Food for Thought
High sodium consumption is linked to increased body weight.
A duo of recent studies are further strengthening the case against dumping high amounts of salt into restaurant fare and packaged processed foods.
An investigation in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a link between body weight and salt consumption, as measured by two separate urine samples from each of 4,680 men and women in four different countries. American adults who tested for the highest salt intakes were 24% more likely to be overweight or obese. Foods that often contain generous amounts of added salt are likely to help pack on pounds, but there’s also a chance that constantly having too much sodium in the body can play a direct role in weight gain. At the least, the extra salt will make you look a bit puffy.
In a second study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine randomly assigned participants to diets with differing sodium levels and discovered that those consuming the most sodium reported a greater incidence of bloating symptoms. Interestingly, the research team concluded that lowering sodium consumption might mitigate the bloating associated with eating a high-fiber diet. Feeling like the Pillsbury Doughboy is one reason why some people are put off from eating foods (like beans) that are rich in fiber, so advising these people to limit their salt intake could help them beat the bloat.