Eating too much salt isn’t a healthy habit, but people may crave it because it improves their mood, according to new research from the University of Iowa. When rats don’t have enough sodium chloride – common table salt – in their diet, they neglect activities that normally give them pleasure, like drinking sugary liquids or pressing a bar that stimulates pleasure in their brains, according to a study from psychologist Kim Johnson. “Things that normally would be pleasurable for rats didn’t elicit the same degree of relish, which leads us to believe that a salt deficit and the craving associated with it can induce one of the key symptoms associated with depression,” Johnson said. If salt is a natural antidepressant, it could help explain why we eat so much of it, researchers say, even though too much of it can be bad for health.
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