If you have been doing a low carb diet then you probably already know that you need to increase your sodium intake. Today I wanted to talk about why sodium is so important when you are limiting carbohydrates in your diet.
When we limit our carbs, our body has lower insulin levels which is a good thing because we are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes or other health issues down the road. However, lower insulin levels can cause our kidneys to spill out more sodium in the urine. This causes us to have less sodium in our body. So even though most people who eat a normal American diet want to reduce salt in their diet, those of us who do keto need to increase our sodium intake.
Salt is a very vital micronutrient that our body needs to be healthy. When reducing carb in the diet it is important to increase our salt and electrolyte intake since we keep losing it in our urine. The most important electrolyte is sodium.
When we don’t have enough sodium we have some side effects. You may have heard about the keto flu. When someone starts a low carb diet they may suffer flu-like symptoms where they feel sick to their stomach, feel achy and may have a headache. This can be easily remedied by simply adding back the salt in the diet that is lost in the urine.
Some other side effects that happen when we don’t get enough salt are constipation, heart palpitations, headache, fatigue, weakness or leg cramps.
Many people worry about sodium and how it can raise blood pressure and can cause health issues.
If you are concerned about getting too much salt, I highly recommend reading The Salt Fix by Dr. James DiNicolantonio. In this book, the author covers a lot of the myths out there like the blood pressure myth. He explains in the book about how we need much more salt in our bodies than we think. Actually, I learned from reading this book that it can actually be more harmful to limit salt. Our bodies are meant to use a certain amount of salt.
This book totally reassured me that increasing my sodium is actually a good thing.
Salt is a part of our make up. It frustrates me that lots of the things we’ve been taught about salt being bad for people aren’t based on science. It’s just another myth that we have been fed.
In this book, the author compares sugar and salt. We actually could have it wrong. We have been told to limit our salt intake but perhaps we should have eliminated sugar.
This book is a great read for anyone who wants to learn about the importance of salt for good health and nutrition.
another good read…
Dr. Ken D Berry, author of Lies My Doctor Told Me also talks about the health benefits of salt in chapter 13 of his book. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend you add this to your low carb library. Dr. Berry has a lot of knowledge and he follows a low carb diet himself. I use this book as a constant resource.
By the way, when I am talking about salt, I’m not talking about table salt or iodized salt. Table salt is highly processed. The best kind of salt is sea salt, better yet Pink Himalayan salt is the best because it has 84 minerals and trace elements. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are 3 important minerals that we need.
The darker the salt is the more trace nutrients it will have which is a good thing. So when purchasing salt, I try to go for the really dark pink salt. The thing I love most about sea salt is that it doesn’t raise your blood pressure as table salt does.
I love salt and am no longer fearful about adding it to my food. I simply add it to taste. And it tastes good. So if you’re going to choose between table salt and sea salt, go for the sea salt. It is just so much better for you.
Here are some of the benefits you may have by adding Pink Himalayan salt to your low carb diet.
- eliminate dizziness
- helps with heart palpitations
- helps with chronic pain and fatigue
- may improve menstrual cycle
- may eliminate headaches
- improve bowel movements
- help with muscle cramping
In conclusion, I no longer fear salt now that I am educated and know the many benefits of Himalayan salt on a low carb diet.