Please Pass the Salt!
If you’ve had any exposure to the Ketogenic diet at all you have probably heard or read something about salt. I remember when I first heard a keto expert talking about salt, I had to do a play back of the recording… WAIT! WHAT?!?! You want me to eat MORE salt?
Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ bout! Pass the salt please…
I have always been a lover of salt, concerning my parents and others seated with me a restaurant dining tables with the amount of salt I consume – especially on steak. So when I heard people stating that you should salt your food “to taste” or “generously” my ears perked up. But I also had to stop and really pay attention to the reason why they suggested this. This idea of adding salt to your diet and seeming consuming more salt is completely counter to what we’ve been told for years. Think about all of the products on grocery store shelves that say “No Salt Added”.
For so many years we’ve been told to limit our salt, that salt is bad for us (basically). There is now good research that the recommended level of salt intake that we’ve been told is healthiest my not actually be what’s best for us at all.
There are several reasons why more sodium intake is encouraged on a Ketogenic diet.
- Carbohydrate heavy foods are usually fortified and already quite high in sodium.
- Most other processed food also has plenty of sodium in it. This includes processed meat, canned food, etc.
- Ketogenic diets are anti-inflammatory in nature so your body isn’t holding on to fluid as much anymore. This means that it won’t retain salt like it did when you were on the Standard American Diet (SAD).
- Ketogenic foods typically don’t come with sodium so you’ll need to add salt to your food.
- I won’t get into the science of it here, but our cells need sodium for lots of important functions, we can’t survive without it. If the details interest you, this link will give you the low down on the importance of sodium in our body.
Also important is the quality of the salt that you use. I’ve been enjoying the pink Himalayan “REAL Salt” brand. It’s quite tasty and I know that, since it’s mined from ancient sea beds, it doesn’t contain any microplastics. Now you’re probably wondering “what the heck is a microplastic and why do I care?”
Since our oceans have become so polluted with, well… everything, but especially plastics, even Sea Salt which was once thought to be such high quality, has been found to contain microplastics. So what is the affect of microplastics on your overall health, well we don’t really know. There haven’t been enough studies to determine the affect of them. But we DO know that they have a negative affect on marine life — decreased fertility, a decrease in the ability to withstand expose to other harmful substances, etc.
I hope those of you on the Keto diet are as happy to hear “salt your food to taste” as I was! No need to feel guilty for your salt habit any longer.