It’s quite common to hear about electrolytes and adding salt to your keto or lowcarb diet. How can it be that this is recommended a lot but when you’re following the normalized “western-diet” or the diet recommended by the authoroties salt is seen as an enemy?
It all starts with your blood pressure, this is the measurement of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. When you follow a western diet with carbs your insulin levels are on the higher spectrum than a low-carb diet. When your insulin level is high, your kidneys retain sodium rather than excreting it in urine. Now your blood pressure will increase as your body retains water to keep the sodium concentration in your circulation constant.
When the authorities speak about high blood pressure they usually talking about this mechanim, but blaming it on consuming too much salt or getting too little excercise. This problem could be avoided by lowering your insulin levels and so your insulin resistance, making sure your kidneys don’t hold onto the excess sodium levels. Typically blood pressure drops when following a low-carb or even keto diet.
Looking back at the western diet, lots of foods contain a high level of sodium (like bread and pasta), whilest you don’t eat these on a lowcarb diet. Does this mean you aren’t getting enough salt? Experst do advise to keto dieters to consume 2000-4000 mg of salt each day. For a western diet this is around 2300 mg. Research made clear the the role of blood sugar in the management of high blood pressure. These studies revealed that a lower glycemic diet (one that keeps blood sugar low like keto or low-carb) is linked with lower levels of blood pressure. This is no suprise considering that blood sugar stimulates insulin, insulin stimulates your kidnes to reabsorb sodium and more sodium leads to higher blood pressure.
There are multiple dangerous consequences when having a high blood pressure:
– Cardiovascular disease
– Heart failure
– Heart attack
– Chronic kidney disease
So in short, be sure to get in enough salt whilest following a low-carb or ketogenic diet and don’t get swiped away by people or the media telling you to lessen your salt intake.
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