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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.

Join the Conversation


  1. In going LCHF (not suggesting you switch your diet) initially they said eat some more salt. (like 1 or 2 bullion cubes per day in hot water. ) After a couple of weeks I found this unnecessary. Part of it might be lowering of glycogen. For every gram of glycogen your body holds onto 4 grams of water. As you lower the amount of glycogen stores you lose water weight. They did recommend taking Magnesium for cramps. (see Phinney and Volk low carb for endurance athletes. ) Perhaps you need some magnesium if you are getting cramps. (especially leg cramps) I am guessing the Inuit get salt from the meat they eat since it was from the ocean.

    Best wishes on your journey

    1. The Magnesium fumarate is pretty good for this, we will go as far to say it is the only magnesium worth its salt for the application to meats for the purpose of building up pectoralis major from watersports such as swimming and baseboard. Baseboard can be incredibly intense, more so than the shovel of anesthesia. If you were a bird you probably don’t need Red bull.

    2. But is caribou interchangeable with other meat, maybe a small goat would work too? I thought beef was your primary staple? It would be awfully hard to tend to a caribou

  2. A note here on diarrhea. Among early mountain men/explorers, there was the phenomenon known as “rabbit starvation.” When food was scarce they could often still find rabbits to eat. The leanness of the meat would, in time, cause diarrhea and would lead to death if no fiber was added to their diet. The fact that many are including fat in the carnivore diet may counteract this. This is all anecdotal so no actual data, but something to think about. Rabbit meat, especially wild rabbits, are extremely lean with virtually no fat integrated in the meat. I have wondered if this is the reason that fat is so necessary in the carnivore diet??

    1. It was lack of fat in the diet that caused rabbit starvation. Your body needs fat. Quite a few of your hormones need fat to be made. You don’t need carbs. You do need protein. (your body will turn protein into carbs as needed)

  3. This is not about salt, but just wanted to mention that I am reading the book ‘The Fasting Cure’ by Upton Sinclair. I’m just now getting to the part about him trying a diet of broiled beef and hot water, and how he had previously been a vegetarian and in poor health, and that he was astonished that the beef and water made him able to do more work and work harder than ever before. Pretty interesting book so far. It was written in 1911, but is reprinted on Amazon.

  4. Hey Mikhaila, just wondering what brand of tallow are you are using? Ive been doing the diet for mental health reasons and although there have been some glimmers of hope its been rough. Especially ever since i had a run in with some cross contamination. I’ve been breaking out for 3 weeks now and at this point im wondering if its the tallow im using because i cant seem to progress in either the skin or mental department. Im deathly paranoid of ingesting the wrong thing and the anxiety doesnt help it what so ever any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Are you just doing beef and water? Make ribs at 400 Fahrenheit for about an hour, a but more if they’re thick. Wait until the meat can be pulled or the bone. They leak tallow onto the tray and I pour that into a bowl and keep it in the fridge. Give yourself some more time! Even the reactions I’ve had on this diet have been minor because I’m consuming so little of the offending food. Just keep at it!

  5. Watch the New HPO podcast of Shawn Baker with Dr. James DiNicolantonio. He explains our ancestors got their sodium from fresh flesh that had some blood and blood contains lots of sodium. These days butchers drain the blood from flesh, so we don’t get the sodium we need. Also, humans found natural sodium sources in nature as well. I think craving something is not a bad sign. For example if you cut meat you’ll definitely crave it, but meat is not bad. I like that you experiment with things and share the process with us. That’s amazing.

    1. USe the WHOLE cattle. It would be so much simpler to fry the entire cow in Tallow at the slaughterhouse where it came from and then shipped directly to your doorstep. Fried beef preserved in salty Tallow.

  6. many years ago when I worked out hard and had minimal body fat I eliminated sugar and salt from my diet.I also drank lots of water.At times I would become very weak and sometimes feel like I was going to pass out.So salt is necessary for proper function.Its your body you can tell what works

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