Why Do We Crave Salty Foods?

Some people just love and crave salt. Are you one of them? Do you love salt on fries, eggs, rice, chips, or tomatoes? How about avocado, soups, steak, corn, popcorn, oatmeal, or grapefruit? Have you seen anyone salt pickles or pizza? Besides copious amounts of sugar and caffeine, today’s typical American sure does have an affinity for salt in their diet.

Why do people crave salty foods?

For starters, salt is addictive. Our brains are wired to enjoy and want salt because it’s essential to our survival. In the distant past, salt wasn’t so available. Indeed, it was hard to find, so whenever humans could find and use salt, it was a big deal in the village. Nowadays, as you’d imagine, since salt is so easy to get, and it’s seemingly everywhere, we Americans consume way too much of it per day, but that’s for another blog entry…

Now about that craving salt thing– we may crave salt when we’re dehydrated. If you find yourself craving salty potato chips, for instance, you’re probably dehydrated. Besides feeling thirsty, some signs of dehydration include headaches, mood changes, irritability, dizziness, and muscle spasms/cramps. When this stuff happens, eating salty foods and/or drinks helps make a person feel better.

Next, there’s the electrolyte imbalance problem. Your body needs a decent balance of minerals to function well. Minerals, aka electrolytes, include sodium, which is found in table salt. Should the fluids in your body carrying various electrolytes be out of balance, chances are you’ll crave salt.

Did you know that there are medical issues like Addison’s disease and Bartter syndrome which can cause a person to crave salt? They’re rare, thankfully.

Finally, women who have PMS or are pregnant may also desire more salt since their bodies are going through hormonal fluctuations and changes and everything’s a bit “out of whack.”

Too much salt is not good for a person. That said, think of all the things you eat and drink every day which has salt in them. Chances are you’re overdoing it, but you haven’t really given it much thought lately… however, you don’t want to get to the point where your doctor tells you, “Uh-oh, you’re not doing well; you need to cut down on your salt intake.”
If you crave salt but want to cut down on your intake in a clever way, try Benson’s salt-free seasonings. See Benson’s various products here: