to prepare your meals at home. This would give you complete control of all the ingredients that you’d add to your meals. You should also consider making the following changes in your lifestyle:

A golden rule is to stay away from cookies, chips, crackers, and other salty snacks. Processed junk is always packed with sodium. There are many cleaner alternatives for processed junk food.

Tip: You may try oven-baked sweet potato fries instead of having packaged chips. Season them with a pinch of sea salt and add some herbs to make them a healthy and delicious snacking option.

1. Eat healthy salty snacks

The obvious alternative for this is consuming raw and unsalted nuts as snacks. You may buy raw peanuts and nuts and then roast them with salt to make a healthy snack for yourself, or you may also have some salted popcorn in the evening. Munching some dry fruits is an even better option.

2. Ease into a low-salt lifestyle

If you are used to having a lot of salt in your food, focusing on getting rid of all the junk food in your pantry will help. You may also switch to a light salt or try adding your favorite spices to your food to add flavor. Make sure to avoid making drastic changes to your dietary patterns as this may make your new health choices less sustainable.

Bonus: Virtual Health and Fitness Software

If you are a qualified health professional, we recommend you check out this link to know how you can bring your new and existing clients onboard a secure platform and help them stay fit, even when you are on the move. All you would need is your smartphone to enjoy the following capabilities at your fingertips:

1. Live video Meetings

2. Online Group Classes

3. Virtual Preset Sessions

4. Software CRM Tools

5. Marketplace Access

6. Corporate Service Program

And a lot more that you can bring to expand your services online and to help people reach their fitness goals!

Consult a healthcare expert if your salt intake is making you ill

Salt intake and improper timings often sit at the base of your fitness process on a daily basis. The longer the issue persists, the worse it starts faring for you. You might want to switch to a healthier and organic diet by reducing your unhealthy eating habits.

We recommend checking with a healthcare expert if you have been experiencing any or most of the symptoms of excessive salt intake for some time now. You could be at risk of damaging your digestive system and kidneys if you continue to overlook this health risk.

Remember, if food and salt could energize you for the day, they can sap your day just as easily too!