Does a High-salt Diet Prevent Weight Gain?

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We've been told for years that eating too much salt is bad news for our waistlines and overall health. But a new study has surprised scientists, suggesting that a high-salt diet could in fact prevent weight gain.

Specifically, it was found that test mice fed a high-salt diet in conjunction with high-fat foods warded off weight gain.

So, what's the deal? Surely the reason so many of us gain weight on a junk food diet is because processed foods are notoriously high in fat and sodium?

Justin Grobe, co-senior author of the study at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in the United States, echoed that presumption:

We found out that our 'french fry' hypothesis was perfectly wrong.

What did the study discover?

In the test, groups of mice were given different diets. Afterwards, their weight was re-measured.

Mice on just a high-fat diet and little salt experienced the highest weight gain. The mice on a high-fat, high-salt diet surprisingly gained the least amount of weight. Their gain just 5 grams was in alignment with the third group of mice that survived off a typical mouse diet.

So why was salt attributed to the lowest amount of weight gain?

Here's what's interesting: the high salt content affected digestion and fat absorption.

A diet high in sodium reduced digestive performance, so fewer calories were extracted from food.

So is a high-salt diet recommended?

Put down the salt shaker! The research team stressed that salt can contribute to many cardiac conditions, and shouldn't be embraced as a way to lose weight or prevent weight gain.

But it is promising news for scientists who look to develop improved anti-obestive medication.

Also, remember this test was only carried out on mice. Who knows if the results would be replicated in humans.

As always, the message is simple: eat a balanced diet packed with fresh, whole foods and steer clear of adding too many nasties like salt and sugar.

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