Salt

  • Though it seems to go against much of the “limit salt” advice we hear these days, sufficient salt and other electrolytes are essential for our bodies to function well.
  • When we are eating a higher carbohydrate diet our bodies hang on to water.
    • To store 1g of carbohydrate as glycogen, 3g of water are needed
    • Higher insulin levels cause the kidneys to retain sodium
  • When we eat a lower carb diet or practice intermittent fasting, our insulin levels and stored glycogen levels drop, resulting in fluid loss.  This is why you quite often see a big weight drop in the first week.
  • Losing excess water is fine, but electrolytes also get flushed out.
  • Lower carb foods are generally less processed and contain less sodium, worsening the deficiency.
  • You may have heard of the “keto flu”? The symptoms of headache, fatigue, brain fog, and cravings are directly related to this loss of electrolytes.
  • The keto flu can be avoided by drinking 2 cups of broth with added salt (1/4tsp/cup or more) and by adding salt to our foods.
  • Eat potassium rich foods such as: avocados, almonds, macadamia nuts, beef, salmon, cremini mushrooms, and leafy greens.
  • Magnesium can be obtained through food (avocados, dark chocolate, cooked spinach, almonds), but many soils have been depleted.  Taking a magnesium supplement (citrate, maleate, glycinate, never oxide) is a good idea.
  • When you’re adjusting to a low carb diet or fasting, drinking an electrolyte solution can help maintain energy and prevent headaches. One recipe has ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp potassium chloride (salt substitute), and ½ tbsp Citro-mag (magnesium chloride solution) – amounts can be adjusted to personal tastes and electrolyte requirements.
  • There are commercially available electrolyte capsules and drink mixes, just avoid those with added sugars

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *