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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday April 19, @08:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the give-up-the-pork-rinds dept.

We've all heard it: eating salty foods makes you thirstier. But what sounds like good nutritional advice turns out to be an old-wives' tale. 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.

For some reason, no one had ever carried out a long-term study to determine the relationship between the amount of salt in a person's diet and his drinking habits. Scientists have known that increasing a person's salt intake stimulates the production of more urine -- it has simply been assumed that the extra fluid comes from drinking. Not so fast! say researchers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Vanderbilt University and colleagues around the world.

[...] Before the study, the prevailing hypothesis had been that the charged sodium and chloride ions in salt grabbed onto water molecules and dragged them into the urine. The new results showed something different: salt stayed in the urine, while water moved back into the kidney and body. This was completely puzzling to Prof. Jens Titze, MD of the University of Erlangen and Vanderbilt University Medical Center and his colleagues. "What alternative driving force could make water move back?" Titze asked.

Experiments in mice hinted that urea might be involved. This substance is formed in muscles and the liver as a way of shedding nitrogen. 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. Higher salt didn't increase their thirst, but it did make them hungrier. Also the human "cosmonauts" receiving a salty diet complained about being hungry.

So, to reduce your portions and lose weight, eat less salt?


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @08:56PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @08:56PM (#496543)

    Eating entire family sized bag of cheetos!

    [munch] [munch] [munch] [munch] [munch]

    Why am I still hungrrrry!

    [munch] [munch] [munch] [munch] [munch] [munch]

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by julian on Thursday April 20, @03:19AM (1 child)

      by julian (6003) on Thursday April 20, @03:19AM (#496671)

      It's called, vanishing caloric density. In addition to being salty, the Cheetos melt away in your mouth. They quickly reduce in volume. Here's an interesting article about it,

      The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food [nytimes.com]

      To get a better feel for their work, I called on Steven Witherly, a food scientist who wrote a fascinating guide for industry insiders titled, “Why Humans Like Junk Food.” I brought him two shopping bags filled with a variety of chips to taste. He zeroed right in on the Cheetos. “This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”

      --
      I am expecting written apologies from all Trump supporters when the indictments start
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @07:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @07:58AM (#496749)

        ...“Why Humans Like Junk Food.”...

        Humans are not the only ones that like cheap calories bears "don't feed the bears" boo boo. this is more narrative " science"

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:00PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:00PM (#496547)

    I adopted a very-low-sodium diet some time ago, and it's amazing how very salty food at restaurants now tastes. The same thing happens when you adopt a low-sugar diet: Big Food's choices become sickly sweet.

    Here's the American story:

    • Fat was labeled bad, so it was replaced with sugar.
    • Sugar was labeled bad, so it was replaced with salt.
    • Salt is being labeled bad, so it will be replaced with tears.

    Why tears? Because the addict would often rather die than go through the withdrawal symptoms that accompany giving up his poison of choice.

    The American people (and, by extension, the people of Western countries) are very sick people; hold on tight, because it's going to get worse before it gets better.

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday April 19, @09:12PM (3 children)

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @09:12PM (#496554)

      We need a +1 Depressing mod. It's true. Everything good is bad for you, and everything bad, is good for you. If there is Intelligent Design, then God has a weird sense of humor.

      Interesting research too. I eat way too much salt and I know it. It was easy to do since I have the genetics that gives me low blood pressure issues instead and it never affected my health dramatically. Plus, salt is good. The thing is, if you smoke weed on occasion, you will never notice that extra hunger. At all. It's a spoonful of gasoline added to a volcano.

      This does make me want to try a low sodium diet to see if it results in more weight loss.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday April 19, @11:57PM (2 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday April 19, @11:57PM (#496607)

        > Everything good is bad for you, and everything bad, is good for you.

        It's always a question of reasonable quantities, like for Iocane powder.

        Except chocolate. Do not even suggest touching at my giant intake of chocolate, and nobody gets hurt.

