Salt for Weight Loss: Does Salt Consumption Really Contribute to Weight Loss?

Millions of adults consume salt every day for weight loss and are afflicted with high blood pressure. This puts them at increased risk of a number of health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Scientists believe that salt consumption contributes to weight loss by stimulating thirst and increasing fluid intake. Because of this, they generally view lowering salt intake as an important strategy for lowering blood pressure. Regardless, recent studies have shown that higher sodium intake does not stimulate thirst and fluid intake. Instead, it promotes weight loss, which changes the body’s overall energy needs.

Is salt healthy for losing weight??

health effects of salt energy needs body

A new study led by Dr. Stephen Juraschek sheds new light on these contradicting results. The researchers found that sodium intake decreased thirst and the volume of diuresis in adults with elevated blood pressure. However, this process did not affect the energy requirements of the metabolism. The one in the trade journal "Hypertension" published results support the traditional view that lowering sodium intake is critical in the treatment of hypertension. Accordingly, this theory challenges recent studies.

weight loss through salt research fluid absorption

The researchers used data from the closed, randomized and controlled feeding study published in 2001 to examine the effects of three different levels of sodium intake. The scientists divided these into low, medium and high and observed the test subjects with different diet plans. In the secondary analysis of the study, researchers measured the effects of sodium intake on participants’ energy intake, weight, self-reported thirst, and 24-hour urine output.

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Scientists found that while reducing sodium intake did not affect the amount of energy needed to maintain a stable weight, it did decrease participants’ thirst. In addition, the amount of urine was either unchanged or decreased with decreased sodium intake. Taken together, these results suggest that in adults with high blood pressure, consuming less salt lowers fluid intake and blood pressure. These changes were made without changing the amount of energy required to keep body weight constant.

Medical perspectives

listening device and salt

As a next step, Juraschek and his colleagues plan to study the effects of sodium in adults with diabetes. They are also researching the effects of fluid intake on outcomes in clinical trials, as well as in large data sets.

"Our study makes an important contribution to this scientific debate and underscores the importance of sodium reduction as a means of reducing weight", said Juraschek. "Public health recommendations to reduce population-wide sodium intake for blood pressure should be continued without fear of contributing to weight gain."