When starting the ketogenic diet, one of the most common questions is whether salt is keto. The answer to that question is a little complicated. In short, yes, salt is keto and you do need to consume more of it when following this way of eating. But it's not as simple as just adding salt to your food. In this article, we will go into depth on all things sodium and keto. We'll answer the question of how much salt you should be consuming and if there are any other ways to get the sodium your body needs on a ketogenic diet.
Is Salt Okay On Keto?
Salt is perfectly fine on keto and you will actually need much more than you would think. The reason we need more salt is that as your body transitions to thriving without sugar you also don't hold sodium. This is the reason you will likely lose a lot of weight during the initial stage of keto.
Why Do I Need Salt On Keto Diet?
You need more sodium in your system because on keto your body is using fat for energy instead of sugar. In order for the body to use this new source of fuel, it needs to be in balance with electrolytes like sodium. When electrolytes are out of balance, you can experience issues such as lightheadedness and fatigue.
Sodium Is Not Bad For You Especially While Doing Keto
For so long we have been taught that salt is bad for you, but that is not the case when you are doing keto. In fact, on this diet you need more salt than ever before to make sure your electrolytes stay in balance. While consuming too much salt can be harmful, getting the right amount is essential for having success with keto.
Sodium has many benefits that include:
-Maintaining blood pressure levels
-Preventing muscle cramps
-Aiding in the absorption of other nutrients
-Helping to regulate blood sugar levels
Why Is Sodium Important For Your Body?
Sodium is a mineral that is important for many bodily functions. It helps to regulate blood pressure, maintain fluid balance and keep the electrolytes in our bodies balanced. When we are on keto, it is especially important to make sure we are getting enough sodium because this diet can cause us to lose a lot of electrolytes.
Without the proper amount of sodium, we can experience complications like restlessness, brain fog, fatigue, muscle cramps, tummy troubles, and more. Sodium intake is even more important while following a ketogenic diet since we get less sodium than normal. Sodium and potassium work together, so when the level of sodium drops, it directly affects potassium, which can make you feel worse.
Biggest Reasons You Need Lots Of Salt On Keto
- KETO FLU: Most everyone that has been on or read about the keto diet has heard about keto flu. This is a term for the symptoms that occur when your body transitions from burning sugar to fat for fuel. When this happens, electrolytes like sodium get depleted and it's essential to replenish them. This is the biggest reason that upping your sodium uptake you can alleviate the side affects of this.
- STOMACH ISSUES: Along the lines of Keto flu, but your stomach can wreak havoc and with that comes dehydration. Your body is transitioning that includes the probiotics in your stomach actually switch from carb-based to meat/fat based. Some experience constipation and the same thing increase salt intake along with magnesium lastly an epsom salt bath. It will work wonders.
- MUSCLE CRAMPING: If you cramp at all and are starting a keto diet pay close attention to your salt intake. As this will heavily affect you especially if you are working out doing cardio sessions specifically. I have always had problems with cramping and sports had to take salt tablets even. So I upped both my salt intake along with magnesium. Also a trick I learned is Electrolyte drops which are keto-friendly and can be found right on Amazon.
How Much Salt Do I Need On Keto?
In order to ensure you are getting enough sodium, aim to consume at least 3000-4000 mg per day. This can be a little tricky because it's not as easy as just adding salt to your food. Try incorporating salty foods into every meal or snack and using mineral salts like Himalayan pink salt in recipes. You can also drink bone broth or add bouillon cubes to your meals. If you are still struggling to hit the recommended daily amount, consider taking a sodium supplement.
As a result, our salt levels are frequently reduced. This can have unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, with the few easy techniques I'm going to show you below, we may easily avoid these negative effects.
Other Ways To Get Sodium On Keto
In addition to salt, there are other ways to get the sodium your body needs on keto. One of the best sources is bone broth which is high in both sodium and electrolytes. You can also try adding bouillon cubes to your meals or drinking broth throughout the day. Another great way to get sodium is by using mineral salts like Himalayan pink salt in your recipes. This type of salt has a high concentration of minerals that are essential for health, including sodium.
By following these tips, you can make sure you are getting enough sodium on keto and maintaining electrolyte balance. This is essential for keeping your body functioning optimally while following this way of eating.
Best Kinds Of Salt For Keto Dieters
- Sea Salt – Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater and is a great unrefined option for those on a keto diet. It contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium in addition to sodium.
- Himalayan Pink Salt – Himalayan pink salt is another good choice for keto dieters. This type of salt comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan and is high in minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Celtic Salt – Celtic salt is a type of unrefined salt that is harvested from the ocean. It contains high levels of minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
- Kosher Salt – Kosher salt is a type of coarse-grained salt that is popular in the United States. It is a good choice for keto dieters because it contains high levels of sodium and few other additives.
- Table Salt – Table salt is the most common type of salt in the United States. It is refined and typically contains anti-caking agents like alumina and magnesium carbonate. While it does contain sodium, it also contains other additives that make it a poor choice for keto dieters.
- Black Salt – Black salt, also known as kala namak, is a type of rock salt that is popular in India. It has a unique sulfuric flavor and is high in sodium.
- Rock Salt – Rock salt is a type of unrefined salt that comes from the earth. It is a good source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
In general, unrefined salts are the best option for those on a keto diet. They contain more minerals than refined salts and are less processed. However, any type of salt will provide some sodium and electrolytes. If you are struggling to get enough sodium in your diet, try using one of the salts listed above. By following these tips, you can make sure your body has everything it needs to function optimally on keto.
Salt Opinions From Actual Keto Dieters
- Amanda “anything but table salt” – Table salt is a manufactured form of salt. Comprised mostly of sodium chloride, it’s similar to natural sea salt but is created by taking natural salt and cooking it at 1200℉, which strips it of all the important minerals. There are many different additives found in table salts, such as synthetic chemicals like iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, and anti-caking agents, as well as toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminum.
- Maria “Redmond” – Redmonds is what I use
- Jenna “Redmond” – Redmond Real Salt
- Lisa “Pink Himalayan Salt” – Pink Himalayan salt is what I use.
- Jeremy “Real Salts” – The doc who wrote “The Salt Fix” recommends Redmond Real Salt. He claims the Himalayan salts have higher levels of heavy metals, and anything that's evaporated from today's oceans will contain microplastics thanks to us humans.
- Spring “Natural Salt” – They also bleach table salt. Any natural form is awesome as it will contain 78-86 trace minerals.
- Victoria “Kosher & Sea Salt” – I use kosher salt for my food and sea salt for making sole water. If your not eating foods with some iodine you’ll want to use at least some iodized salt though. Your thioridazine does still need it.
- Joe “Natural Sea Salt” – I always use completely natural sea salt and Himalayan pink salt
- Jackie “Sea Salt” – I use Irish sea salt, Persian blue Salt and Himalayan… As well as fleur de sel… Oh… And I use Hawaiian black Salt to… Uhm… Guess I like to have a variety of salt
- Jeremy “Real salts” – Only real salts. Carnivore keeps you in ketosis just like keto does, so the sodium requirements will be the same. No insulin in the system = no signal for the kidneys to retain sodium, so it's excreted freely, which is why consumption has to be increased. This said, each person responds differently. If you feel better with less sodium and you prefer the taste of your proteins without it, that's fine. If you start to notice any of the old keto fog/flu symptoms, it probably means you need more sodium.
We looked through over 230 opinions. Of those, 38% recommended Redmonds Real Salt the top spot by far. The rest were just any real salt (generic brand) and natural sea salts various brands. You can order off online higher quality salts along with other Keto vitals HERE.
Salt is an essential component to the ketogenic diet. Without it, you may encounter problems with electrolyte balance and experience symptoms like fatigue, headache, nausea or muscle cramps. If you are struggling on your current sodium intake for whatever reason, try using one of these types of salt: Redmond Real Salt (unrefined), Pink Himalayan Salt (unrefined) or Kosher & Sea Salt (refined). The type of salt should not be a concern as all three will provide some level of benefits. Experiment with different salts until you find what works best for your needs!