Primarily Paleo

A path to wellbeing

Primarily Paleo: Please pass me the salt.

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Salt gets a bad rap. Western medicine commonly recommends people limit their salt intake to control blood pressure and other diseases caused by too many processed foods. Even strict Paleo diets have frowned upon the use of salt. When sodium intakes are too low headache, fatigue, lethargy and constipation occur.

Research shows that our need to dietary sodium is related to the level of carbohydrate consumed. Those eating a higher carbohydrate diet tend to retain more salt. Once switching over to a lower carbohydrate diet, the kidneys become more efficient in eliminating sodium. This is often when people reduce abdominal bloating and extra “water weight”. Having our kidneys effectively clear excess sodium and fluids is a good thing, however it needs to be balanced by adequate dietary sodium intake.

For those experiencing weakness or fatigue on a lower carbohydrate diet; especially when performing high endurance or intensity physical activity, I recommend adding a pinch or two of unrefined (gray, pink, or otherwise not white) sea salt to a liter of water. The water should taste like minerals not salt. This water can be then used throughout the day or while exercising. I find this approach works well for those who don’t particularly enjoy a lot of salt on their food and it also helps the body stay better hydrated by having electrolytes in the water.

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