Can Hamsters Eat Sunflower Seeds with Salt?

Can Hamsters Eat Sunflower Seeds with Salt?

First off, salt is good food for humans but bad news for hamsters.  

About 70% of salt isn’t absorbed by the body and stays in our kidneys where it attracts water which makes us thirsty so we drink more water and send even more salt into our system where it can stay for up to 10 years… Ouch! To make matters worse this hurts our hearts, brains, and livers too.

Here’s salt at work in your body: Salt – Salt is actually the saltiest of all mineral sources found on Earth–seven times saltier than seawater! Many people are surprised to learn that salt isn’t just sodium chloride (NaCl) but also about 70% of other chemicals which make up salt’s mineral composition.

For example, salt is composed of 40% sodium, 50% chloride, 2% sulfate, 1% magnesium and 1% calcium. Furthermore, salt includes iodine which may be included as a supplement or added by sea salt makers during production.

Consequently, these additional ingredients cause salt’s flavor to range from bland to tangy depending upon one’s personal preference for salty flavor.

Salt – Health Effects on the Body

So salt is saltier than seawater, what’s salt good for?  Gee, you got me there!  I couldn’t find anything about salt being good food for humans taking all of its bad points into consideration.

What hamsters can eat:

Hamster Food & Diet –

Because they are strict herbivores, the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and Winter White Russian dwarf hamster (Phodopus sungorus) should be fed a diet that consists mostly of grass hay along with small amounts of seed mixes that consist primarily of legumes such as clover or alfalfa.

For treats during training, they enjoy small numbers of fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, grape halves, carrots, broccoli florets, or peas.

Hamster Food & Diet – Health Effects on the Body

Sea salt isn’t good for hamsters either!  And salt is in seeds too! Sunflower salt doesn’t sound like a good idea for hamsters to me:

Sunflower Seeds:

Vitamin Content and Benefits – …contain large amounts of vitamin E but also contain salt (NaCl).  Since salt can be hard on your pet’s kidneys and bones , you may wish to limit sunflower seeds. To do this yourself, just shell them before offering them to your pet. There are still plenty of healthy fats and nutrients in the shells so you can feed them to your hamster.

This is salt at work in humans: Salt – When salt is put on food it adds flavor and helps preserve the food, but salt can also be hard on our kidneys and bones.

Sodium (the component of salt that makes it taste salty) works as a magnet drawing water into our bloodstream where it accumulates, causing our bodies to swell up and rebel by forcing fluids out through our skin, urine, and feces.  

This swelling can cause pain especially in children, young adults, and pregnant women.

In severe cases, this swelling is dangerous enough to warrant hospitalization. To make matters worse, salt isn’t easily eliminated from the body; its effects can hang around for several days or even weeks.

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