Salt can often make our hair pretty and skin soft (hello sea-salt scrubs), but did you know it’s actually good to consume extra sodium on a keto diet? Yes, you heard us right! We’ve been told too much salt is unhealthy, and while this is true when eating a ton of processed foods, salt is extremely important for those that live a whole ingredient, healthy, low-carb lifestyle.
Some keto beginners experience symptoms of the “keto flu,” which is caused by lack of electrolytes. Symptoms can include, fatigue, headache, brain fog, irritability, and more. When you start consuming less carbohydrates your body is producing less insulin and glycogen. You’re also flushing more water and sodium out of your system, (hence the multiple bathroom trips when you begin), therefore depleting your body of the sodium it needs. As you're quickly dropping the water weight and bloat (woo-hoo!), it’s important to remember that you are also flushing out essential minerals, aka electrolytes, in the process as well. Electrolytes help with our digestion, heart-rate, brain activity, blood pressure, and more. Bottom line, they’re crucial for proper functioning.
Sodium is the number one electrolyte to monitor while on a keto diet. When your body excretes water after restricting carbs, it’s also excreting sodium. Sodium is an essential mineral that regulates water retention and balances water in our cells. As mentioned above, the lousiness, drowsiness, and overall crappy “flu” you’re feeling at the beginning of a keto diet, is likely caused by lack of sodium and electrolytes. Most of the sodium found in our bodies is in our bloodstreams, so when there are low levels, we don’t have many reserves to grab from.
Other electrolytes to focus on replenishing are potassium, calcium, and magnesium (hint hint, all of these can be found in salt)!
In a world with so many different salt options, it can be challenging to know which type to load your diet with. Pink Himalayan Salt (aka pink salt), is chalk-full of minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium - the same ones that are often depleted on a keto diet. It’s also less processed than other types such as kosher salt and table salt. Sea salt, which contains a much saltier taste than table salt, also contains minerals such as zinc and iron, making it a diet staple for keto beginners.
Luckily, lack of salt is an easy fix with no magic pills, potions, or concoctions needed! All you have to do is simply add more salt to your meals! While a processed treat is ok every now and then, it’s important to be adding salt to whole foods such as free-range meats, fresh fish, salted nuts, bone-broth, and more.
On top of extra salt consumption, make sure you’re constantly hydrating and eating leafy greens to replenish potassium and magnesium.
Besides adding salt and eating mineral-rich foods to your diet, you can recharge electrolytes with keto-friendly supplements such as sugar-free sports drinks, hydration packs, and Magnesium pills. Make sure you’re avoiding sugary drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade - while they may taste good, they’re loaded with sugar and counter-productive for anyone following a ketogenic diet.
At Mammoth Creameries, it’s a compliment to be called salty! We make sure our pints are packed with a healthy amount of pink himalayan sea salt, which is less processed than other types of salt and loaded with minerals. Don’t worry - while our ice cream features a healthy balance of salt, there’s no salty taste. Sweet-toothers, we got you!