Minerals are probably the easiest part of a low carb diet to neglect. When going very low carb, our body changes it’s mineral management. The importance of minerals will quickly surface if you are conscious of the signs.
The Importance of Minerals
On a low carb diet, your kidneys start getting rid of all the extra sodium (salt) they’re holding. That will probably cause you to go to the bathroom more often. Unfortunately, you’ll also pee out some potassium and magnesium. Now hold on, before you think about recycling your pee, there’s good news!
- Replenish sodium by putting more salt on your food or using broth
- Apply the liquid drippings from cooked meat and vegetables to your meal
- Try to eat cold water fish at least once a week
- Make your own bone broth or use bullion cubes to replenish lost minerals
- Avocado’s and green leafy vegetables have a lot of potassium
- Organ meats and raw meat are rich in minerals. Sashimi is great
- Lactose-free dairy is also a good course of potassium
Side Effects of Mineral Difficiency
Some common side effects of not enough salt are feeling slugish, light headed and having a headache. In some extreme cases, even passing out. simply adding salt to your food will do. 5 grams a day is enough for most people (unless you sweat alot!).
The side effects for a lack of potassium and magnesium are very similar. Cramps, digestive issues, getting the munchies, muscle spasms, lack of sleep and even loss of strength.
How to Avoid a Mineral Difficiency
Now that you know the importance of minerals, here are some simple ways to avoid a difficiency. Hard cheese, heavy cream and yogurt are loaded with potassium. Organ meats and raw fish (sashimi) are great for magnesium, potassium and sodium. When cooking vegetables or meat, make a sauce with the left over liquid. Add some vinegar and spices or soy sauce, then put it on top of the meat.
Making bone broth or using bullion cubes is also another great way to replenish some minerals. Mix some soy sauce with home made bone broth or make a stew out of it. Don’t forget the vegetables! Green leafy vegetables are loaded with potassium. Be wary of nuts, but salted almonds are a great way to load up on potassium and sodium. Last but not least, remember, always keep hydrated and get plenty of sleep! Here is a great bone broth recipe from my buddy Fred Hahn’s slow burn blog.