Is This Diet Giving You Salt Cravings

salt cravings

When it comes to nutrition, there are just some foods that give out more of their goodness in their raw state, and it’s important to include plenty in our diet.

But unfortunately we are only human, and we have a tendency to take these things to the extreme and end up creating other problems for ourselves, like salt cravings.

 

 

This is the typical scenario …

Start raw food diet / juice fast. 

Five days later,

End diet in a hail of potato chips, cheese and crackers and other salt cravings.

Enter - “I’m such a failure”, “I can’t stick to anything” and “what’s the point”.

It’s pretty frustrating right?

It doesn’t have to be.

Let’s go ahead and understand what is going on with raw / juice diets and how you can do it without the salt cravings.

Basic Body Ratio: Sodium / Potassium

The Sodium (Na-) / Potassium {K+) ratio is a key electrolyte ratio in your body which controls the optimal functioning of various body functions, including your heart and fluid movement of your cells.

An imbalanced Na- / K+ ratio can produce a range of symptoms affecting energy, mood, body weight (fluid), hormones, stress, inflammation and toxin metabolism.

If your ratio is towards the sodium end, you may end up craving potassium foods or sugary foods. If your ratio is towards the potassium end, you may end up with salt cravings.

Potassium And Sodium Rich Foods

Potassium is found in abundance in fruit and veges. The more fruit and veg you eat, the more potassium you get in your diet.

This is a good thing.

It’s good because as time has passed, we are eating far too much processed foods in our diet and that has actually tipped our electrolyte balance too far towards sodium.

but …

We can accidentally tip ourselves too far towards potassium by not understanding the benefits of a minerally balanced diet … not just a diet high in one thing or low in another.

Your blood is 0.08% sodium and it gets that sodium from your diet.

When you’re dehydrated or needing IV fluids, the fluid you are given is 0.08% sodium. There’s a reason for it … it matches the salinity of your blood.

We used to get our natural sodium from the flesh of animals (fresh or preserved in salt), along with the minerals that would come off rocks in our water and minerals coming from the soils and sea vegetables and shellfish.

These days, we get it from a salt container or added to processed foods.

So if you’ve gone extreme raw and juicing and also removed the salt you may not be getting enough sodium to cover your potassium intake.

Eating Extremes And Salt Cravings

Diet behavior tends to follow certain patterns …

  • All or nothing
  • One up-man-ship
  • Perfection

And this can potentially lead to orthorexia, or just simple fears around things like fat, salt, sugar.  Perhaps we simply lack the knowledge around how to add things like salt, sensibly to all meals.

It’s also likely there is a greater consumption of fluid on these types of diets, which can also move sodium out of the body. This adds to the need for rebalancing.

Our body is super smart, and will alert us to any imbalances if we just stop and listen for a minute. If you have salt cravings or a desire for these types of food, just reflect back on your diet and see if perhaps it was a bit low in sodium.

Rebalancing The Salt Cravings

Don’t freak out about your salt cravings and give up on your raw food plan yet Deal with the cravings sensibly instead of eating a year’s supply of ready salted chips.

  1. When following a raw food or juicing diet, also include salt in the diet daily. Preferably in the form of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. Go for at least 1tsp a day. This can be divided amongst your water, juices, smoothies and salads.
  2. When you get salt cravings allow your body a little of what it is asking for in a healthy way. You don’t need to stick to 100% raw, your body can handle a small amount of cooked food to balance things out. You won’t lose any ‘life-force energy’.
  3. Consider adding good quality fresh raw fish or beef to your raw food diet. 

Raw food diets and juice diets can leave us nutritionally imbalanced in other ways so do ensure you’re seeking the assistance of a nutrition professional who can ensure that you’re staying balanced, which will reduce food cravings and urges to overeat.