You might think fatty foods are delicious, but fat alone isn’t actually very appetizing. The taste you can’t resist is due to the sugar or salt that’s often present in fatty foods.
Recently, researchers have taken a closer look at salt. Eating lots of it has been linked to obesity.
Some research has also shown that liking salty, fatty foods is linked to overeating and overweight. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition indicates that salt is playing an even more powerful role than we thought in making us eat more.
Adding salt to the meals increased how pleasant people thought the food was.
“When we add salt to food, all of a sudden those controls are gone, the people with sharper fat sensitivity, which normally helps stop overeating, ate salty food in the same volumes as those who were the least sensitive to fat—suggesting that people perceive salt so favorably that it dulls the fullness signals they’re supposed to feel.” says principal investigator and Deakin University professor Russell Keast.
“We’re effectively blunting out their satiation response,” Keast explains. “When we think of the food supply in terms of salt and fat being optimized, the salt is having the effect of washing away what would be a normal biological mechanism that we’ve got to actually stop ourselves from eating.”
Eating more salt, however, did associate to eating more food. Salt, therefore, seems to be driving the extreme consumption of fat, calories and food in general. This is something to remember the next time you open a bag of chips.