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More, not less, salt!

The Dutch are generally cited as eating too much salt. Together with Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, the Dutch Kidney Foundation organized the kick-off of the Eat Salt-Consciously Week on 10 January at the Dutch Horecava trade fair. Attendees could sample how tasty food with less salt is. The governing message this week, which received a lot of media attention, is that you can enjoy food with less salt—even in the hospitality industry.

Before we provide an extremely easy and healthy tip that makes all of your food taste better without any culinary adjustments, we first go back to the salt hypothesis as it is now generally accepted: too much salt is bad.

The salt hypothesis: Conventional thinking questioned

Over the years, many books and articles have been written by experts who beg to differ. Last year a new book has been added to this list, which is worth reading: The Salt Fix: the experts have got it all wrong - and how eating more could save your life.

This book is written by leading cardiovascular research scientist and pharmacologist James DiNicolantonio: not just a random skeptic. Dr. DiNicolantonio claims that the danger of salt lies not with an excess but with a shortage. In his book he completely breaks down conventional thinking about salt and describes how salt can improve health and sports performance.

No salt or more salt, then?It is an interesting topic to investigate further.For our tip it does not matter much.The most convenient and healthy way to make your food taste better is… HUNGER.This is the easiest way to enjoy more of your food and it all has to do with the hormone Ghrelin.

So the golden tip

Skip a meal or follow an intermittent fasting protocol. It does not matter in principle as long as simply do not eat. Ghrelin is the 'hunger hormone' that is mainly produced in the stomach. Ghrelin concentrations are determined by food intake: if you do not eat, that is, fast, blood levels go up. The effect of hunger and appetite that generates an increased grheline level is so powerful that even salt-free potatoes and chicken fillet will taste great. Fasting is also very healthy: a good strategy to lose weight, for instance.

What is intermittent fasting

We have previously written about intermittent fasting and the benefits it can have for your body. Intermittent, or periodic, fasting is a pattern in which you eat at specific times or during certain hours and abstain for the rest of the day. Periodic fasting is not a diet but a dietary regime. You do not change what you eat, but when you eat. This makes it one of the simplest diet-related ways to lose body fat, for example, while maintaining muscle mass.

The benefits of fasting

One of the ways in which periodic fasting boosts health has to do with optimizing the clearing of dead and damaged cells. This is known as autophagy. The build-up of cellular "waste" by sub-optimal autophagy is seen by many experts as one of the main causes of the aging process and related health risks.

Periodic fasting also stimulates activity and growth of certain types of brain cells. Evolutionary, this makes sense. Natural selection naturally prefers those who have a sharp cognition in times of food scarcity and a good memory. Where have I previously found food and how can we get it again?

Positive effects of periodic fasting on the life of animals have been documented since 1946. Today, we know that this style of eating is good for the heart, brain, cognitive functions, mitochondrial efficiency, reduction of oxidative stress, resilience of the body and body composition.

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