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday April 20, @05:39AM (1 child)

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @05:39AM (#496707)

          I completely understand, and will offer to you a chocolate non-aggression pact:

          You will not fuck with my chocolate, or engage in any activities that indirectly threaten my chocolate, specifically giving aid or comfort to any enemies of my chocolate. In the times in which chocolate is scarce, we agree to non-lethal measures with a trial by Rochambeau when competing for chocolate. If it is a single piece, and is reasonable to believe that chocolate will no longer be available, such as in the events of zombie apocalypses or alien invasions, all bets are off and we gotta do what we gotta do.

          -- EdIII 2017/4/19

          -- *you sign here*

          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 20, @05:31PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 20, @05:31PM (#496948)

            You may optionally not get stabbed repeatedly upon the discovery of more (high-quality) chocolate than I would be physically capable of ingesting, for the rest of my days or until it gets deeply rotten.

            In addition to this extraordinary gesture of leniency, you are hereby entitled the exclusive rights to anything manufactured by the Hershey company for the US markets (god have mercy on those heretics).

    • (Score: 2) by jimtheowl on Thursday April 20, @03:31AM (2 children)

      by jimtheowl (5929) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @03:31AM (#496675)
      Fat was labeled bad by industrial interests for the sake of sugar. Salt never replaced sugar, and the later retains its title which it should have had in the first place.

      The solution is easy enough: learn to cook and stop relying on restaurants. You really stop liking restaurants once you get used to good cooking, and your money is better invested.

      As far as salt, keep using it in moderation. Spices can more than make up for the difference in taste.
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday April 20, @08:36AM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @08:36AM (#496760) Journal

        You probably could pre-cook your lunch at home. But then you couldn't go to lunch with your colleagues, as typically eating your own food is not permitted in the restaurant.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by richtopia on Wednesday April 19, @09:08PM (4 children)

    by richtopia (3160) on Wednesday April 19, @09:08PM (#496552) Homepage Journal

    Processing salt takes energy. If you don't increase your caloric content with an increase in salt intake you should in theory lose weight.

    However, you get hungry.... so we are back to portion control for weight loss.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:16PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:16PM (#496555)

      Try a salt suppository.

      • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:21PM (#496561)

        Supposing you are right, how do you get your head back out?

    • (Score: 2) by tizan on Wednesday April 19, @09:52PM

      by tizan (3245) on Wednesday April 19, @09:52PM (#496574)

      You should try it as a lose weight mechanism if you do not like your kidneys. Processing large amount of salt out of your system is on your kidneys are sure they use lots of energy to do that.....in fact it seems they process less water out which causes high blood pressure...which may strain your kidneys to failure point ...then you'll surely lose weight as you die painfully.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @03:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @03:22AM (#496673)

      However, you get hungry.... so we are back to portion control for weight loss.

      Depends on how many calories it takes for you to stop getting hungry.

      If you eat more but you still burn more net calories till you get slimmer then eating more salt makes you lose weight.

      If you eat more than the increased calories burnt then it makes you gain weight.

      Otherwise you consume more calories but there is no net weight gain.

      This is ignoring other excreted calories (poop more/less, more/less calories in poop etc).

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:44PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:44PM (#496571)

    I did the no salt low salt thing for many years until I wound up in the hospital with critically low sodium. They said I was lucky I hadn't had a seizure. I was suffering muscle cramps and spasms all over my body.

    Fuck no salt low salt. I'm beginning to think that any and all dietary advice I hear in the news is completely fucked.

    Buy fat free foods! Fat causes fat, so we took the fat out and put corn syrup and sugar in so it taste the same! Fuck that shit. I drink whole milk and eat full fat foods and don't gain a single fucking pound unlike the fatasses who eat their cranberry acai fat free bullshit.

