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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 08:16
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Posts: 45,263
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default Get your salt!

So, reading the Phinney/Volck book last night they talked about how utterly important it is to get 5g of sodium a day on a low carb, ketogenic diet. All those flu-like symptoms are because your body is excreting sodium like crazy, then it has to TEAR down muscle in order to balance things out with potassium.

It sounds like it might be the reason behind the constipation too. Kind of makes sense. You're probably losing water from your bowels as well as everywhere else.

The bummer is that if you do a LC diet right and get ample sodium to replace what you lose, you won't have that amazing loss the first two weeks because... yes, it is a great deal of water.

Quote:
Have you found any downfalls or negative aspects to low carb dieting?
Not if you do it right. By right I mean following a well-formulated low carbohydrate diet. Individuals on
low carb diets often do not have enough sodium in their diets. Keto adapted kidneys excrete more
sodium. In an effort to retain sodium, the body will then excrete potassium which can affect muscle protein balance negatively. This disturbed mineral management can also affect magnesium balance.
Suboptimal magnesium levels in cells are linked with muscle twitches and cramps. Thus if one is not
careful in ensuring adequate sodium intake this can cause problems in mineral balance in the body.
It is critical to have a properly formulated strategy for low carb dieting, especially long term. Depending
on individual goals, factors that need to be emphasized are moderate levels of protein, additional
sodium, and emphasis on the right types of fat for fuel (monounsaturates and saturates).

Pardon the yucky formatting, it came from a PDF. The book has a longer description.

Another site with this info:
Quote:
Myth #9: Low carb diets cause muscle wasting.

Not true. In fact, low carb diets are better at preserving and even increasing lean muscle mass. In this study published in 1984, a team of scientists from MIT and Harvard studied two groups of overweight women. They put one group on a low carb diet, and the other group on a high carb diet. Each diet allowed 700 calories per day. Even with a severe caloric deficit, the greater percentage of protein consumed on the low carb diet and the effects of ketosis resulted in a greater retention of muscle mass for the subjects on the low carb diet. In other words, the subjects on the high carb diet loss more muscle mass because the carbs they were eating displaced some of the protein that would have helped them retain muscle mass.

This phenomenon of how dietary protein helps the body retain muscle mass has been shown many times over in various studies on very low calorie diets which include adequate protein and muscle building substrates such as sodium and potassium. See this study, this study, and this study.

This general "muscle wasting" assertion often comes from trainers and dietitians who really have not studied the science on muscle preservation. They will tell you that the brain requires at least 100 grams of carb per day and if you don't get those carbs in the diet, your body will break down your muscles to get it. This is true when one's diet is high carb, and no ketone bodies are available as an alternative source of brain fuel.

But for a person who is adapted to a low carb, ketogenic diet, ketosis provides fuel in the form of ketone bodies for the brain, and the requirement for glucose drops to only about 40 grams per day. The body can easily make this amount from dietary protein and glycerol from the break down of fatty acids.

http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource....rb-dieting.html

Here's another good reference: http://jonnybowdenblog.com/salt-and-the-low-carb-diet/
Quote:
Ignore this lesson and you are likely to suffer the completely avoidable problems of headache, fatigue, weakness and constipation—maladies that any Inuit healer would have promptly resolved by giving you a bowl of blood soup, or meat broth made with sea ice of the proper age.

Last edited by doreen T : Sat, Jan-26-13 at 09:53. Reason: fixed typo ;)
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 09:36
Starlight! Starlight! is offline
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Posts: 47
 
Plan: Atkins, Leptin Diet
Stats: 160/118/108 Female 63 inches
BF:
Progress: 81%
Default

At one point in my low carb journey, when I had lost a fair amount of weight, there came a day when there were potato chips just sitting there at my place. I couldn't stop thinking about them. It was a very powerful craving. At this point I had declined carby foods many times, but I really wanted these potato chips. I gave in and ate some, because I would have been consumed by thoughts of them for hours if I hadn't.

Recently the dots connected for me. My low carb diet was too low in salt. My cravings for potato chips back then were from my body trying to balance itself.
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 10:07
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
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Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

I have extreme cravings for salty, crunchy, starchy stuff too. I wonder if it has been the salt all along?

Well, I'm going to make sure I drink half a box of full-salt broth every day.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 11:05
LaZigeuner's Avatar
LaZigeuner LaZigeuner is offline
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Plan: ZULCA!
Stats: 353/279.2/175 Female 64 in.
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Default

The last 3 days I've made an effort to track my salt/sodium in MyPlan and to take salt, to get up to ~5 g/d.

After 2 years of low carbing, the last year on Atkins Induction/OWL phase 1, it's amazing how much BETTER I feel with that much salt!

You should hear my heart sing with joy that I can eat salty fatty foods now, without guilt! just keep the carbs at my CCLL and comprised of the foods I tolerate

Another added bonus for me is that the puffiness around my ankles, wrists, and the bases of my fingers is greatly reduced. I assume that's because more blood sodium keeps water in the circulatory system and prevents it from leaking into the interstitial fluid.

I feel like I'm at the point where if a statement is conventional wisdom, the healthier option is to do the exact opposite!
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 11:14
Labhrain's Avatar
Labhrain Labhrain is offline
Real food!
Posts: 3,115
 
Plan: Lower Carb/IF
Stats: 238/155/140 Female 67 inches
BF:
Progress: 85%
Location: NorCal
Default

When I first started low carb, I was switching over from the DASH diet to lower bp. That meant that I was limiting sodium to only 1500 mg daily. That's quite low. I continued this restriction for a while after switching to low carb (at the time, Atkins induction.) After learning more about sodium, I decided to stop restriction. My bp did not rise, and I felt a lot better. Incidentally, the DASH diet did not lower my bp. However, low carb did.

These days, if chips look good to me, I know that a nice bowl of my favorite crunchy vegetable (cauliflower) mixed with some coconut oil, and then salted, will take care of that. Tastes absolutely fantastic to me and gets rid of the salt and crunch craving.
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 11:55
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Posts: 45,263
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

I'm looking at my salt intake on days I've recorded pretty well. It's WAY low, even having a little cheese and such. Of course, I don't record added salt, but I don't add a lot of salt.

I wonder if this could explain some of my issues. Well, I'll make a concerted effort to raise my salt intake to 5g.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 12:03
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is offline
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Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
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Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

The need for NaCl was the main new take-away point that I got from The New Atkins for A New You (by Westman, Phinney & Volek) compared to all of Atkins' books. I actually measured 1/2 tsp into a little vial to make sure I added what I needed per day after first reading the book. Fauxtatoes with plenty of butter & extra salt - yum!

Protein Power made me make sure to get KCl, which helped me feel better, but getting enough NaCl too makes me feel great, especially since I eat on the paleo end of the spectrum with no salty processed foods.

I had borderline high BP for half my life but severely restricting NaCl never helped lower my BP at all. LC is the only WOE that returned it to normal, even while eating 5g of salt!

Last edited by deirdra : Wed, Aug-22-12 at 12:23.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 12:18
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
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Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

So, 2 tsp of salt is almost 5g.

I wouldn't assume anyone is getting that much salt unless they're logging their food. Even cheese doesn't have that much. Cream cheese has 83mg per oz.

Feta has a respectable amount: 312mg per ounce.
Cheddar: 172mg

So, it'd take 69 oz of cheddar cheese to make up 5g of salt.

Don't assume you're getting enough salt.

I'm going to get some packets of miso soup and use them at work. At home I'll supplement with salty broth.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 13:30
Labhrain's Avatar
Labhrain Labhrain is offline
Real food!
Posts: 3,115
 
Plan: Lower Carb/IF
Stats: 238/155/140 Female 67 inches
BF:
Progress: 85%
Location: NorCal
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy LC
So, 2 tsp of salt is almost 5g.

I wouldn't assume anyone is getting that much salt unless they're logging their food.


Although I'm not measuring out my salt, I wouldn't doubt that I get this much these days. I liberally salt my food, especially my vegetables. I utilize my salt shaker numerous times during a meal, as I uncover the various layers of my pile of veggies. I would definitely not be surprised to find that all my shaking adds up to this. When I was eating a junk food diet, I never salted anything. Heck, I imagine that 1.) the processed foods on which I was living already had plenty of salt and 2.) the fact that I was eating well over 400 carbs per day meant I wasn't excreting a lot of sodium, so I just didn't need to add any salt to my diet. I had no real taste for added salt. Now, I sure do.
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 14:55
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Posts: 45,263
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

Yeah, you definitely don't have an issue when you're eating high carb. There was a term they use for when the kidneys excrete sodium that only happens on LC.

I do usually salt my food but not quite as much as you do. Lots of time the salt in butter is almost enough for my tastes.

Last edited by Nancy LC : Wed, Aug-22-12 at 15:01.
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 15:34
keith v's Avatar
keith v keith v is offline
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Plan: Wheat belly
Stats: 235/220/200 Male 6 feet 2 inches
BF:
Progress: 43%
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA Earth
Default

I used to get horrible week long headaches before I went low carb.
The fix was to drink lots of V8, like a 64 oz can in 2 days
so 2 cups twice a day!

Vegetable juice has tons of sodium and most importantly potassium.
Now that I'm low carbing, I drink much less, just a glass for dinner.

But if you think you need salt you probably also need posassium and Magnesium, V8 is the only way to get a significant amount potassium

too bad it has 10 carbs and like 8g of sugar
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 15:48
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Posts: 45,263
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

They explain how if you lose your salt you'll also lose magnesium and potassium, and your body will tear down muscle to equalize things, in their book. Good reading!
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  #13   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 18:42
Whofan's Avatar
Whofan Whofan is offline
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Posts: 2,550
 
Plan: Low Carb Primal
Stats: 170/135/135 Female 5ft.6in.
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: New York Metro area
Default

Leg cramps at night are my problem. The kind that bring you to your knees in agony by the side of the bed. I've tried everything people recommended including potassium and magnesium but only increasing my salt intake has led to any significant improvement. Funnily enough, while reading this thread I got the first twinges that announce a bad cramp is coming soon. That reminded me that I havn't salted any of my food today and, of course, none of it was processed and ready-salted. So I just went to the kitchen and measured out one teaspoon of salt into a bowl. That's a LOT of salt! Yikes! And only half of the suggested 5g. Anyway, it's by the side of the bed now with a glass of water. I'm licking my finger and dipping it in the salt to see how much I can eat before the cramp gets me. I'll let you know if it staves off the attack.
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 21:23
mike_d's Avatar
mike_d mike_d is offline
Grease is the word!
Posts: 8,294
 
Plan: PSMF/IF
Stats: 236/181/180 Male 72 inches
BF:disappearing!
Progress: 98%
Location: Alamo city, Texas
Default

Got a bit dehydrated yesterday afternoon (beer drinking) so this afternoon I started getting hand cramps so bad all of a sudden I couldn't do anything. I whipped up my "electrolyte mix" water, Morton's Salt Substitute and magnesium oil MgCl -- I was better in 20 minutes. No more cramping even when working outside in the heat and high humidity!
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Aug-22-12, 22:32
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is offline
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Posts: 3,841
 
Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

I went to the store today to get some Club Soda (to clean a red wine carpet stain) and guess what - the only brands available were low-sodium. They've taken the soda (sodium) out of club soda and replaced it with potassium bicarbonate & potassium citrate. Its like the beverage equivalent of fat-free greek yogurt; what is this world coming to?

I guess I'll have to find some old-fashioned washing soda that is not designed for human consumption to get the magical pet-friendly stain-removing power I was looking for.

This really bums me out because I also like to use club soda to make Mg-rich "Waller Water" but the reaction doesn't work properly with this low-sodium Club Potash - it leaves a lot of undissolved crystals, whereas the chemical reaction leaves no residue when real Club Soda is used.
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