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.