    My doctor keeps telling me to drink more Gatorade every time she looks at my bloodwork. Literally. Gatorade. I've found that just adding a little salt in when I grab a cup of water is good enough, and I can skip the sugar that way too.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:49PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:49PM (#496572)

      B..b..but it's got electrolytes.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by AthanasiusKircher on Thursday April 20, @12:23AM (1 child)

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @12:23AM (#496614) Journal

        B..b..but it's got electrolytes.

        That's what plants crave. ACs, not so much... Though many of AC's comments are salty enough already... Maybe if AC wasn't expending his saltiness in coarse language posts, he'd be healthier....

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @05:03AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @05:03AM (#496699)

          Maybe if AK wasn't swallowing down so much salty nut butter he wouldn't mind a little saltiness in the comments section.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @01:11AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @01:11AM (#496631)

      > We've all heard it: eating salty foods makes you thirstier.

      TFA discusses a long term study. We use very little added salt in home cooking (but not 0 salt) and have gotten used to other savory & spicy flavors. Sometimes when eating out we get a fairly salty dinner--and short term this certainly makes me very thirsty. So the "old-wives' tale" may have some truth to it. There are often large differences in short and long term effects, many systems are not linear.

      Personal observation, if I start eating some salty chips every day, my blood pressure (using same machine at supermarket) jumps about 10 points within a week. Once I back off, the blood pressure goes back down within a week.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @03:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @03:32AM (#496676)

        A significant percentage of people are salt sensitive that way. But a lot of people aren't. Low salt consumption for the latter group might be harmful for them:
        https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/25/a-low-salt-diet-may-be-bad-for-the-heart/?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

        Among 69,559 people without hypertension, consuming more than seven grams of sodium daily did not increase the risk for disease or death, but those who ate less than three grams had a 26 percent increased risk for death or for cardiovascular events like heart disease and stroke, compared with those who consumed four to five grams a day.

        In people with high blood pressure, consuming more than seven grams a day increased the risk by 23 percent, but consuming less than three grams increased the risk by 34 percent, compared with those who ate four to five grams a day.

        Perhaps only those taking low salt diets were sicker in the first place? But if that was controlled for then various groups have been giving bad dietary advice for decades e.g. the FDA's recommended salt consumption is 2.3grams which is a lot lower than four grams a day.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday April 20, @04:37AM (3 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @04:37AM (#496689) Homepage Journal

      Sodium-free V8 juice uses potassium instead of sodium and counts as eating servings of vegetables. A single serving of the stuff is like a quarter of your recommended daily allowance. That's a magical defense potion for the sodium-hungry drunk.

      Too much potassium is not recommended if you have heart or kidney problems, and/or take potassium-sparing diuretics.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @05:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @05:05AM (#496700)

        Yeah but you shouldn't mix it 1:1 with vodka and go online, should you Eth?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @04:39PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @04:39PM (#496925)

        Sodium-free V8 juice uses potassium instead of sodium and counts as eating servings of vegetables. A single serving of the stuff is like a quarter of your recommended daily allowance. That's a magical defense potion for the sodium-hungry drunk.

        Can you repeat this in terms a laymen like me can understand?

        So Sodium-free V8 is good (less salt, lots of potassium), bad (lots of potassium, and that's bad for you), or something else?

        Based on what you say I may switch... although my understanding is that salt really isn't that bad for you except if you have a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure and/or have limited access to water.

        • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Thursday April 20, @07:17PM

          by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Thursday April 20, @07:17PM (#497013)

          Potassium Chloride *is* a salt. It has a slightly metallic taste compared to Sodium Chloride.

          I have never understood why NaCl is considered bad, but KCl does not count.

          There is also CaCl, but that is not eaten much either.

    • (Score: 2) by rigrig on Thursday April 20, @10:32AM

      by rigrig (5129) Subscriber Badge <soylentnews@tubul.net> on Thursday April 20, @10:32AM (#496783) Homepage

      I'm beginning to think that any and all dietary advice I hear in the news is completely fucked.

      Of course it is, sensible advise isn't all that newsworthy, whereas <radical new insane-sounding diet> attracts views/clicks.

      --
      No one remembers the singer.
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