A doctor explains the constant craving for salty foods

By Emily Laurence, WELL & GOOD

Even if your kitchen is full of healthy snacks, sometimes there’s no denying the desire for a handful of potato chips. Or popcorn. Or French fries from your favorite fast-food place. Whatever it is, it better be salty.

Salt isn’t “bad” per se, says integrative medicine physician Pooja Amy Shah, MD. “It’s one of the most important components in our bodies,” she says. Sodium, the primary component of salt, helps maintain healthy fluid levels in your body, ensures proper muscle function, and transmit nerve impulses throughout the body. There’s even a theory that we’re hard-wired to like salty foods because they often contain important minerals for growth and development.

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