How Important is Salt on the Ketogenic Diet?

Short Answer – Very Important

When you were eating a Standard American Diet, you really didn’t have to think too much bout your salt intake.  There wasn’t a single processed food you ate that didn’t have at least a little added salt and most foods had a LOT of extra salt.  I was always surprised to read how much sodium was in Coke.  50 mg per 12oz can!  It just shows that the salt wasn’t just in your savory foods, but the sweet ones as well.

But now you’ve switched over to a diet that consists mainly of whole unprocessed foods, you have probably cut your salt intake as well just because you’ve cut out those crappy carbage foods.  You might also think that’s a good thing because you’ve been told your entire life that salt is bad but it turns out that isn’t true.

Salt and High Blood Pressure

According to Dr DiNicolantonio in his new book, The Salt Fix all the problems we have been associating with excess salt, most notably high blood pressure, aren’t caused by salt but by that other devilish white crystal, sugar.  I can tell you from personal experience that after years of being unable to control my BP, it wasn’t until I cut out the sugar that my BP finally started trending downward.  Taking Magnesium supplements from Pure Vitamin Club helped also but that’s a post for another day.

One of the things that happens when you start a ketogenic diet is you start to lose a lot of water.  Along with that water goes a lot of salt and other electrolytes that need to be replaced.  In fact, if you have started a ketogenic diet and struggled with cramps or excessive thirst or hunger, this loss of salt is almost certainly the issue.

How Much Salt Can You Eat?

Your kidneys were designed to filter salt out of your blood.  They are actually quite good at it.  The can filter between 3.2 and 3.6 POUNDS of salt out of your blood everyday so there is very little risk of eating too much salt and taxing your kidneys or any other internal organ.  In fact it is eating too LITTLE salt that stresses the kidneys as they then have to work to reabsorb and conserve salt so don’t be stingy with the salt and salt your food to taste.

What Salt is Best?

I have stopped using the standard Morton’s salt as it is highly processed and has anti-caking agents added to it that I don’t trust.  I have switched over to Redmond’s Real Salt as it is a more natural, unprocessed salt with more electrolytes than just pure sodium.  But don’t feel like you have to use that particular salt, any unprocessed salt from a sea bed will work like Himalayan Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt.  Just get your hands on a high quality salt and use it liberally.

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How Important is Salt on the Ketogenic Diet

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