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Medicine Mars Science

Salt Makes You Hungry, Not Thirsty, Study Says (sciencedaily.com) 78

wisebabo writes: Salty diet makes you hungry, not thirsty. Science Daily reports: "In a study carried out during a simulated mission to Mars, an international group of scientists has found exactly the opposite to be true. 'Cosmonauts' who ate more salt retained more water, weren't as thirsty, and needed more energy." So if you don't want to gain weight on your trip to Mars, don't eat salty chips. If you don't want to gain weight at home, maybe you should stay away from them as well. From the report: "The studies were carried out by Natalia Rakova (MD, PhD) of the Charite and MDC and her colleagues. The subjects were two groups of 10 male volunteers sealed into a mock spaceship for two simulated flights to Mars. The first group was examined for 105 days; the second over 205 days. They had identical diets except that over periods lasting several weeks, they were given three different levels of salt in their food. The results confirmed that eating more salt led to a higher salt content in urine -- no surprise there. Nor was there any surprise in a correlation between amounts of salt and overall quantity of urine. But the increase wasn't due to more drinking -- in fact, a salty diet caused the subjects to drink less. Salt was triggering a mechanism to conserve water in the kidneys."
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Salt Makes You Hungry, Not Thirsty, Study Says

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  • >> Salt Makes You Hungry, Not Thirsty, Study Says

    Which is why bars serve free peanuts, pretzels and chips - obviously they make their real money from food.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So what? Has anyone studied whether they what those bars are doing actually works?

      I can't help but dismiss your comment as "even if the prevailing view must be correct, regardless if it is wrong."

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2017 @06:47PM (#54260051) Journal

      I think there is a distinction between long term, over the course of weeks and months, vs short-term, in bar when you're currently eating salty food at the moment.

      Eating more salt over the course of a month or two may certainly be associated with eating more that month. Maybe because french fries and chips taste better than unsalted potatoes.

      In the very short term, at a bar, eating salty snacks definitely makes you thirsty at the moment - the body wants to balance the intake of salt and water - basically to the wash the salty taste out of your mouth, when it's very salty.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Likely the experiment was tainted because they could not increase levels of salt intake to match bar snack levels, which would be very unhealthy and there are laws against that in experiments. So somewhat increases levels of salt increase desire to eat (most likley based around salts interaction with glutamic acid to create MSG, which is why junk food is so salty), whilst levels of salt they could not test for due ie unhealthy levels produce thirst. The brain telling the kidneys to fuck off, we gotta flush

      • In the very short term, at a bar, eating salty snacks definitely makes you thirsty at the moment - the body wants to balance the intake of salt and water - basically to the wash the salty taste out of your mouth, when it's very salty.

        Sounds like a storage cycle to me. Eat salty food, drink more. Once the salt is secreted from the body, the water goes too. If you keep replenishing the salt, the water doesn't leave the body.

    • Which is why bars serve free peanuts, pretzels and chips - obviously they make their real money from food.

      Beer has a lot of calories.
      It is liquid bread.

    • >> Salt Makes You Hungry, Not Thirsty, Study Says Which is why bars serve free peanuts, pretzels and chips - obviously they make their real money from food.

      In addition, a lot of foods suck without salt. Trying salt free soup is enough to make you decide not to eat at all.

      • I think like many things, it's what you're used to. I gave up putting sugar in my coffee (to put off going to the dentist because of the toothache), got used to it in a couple of weeks and have preferred it without ever since. I bet you could gradually wean yourself off added salt in 2 months.

        • I think like many things, it's what you're used to. I gave up putting sugar in my coffee (to put off going to the dentist because of the toothache), got used to it in a couple of weeks and have preferred it without ever since. I bet you could gradually wean yourself off added salt in 2 months.

          A whole lot depends on one's activity level. I'd be a real mess if I didn't get some "extra" salt. Its very easy to sweat off 10 pounds in a game of Ice Hockey. The body knows when it needs salt. I got into the habit of grabbing a bag of potato chips before getting a drink of water. That first chip hits the tongue, and it's electrifying. If I have a drink of water first, I'll get queasy. Never threw up, but came close.

          Salt becomes public enemy number one every so often - and some people do get in the hab

          • I agree with this. Not even activity level, but how much you sweat in general.

            I've lived in tropical climates before for long periods (months to years). After a month or two, I'm putting salt on everything I can. I drink 3-4 liters of filtered water a day, but I spend much of the day sweating (I prefer to have windows open as opposed to air-conditioning even if it means sweating a little...if it means sweating a lot, I turn on AC).

            Salt: it's what the body craves (if your water turnover rate is really hig

      • Trying salt free soup is enough to make you decide not to eat at all.

        How on earth are you making soup? I'd have thought that soup was the one thing that it was basically impossible to cook badly, but apparently you've managed it.

        • by laffer1 ( 701823 )

          It can be done. For example, my mother used to wash potatoes with dish soap and then not rinse them off well on top of it. Then she'd cook them in things such as soups or with meat. You'd get bubbles and not feel too good.

        • Trying salt free soup is enough to make you decide not to eat at all.

          How on earth are you making soup? I'd have thought that soup was the one thing that it was basically impossible to cook badly, but apparently you've managed it.

          I've never made salt-free soup. I got a lot of cooking knowledge from my mother, and my father in law. Both of whom were excellent cooks. Added salt in a recipe, is based upon what is in the ingredients. Making a soup with Ham is a no brainer that no extra salt is needed. Celery also has a fair bit of Sodium in it. Another trick is to glaze the surface of beef before putting it in. the stock. Draws the salt out from near the surface - as well as sugars, caramelizes that, and helps greatly for the taste. Do

    • For three thousand years, everyone "knew" that the only places to play go pieces in the early game was on columns 3 and 4.

      Then A.I. played on column 5 in the shoulder position on move 37 and it payed off enormously with control of the middle of the board later in the game... which it won.

      Salty snacks has seemed to make sense for a long time. But .. then a study comes along and what you always "knew to be true" may be shown to not be true.

      • by piojo ( 995934 )

        For three thousand years, everyone "knew" that the only places to play go pieces in the early game was on columns 3 and 4.

        Then A.I. played on column 5 in the shoulder position on move 37 and it payed off enormously with control of the middle of the board later in the game... which it won.

        This is a tangent, but you got me curious and I had to go find it. For anyone looking to see what Maxo-Texas means, the game can be viewed here (scroll down): https://gogameguru.com/alphago... [gogameguru.com]

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      It's more about the body confusing thirst with hunger when the thirst is mild an you are resting. It's common that people get dehydrated easily when they are stationary and have to remember to drink.

      So next time you feel hungry - drink a large glass of water.

    • obviously they make their real money from food

      No it's because a sensible drinker wants to nibble on something while enjoying their beer. In any case if they wanted to sell food their best bet would be to not sell beer given the massive amount of calories and carbs, especially in ales.

      Hell if you want to lose weight, stick with eating salty snacks and stop drinking beer.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the food with more salt tasted better, which made people want to eat more of it? Or the fact they drank less was because the more full because the ate more food?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or perhaps the excessive amounts of salt were causing the beginning signs of kidney failure, so the kidneys were slowing down due to having problems with the salt levels, so wasn't able to dispel the water as quickly.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Close. The actual reason from TFA: "Salt was triggering a mechanism to conserve water in the kidneys. ... In mice, urea was accumulating in the kidney, where it counteracts the water-drawing force of sodium and chloride. But synthesizing urea takes a lot of energy, which explains why mice on a high-salt diet were eating more. ... [Urea] turns out to be a very important osmolyte ... [that functions] to keep water in when our bodies get rid of salt."

        Basically, in order not to pee out more water with t

  • I used to take extra salt when working outdoors in the summer, a tip I picked up from the first aid kit which had salt pills for heat exhaustion. I also recall once seeing a documentary about the Bedouin where they slung big bags of rock salt on the camels when crossing the deep desert. So I'm not sure why this study was done, it seems already known that extra salt helps retain water.
    • Sweat is salt water. When you sweat, your body is losing water and salt. Therefore you need to consume more water and salt to replace what was lost. That's why you take water and salt when you're hot and sweating.

      Separately, retaining salt also requires retaining water to balance out the salt, but retaining water isn't really something you aim for, unless you're a camel.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd take that advice with a grain of salt myself. In ye olden days salt was a rare and expensive commodity. People often didn't get enough, so it makes sense that if they tried to cross a desert they would need extra salt to survive (after all, sweat is salty, so sweating means losing salt). These days salt is plentiful and cheap, and disturbing amounts are crammed into pretty much everything you eat because it's a cheap way to enhance flavour (particularly in combination with sugar). Most people in "th

      • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

        Sure working outdoors will make you lose some salt through sweat, but unless you're crossing a desert on hard rations that's doing you more good than harm.

