Salt requirements on a Low Carb diet

Insufficient sodium intake on a ketogenic diet can lead to something called the ‘keto flu’. This occurs for two reasons:

  • Healthy non-processed foods contain far less sodium
  • Sodium losses in the urine are increased (lowering of insulin levels leads to increased sodium within the urine)

Reduced sodium levels reduce the impair the ability of the body to hold onto fluid. This leads to issues associated with reduced blood volume in the circulation.

  • Dizziness (especially when standing up quickly)
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst (drinking will result in increased urination due to impaired capacity of the body to retain fluid)

Symptoms of sodium deficiency on a low carbohydrate diet can be prevented with adequate intake. A study of more than 100,000 people found the lowest rate of death occurred with sodium intakes between 3 – 6g a day. To calculate the amount of sodium contained in table salt, divide the amount of table salt by 2.5. For example, 10 grams of table salt contains 4 grams of sodium.

 Thus 3-6g of sodium is equivalent to 7.5 – 15g of table salt. A typical flat teaspoon of salt is 5-6 grams.