Did you know that eating too much salt could lead to weight gain, even if you're not consuming more calories than you burn? That's the conclusion of a recent study that found a high-salt diet can decrease the amount of energy your body burns after eating, which can contribute to weight gain over time.
The study, which was published in the journal Nutrients, involved 40 healthy adults who were randomly assigned to consume either 6 grams of salt per day or a placebo for two weeks. Both groups consumed the same amount of salt from their normal diets, so the only difference was the extra salt they consumed through the capsules.
After two weeks, the researchers found that the group that consumed the extra salt burned about 1.3% fewer calories after eating, compared to the placebo group. This means that even if they consumed the same number of calories as the placebo group, they would still gain weight over time.
So why does salt have this effect on our metabolism? One theory is that it causes the body to retain more water, which can make it harder for our cells to burn fat for energy. Another possibility is that salt may interfere with the body's ability to regulate insulin, a hormone that helps us metabolize carbohydrates and fat.
While more research is needed to fully understand the link between salt and weight gain, this study adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests we should all be consuming less salt. The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume no more than 5 grams of salt per day, while the American Heart Association recommends an even lower limit of 3 grams per day.
So next time you reach for the salt shaker, think twice - your waistline may thank you for it.
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