        More than that. If you're working all day in the hot sun and only drinking water, you're at real danger of heat cramps, followed by heat exhaustion and something worse.

        You don't need *much* salt, but if you're sweating all day you need SOME. Gatorade or another electrolyte solution is carried on ambulance rigs in hotter areas for just this purpose.

  • I ran out of salt a month ago. I guess I can scratch that off my shopping list.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now, take this knowledge and go check the sodium level on your favorite fast food place. Put two and two together.
    Fast food is slow poison, folks!

  • Pedantics unite! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2017 @07:58PM (#54260413) Homepage Journal

    In all my life, whenever someone said "eating salty food makes me thirsty", I don't think one of them ever meant "eating salty food makes me consume more water over a multi-month period." I'm pretty sure what they meant was "When I eat salty food, I want something to drink right goddamn now!" One thing I know for sure: every time I've expressed that sentiment, I was referring to the current moment.

    dictionary.com says "thirsty [thur-stee] adjective, 1. feeling or having thirst; craving liquid." See? FEELING thirsty. CRAVING liquid. A feeling you're having RIGHT NOW. No mention of how much water you actually drank over the course of the next 105 days.

    I'd love to see more details of the study. Maybe the ones who had salty food had more water with their meals but then the science kicked in and they had less water over the course of the day? It's entirely possible.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Salt does NOT make you fat.

    Sure, the salty chips might make you hungry, but the 400 calories in the small bag of Lays that you just ate had absolutely NOTHING to do with making you fat. Nothing at all. It must be the stuff you eat afterwards after the salt that comes with those 400 calories makes you hungry.

    See, this is the logic of modern science. Fallacy everywhere.

  • In general, unprocessed foods are low in salt (sodium) and high in potassium. This is the opposite in 'highly' processed foods (i.e. fast food, junk food, etc.).

    Based on many studies I've read in the past (citation needed), there is a relationship between over-eating and consuming 'highly' processed foods. It appears this study confirms this from the POV of one dimension (salt).

    Scientists have also studied the relationship between sodium and potassium in the human body. They believe that the body needs appr

  • Haven't food companies been studying this and known it for decades? It's how they reach the "bliss point" - how much salt and sugar can they cram in a meal to ensure that you want to eat as much as possible. It's why you can eat 1000 worth of Hamburger Helper and still feel hungry.

  • by kevmeister ( 979231 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2017 @09:43PM (#54260869) Homepage

    While people think potato and other "salty snacks" are high in salt, compared to many food, the sodium content is not high. Because the salt in all on exposed surfaces, the taste of salt is very strong. An ounce of Lays potato chips has 170 mg. of sodium. (Yes, I know most people eat more like 3 oz. at a sitting, so call it 510 mg.) Half of a personal sized pepperoni pizza (Round Table) has 860 mg. (and most people eat the whole thing for 1920 mg.). A Panera Chicken Frontega panini is a stunning 2050 mg. My favorite Chipotle barbacoa burrito is a whopping 2190 mg. And "whopping" makes me think of a "Whopper" which is only 1160 (with cheese).

    So if you are looking for high salt foods, chips are not that bad, though I don't really recommend them for a healthy diet. It's other processed foods that really pack it in.

    • Nice data-filled comment, thanks.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      GOOGLE; How much salt is in a Whopper Burger?

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      I'll tack on that popcorn salt, a very fine version of table salt designed to coat popcorn effectively, is great if you want to add salt to something you're just about to eat. It's so fine that you can effectively cover the surface of what you're eating to gain an additional salt flavor without a lot of added actual salt.

    • Half of a personal sized pepperoni pizza (Round Table) has 860 mg. (and most people eat the whole thing for 1920 mg.).

      I can confirm. Nothing is ever left when pizza is presented to me.

    • by kwoff ( 516741 )
      Potatoes are starchy, so high in carbohydrates. Your body also retains water to dilute high blood sugar (glucose). When people go on low-carb diets, they usually lose up to 10lb (5kg) in a week or two, because their body lets go of water.
  • These pretzels are making me hungry.

  • ... and their diversity? Wonder if they weren't just feeling salty hangin' out with just guys.
  • Interestingly enough, ketogenic diets which have been shown to be effective for weight loss, all recommend increasing salt intake, often recommending a serving of broth to increase sodium consumption.

    Based on what I've read about it all, hunger is most closely associated with leptin. If these people were fed a salty, low-fat diet it's possible that salt induced more eating by increasing the palatability of food and the lack of fat in the diet increased hunger by suppressing leptin levels and they turned to

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