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Why Is It Important to Increase Salt When Doing Keto?

Salt is a controversial topic in the health world. Yet, all agree that people need salt. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that healthy adults consume less than 5g of salt per day (1). The US Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) recommends having a maximum of 2,300 mg of sodium per day (2).

However, people on keto or low-carb diet needs to consume more, here is why.  

Keto People Lose a Lot of Water

Keto or low-carb diet is all about changing the body fuel source from glycogen (sugar) to ketones (fat). In this transition to ketones, the body loses water because there is no glycogen.

 A study shows that each 1 gram of glycogen we lose, the body dumps 3 grams of water along with it (3). This explains the rapid weight loss that takes place in the first 3 - 10 days of starting keto or low-carb diet.  It is mainly water.

With this water loss the body loses a lot of electrolytes. The need for salt, then, goes up. People who are consuming carbs have to keep their salt in check because they are retaining fluids, unlike people on keto, who are on low carbs and should increase their salt intake to make up for the amount lost from dumping water. 

Salt Deficiency Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of salt deficiency are: 

Weakness & Fatigue 

Low Blood Pressure

Leg Cramps 


If you are facing any of these symptoms on a keto diet try increasing your salt intake, there is a high possibility that salt is the reason behind them. 

How Much Salt Should I Have?

Keto and low-carb people should aim for 1.5 - 2 tea spoon of salt daily from high quality salt. Pink Himalayan salt and sea salt are excellent sources as they contain magnesium & potassium. 

DISCLAIMER: This document is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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