Quiz – Salty Springs

Some people hear the term “sweet tooth” when discussing food cravings, and roll their eyes. “Sugar is nothing…what about those of us with a ‘salt tooth?’” We see you, and we just want you to be aware of a few things before you indulge, particularly the risk of high blood pressure. Take our quiz to learn more:

 

1. A common cause of a craving for salty foods is ____.

A. Stress
B. Tiredness or lack of sleep
C. Dehydration
D. Boredom
E. All of the above


2. Sudden cravings for salt can also be caused by Addison’s disease, a hormone insufficiency in the body’s adrenal glands.

A. True
B. False

 

3. Salt is just for taste and has no health benefits.

A. True
B. False

 

4. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), which is dangerous because it ___.

A. Prevents you from burning calories
B. Causes stress and sleeplessness
C. Damages arteries
D. All of the above

 

5. A food item that doesn’t taste salty but actually contributes a lot of sodium to our diets is _____.

A. Bread
B. Pizza
C. A burrito or taco
D. All of the above

 

6. Sea salt is better for the body than table salt because it is less processed.

A. True
B. False


Answers:

1. E. All of the above. Cravings can not only be physically based but emotionally as well. And if you are tired, you’re more likely to give in to cravings.

2. A. True. Other medical conditions known to cause salt cravings include premenstrual syndrome and a genetic condition called Bartter syndrome, which prevents people from reabsorbing sodium in their kidneys.

3. B. False. Salt contains sodium, a mineral your body needs to keep its fluid balance. Sodium also helps with nerve and muscle function. The problem is that too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and most Americans consume too much. On average, Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day when they should not be having more than 2,300 milligrams a day.

4. C. Damages arteries. The friction and force of high blood pressure damages blood vessels and increases the workload of your heart. The damage could eventually cause a heart attack or stroke.

5. D. All of the above. These foods are part of the Salty Six, a list created by American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to warn consumers about hidden high amounts of sodium. Others on the list are cold cuts and cured meats, soup, and fast food sandwiches. Always compare nutrition labels for the lowest sodium amount per serving.

6. B. False. By weight, the sodium content of both types is the same: about 40 percent. Because of the larger crystals of sea salt, there may be less sodium by volume, for instance per teaspoon. But there is little nutritional difference—it is more a matter of your preferred taste and texture.


This quiz was developed with the assistance of the Registered Dietitians at St. Joseph’s Hospital, along with data from The Health Library and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 

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