Are you always craving for potato chips, pickles, and salty snacks? This may sound okay to many, but health-wise, too much salt is dangerous for the body. The body needs salt for fluid retention and proper functioning.
However, when salt craving begins much, it causes more harm to the body than good and can systematically break down the body system over a long period.
One of the immediate symptoms of excessive salt intake is swollen hands or feet, increased thirst, and headache in some cases. In the long run, it can attack vital organs of your body, causing more severe harm.
Below are some of the damages that salt craving causes to your body.
It attacks the:
- Brain – it impedes the flow of blood to the brain causing cognitive and thinking problems.
- Heart – it increases the risk of an enlarged heart by making it work harder than usual to circulate blood to the body.
- Kidney – It causes the kidney to work harder to purify the system, and this may lead to malfunction and possibly kidney breakdown
- Blood vessels – it stiffens the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels, preventing blood from flowing as effectively as it ought to.
With these consequences, you can see that too much salt intake is terrible.
Most people take in at least 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, which is about 3400 mg of sodium, and also far more than our bodies need. Nonetheless, the body requires just 2300 mg of sodium per day.
However, if you are caught in the web of salt cravings, there are ways you can curb it. Below are the seven healthy ways to curb salt cravings.
7 Health Ways to Curb Salt Cravings
Salt has a very addictive taste, which our brains and bodies love because it’s necessary to humans. Nevertheless, many people crave salt for different reasons. Electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, stress, pregnancy, and premenstrual syndrome can cause salt cravings. Even some diseases like Addison’s diseases and Bartter syndrome can make you want salt.
Well, if you want to curb the amount of salt you consume, here are some tips to help you.
1. Eat whole meals
Most millennials feed more on processed snacks and foods than whole meals, which is very unhealthy. Processed food consist of 75% of the sodium Americans take.
Eating whole meals is good for weight loss and avoiding excessive salt intake.
It promotes your overall health by providing your body with the necessary nutrients. Try all possible means to prevent feeding on prepackaged snacks or processed fast food like noodles every time.
2. Make a meal plan
Most times, you get caught feeding on processed meals because you don’t have a meal plan. This will make you eat carelessly.
A meal plan helps to control what you eat, and with a meal plan, you can conveniently put healthy snacks between meals if you are a snack person. Check out how to create a healthy meal plan. There are many other health benefits of meal planning, especially weight loss.
3. Know your salt intake limit
The American Heart Association recommends consuming only 2,300 mg of salt daily, which is one teaspoon of salt. While millennials consume an average of 3,400 and 6,000 milligrams of sodium daily, it is essential to watch the amount of salt in what you eat. If you love tasty food, you can opt for natural spices and herbs instead of saltier processed food.
4. Exercise Regularly
One of the reasons why people carve for processed and prepackaged food is stress. Stress is linked to causing unhealthy eating habits where you bury yourself up in snacks hoping to regain some energy. Adequate exercise and rest are effective ways to fight stress.
5. Read food labels
For packaged meals, let’s say cornflakes, noodles, bread cakes, and so on, you must go through the food label. The food label contains the nutritional component of the food. This will help you track what you eat.
6. Get social
Boredom is a leading cause of salt cravings. When you are bored, you tend just to eat anything around, as they are more convenient for you. Join a health club in your neighborhood, or join a community exercise team. Do something to get social. Doing this will not just help curb your salt cravings, but also improve your social health.
7. Go for restaurants that serve whole meals
If you love eating outside, it is advised that you go for restaurants that cook whole meals from scratch rather than the ones that just display menus full of pre-made meals. And these pre-made meals are processed with salt.
If caught in the salt craving web, gradually put the above points into practice. Don’t try stopping yourself all at once; you may harm yourself. Take it easy, slow, and steady. Always maintain a healthy meal feeding schedule as an individual.