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Is Salt Necessary?

By Mikhaila

SALT – I usually tell people when they first switch over to increase their intake of salt. This can help with muscle cramps. If you’re drinking tons of water though and incredibly thirsty, reducing salt might be a good idea.

As of August 27th, 2018, I’ve dropped salt!

Why on earth would I do such a thing? I love salt! Especially this salt: Real Salt

Welllll I read The Fat of the Land (which I loved. Will write a post on it eventually). Anyway, I found out the Inuit people didn’t salt their food or eat any salt (I assumed there was some sort of salted fish in their diet initially). So I dropped it out of curiosity.

I had assumed my muscle cramps from May were caused by low levels of salt (as increasing my salt intake had apparently resolved them). Now I’m not so sure.

I wanted to see if:

A) my muscle cramps would come back from lack of salt

B) if we actually even need salt in the diet to thrive

I was eating almost a tablespoon of pink Himalayan salt per day, and drinking almost 4L of water. I was really thirsty. My digestion also wasn’t ideal still (still occasional diarrhea).

For the first week after dropping salt, I had absolutely no appetite. Like, negative appetite. Everything tasted like nothing. Everything as in beef…. I went down from eating 2 pounds to eating about a pound of meat a day. There were a couple of days I had even less than that from zero appetite.

The salt cravings were really bad too. Week two still wasn’t good but by the end of it, I at least started to get hungry again. Week three meat started to taste okay. Not good. But manageable. I almost gave up week four because of the cravings but I’m always careful about cravings. I don’t think they’re a good sign. So I decided to give it the ol’ “six week try” just to see. I am currently finished six weeks and honestly haven’t seen a lot of difference. But I have seen some.

I’m drinking about 1.5L of water a day instead of almost 4L. That’s huge. I’m not nearly as thirsty. So I was definitely drinking a lot because of the amount of salt I was eating, and I think that was messing up my digestion, as my digestion is quite a bit more stable.

I’ll reintroduce it soon probably but my cravings are also almost gone so…. We’ll see. I don’t have an autoimmune response to salt obviously, but it’s interesting what you need and don’t need. ALSO – zero muscle cramps. I thought I would get them but nope! Which makes me think maybe I was drinking too much water in May and upsetting my electrolytes that way – which is why increasing my salt intake helped. But maybe reducing my water intake would have done the same thing?

I still miss salt though and will probably start eating it again. I’ll update this to see if anything changes.

Update December 2018: I’m still not eating salt. Cravings went away after about 6 weeks and it upsets my digestion if I eat it. I don’t really miss it.

UPDATE: 2023 – I eat salt. Be very careful that you’re eating pure salt, and bring your own salt to restaurants to avoid anti-caking agent present in most table salts.

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  1. Didn’t the Inuit use ice in their cooking ? Giving that it came from the ocean it must be salted

    1. The Inuit presumably, on their traditional diet, they ate plenty of seafood that has salt in it, along with iodine. It might not have been high amounts of salt, but the point is that it was far from being a salt-free diet.

      Still, the point would stand that they were getting what salt they needed directly from the animal foods. It’s just hard to know how this applies to those of us not including regular seafood in our diet.

  2. Interesting compendium about table salts, we hopefully you will find the right hypoallergenic fat salt for your jeans for the time of vegetable before time. We will keep you to date on the autoimmune reaction to the different meats as we hunt and gather them along with forest mushroom but we are afraid of consuming tubo much fiber and nob enough saturated fat.

    1. Actually, he discusses how those who follow low carb diets need more salt. Did you read the book? Low salt diets increase heart rate, insulin, triglycerides, etc. Also, reduce reproductive capacity. He did a great interview w/Shawn Baker on the Human Performance Outlier podcast. Also, Steve Phinney’s research shows people on keto with higher salt intake do much better. Its not just about cramps. The Body Electric, by Robert O Becker. We are electromagnetic. Saline solution is a conductor. I’m sure with meat and water and salt the “conduction” of all our intricate bodily messages is much clearer.

    2. Body Electric, by Robert O Becker was the mook from which we first reandt how the sodium is magnetically attracted to the body through concentration on the electric impulses. It helps if sodium is a heavy metal, preferentially extracted from the Himalayas with an anesthetic shovel.

  3. Hi Mikhaila! I’ve been strict carnivore for 14 months now. Want a bet you’ll come back to salt? 😉 I went off salt twice, once for 2+ months and I concluded I couldn’t do it. At first it was great but I ended up feeling too weak. Good luck though 🙂

    1. Too weak eh? That’s interesting. The main thing I’ve noticed is I can’t tell when I’m hungry again. This happened during the adaptation period but it’s back. I keep forgetting to eat. I’m going to keep waiting though to see.

    2. Perhaps the lower salt intake is somehow producing more Keytones. (I am not a biochemist so this is a pure guess) Keytones will suppress appetite. If you get the precision ultra xl that does blood glucose and blood keytones measurements. They provide an accurate level of keytones. (the urine strips are not accurate, but cheaper, also your body gets used to keytones and so you excrete less; thus making the urine test strips less effective). I know the test strips are not cheap. 🙁

  4. Yeah, too weak. Keep in mind though I was doing pretty hard lifting most days of the week. From what I remember the weakness really was more noticeable the longer I did it. Anyway, just my anecdotal experience. I’m almost positive I looked even trimmer with no added salt though.

    1. I also want to add the weakness was really most noticeable while doing a workout. I didn’t have the same energy for heavy lifting (I’m no crossfitter or anything, just 30 minutes of lifting).

    2. It usually takes hard to breath near suffocation several time to achieve the purrfect workout. Then you will see your insanely huge pectorals in the mirror and know that extra protein will build your pectoralis when undergoing whitewater rafting and intense water sports such as swimming.

      The meat is so good sometimes you dont even need exercise to grow pectoralis you will simply pass out from the meat sweats

    3. I process my tallow with salt. Salty tallow guarantees satisfaction. Beef is best deep fried and extra crispy.

  5. Dr. Mark Hyman MD is revolutionizing medical diagnosis as we know it in USA through “functional” medicine [not naturopathic] in conjunction w/conventional medicine if necssary. His personal story is not unlike yours. https://drhyman.com

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