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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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75 Comments

  1. Salt (any kind) causes water retention. Now I am using potassium chloride (NoSalt brand) and I no longer get the water retention. Maybe I should just drop all salts (including potassium chloride). Nice article.

    1. Water retention is perfectly normal. It is healthy for the Yummy golden meat spout to be full of the precious bodily fluid.

  2. I cut out himalayan salt/Real Salt about five months ago trying to solve my heart palpitations. It worked and my palpitations went away but I also found it difficult due to salt cravings because salt is delicious. But I’ve managed to stay away from it. I failed the first time I tried removing it from my diet because I cut it out cold turkey and got horrible cramps. I actually introduced raw, unpasteurized milk which has a decent amount of sodium in order to make the process easier and after cutting out salt cold turkey with raw milk in my diet I didn’t get any cramps. But I discovered I never felt as good with raw milk which also constipated me and so I removed it and went down to only beef and water with no salt. Now that its been five months I’m going to try reintroducing it soon and see how it goes and if my palpitations come back. I know the Anderssen family that’s been eating carnivore for 20 years and whose kids are also carnivore don’t eat any salt. It seems logical to avoid something that is unnecessary but I still want to try eating it again. I’ve read that the body becomes very efficient at processing the naturally occurring sodium in meat once you get rid of the added salt. Mikhaila, since you’ve already made it through the most difficult part I think you should continue not eating salt for a few more months and then reintroduce it. 6 weeks isn’t enough time IMO

  3. Coincidentally, I just came across this National Geographic article on the presence of microplastics in salt.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/microplastics-found-90-percent-table-salt-sea-salt/

    I don’t know if you saw my comment on one of your archive posts, but I wonder if you’d thought about trying a low-histamine diet prior to going all-meat, as some of the foods you describe trying to eat up to the very end would have been eliminated (vinegar, greens). Just a thought. Sounds like 100% beef is working for you.

  4. I’d also like to say after 5 months of no salt my cravings are 100% gone. But it took like three months at least. Meat is quite tasty without any salt once you get used to no salt cravings, it just sucks at first

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