Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I have a craving for salt?"
Lately I can't help it but I keep craving salt and salty foods. Never had anything like this happen before. Why would I be craving salty foods all of the sudden?
Your craving for salt is an urge humans have had for thousands of years. The reason for this is simple. We need salt to sustain life. Before the days of processed foods, there was very little sodium (main ingredient in salt) in our diets. Thus our bodies are adapted to hold onto salt and to consume it whenever it is available. However, since salt is so abundant now, these urges are no longer necessary to sustain our lives. The vast majority of us who consume a modern western diet get more than enough salt. Thus, your craving for salt does not mean that you are dehydrated and need more sodium. Thus, this is a craving that you should learn to ignore. The best way to ignore it is to make a practice of eating very little salt. This way when you encounter a salty snack, it will seem too powerful to you and you won't be able to eat it. If you get into the habit of consuming too much salt, then it will be harder to eat less. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can discuss your current diet and what modifications are necessary to maximize your health. Good luck.
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