Long-term reduction in dietary sodium alters the taste of salt

Am J Clin Nutr. 1982 Dec;36(6):1134-44. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/36.6.1134.


A group of young adult subjects was placed on self-maintained, low sodium diets for 5 months. Taste responses to salt in solutions, soups, and crackers were determined both during the 2 months preceding diet initiation and during a 5-month period when subjects lowered their sodium intake. Taste responses were also determined in a control group with ad libitum salt consumption throughout the same period. Perceived intensity of salt in crackers increased. The salt concentrations of maximum pleasantness in soup and crackers fell in the experimental subjects but not in the control subjects. These results demonstrate that the preferred level of salt in food is dependent on the level of salt consumed and that this preferred level can be lowered after a reduction in sodium intake. The implications of these findings for the maintenance of low sodium diets are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sodium Chloride* / urine
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Sodium Chloride