Q&A: Does Eating Salt Make You Gain Weight?
The question:“I know that eating too much fat and sugar can make me gain weight, but what about salt?”
The expert:Lisa Moscovitz, R.D., CEO and founding dietitian of the NY Nutrition Group
The answer:It’s not the salt itself that’s making you gain weight—it’s the fact that most salty foods are processed and contain loads of fat and sugar, as well.
MORE:5 Foods That Have More Sodium Than a Bag of Chips
Think about the saltiest foods you eat: fast food, chips, cookies, processed soups, or cheese.“Those are big sources of sodium, and of course they have other things in there like sugar and fat, which will cause weight gain if eaten in large amounts over time,” says Moscovitz. “There are other variables to take into consideration.”
You probably know that eating salty foods causes an increase in “water weight,” or will make you feel bloated. “Eating salt does not directly increase body fat, but it can increase water retention, which would show up on the scale,” says Moscovitz. “If you start to eliminate the salt, you will flush the water out, and the scale will go back down right away.”
That’s not the end of the story, though. “[Cutting back on salt] will help you see results faster, but it will pertain to water weight, not body fat,” says Moscovitz—and dropping body fat is the way you’ll see actual results, apart from those minor water pounds.
“Salt itself is not an unhealthy substance," says Moscovitz. "We need salt. It’s a really important electrolyte." The problem lies in taking in too much of it—especially if you're getting it from the worst possible sources.
Video: Chemical formula of sodium chloride? + Q&A | #aumsum #kids #education #science #learn
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