You Need Salt to Improve Fat Storing Hormone Resistance

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/25/2024

When people on a weight loss journey begin to struggle with a plateau, few realize that the answer to their issues may be to incorporate more salt and potassium into their diets.

Learn about the relationship between salt and potassium, how deficiencies in these minerals affect your body, and how to select the healthiest possible salt for your table.

Understanding Salt and Its Components

When you think of salt, your mind likely jumps to its role in enhancing the flavor of foods. But there's more to this common condiment than one might guess.

Composition of Salt

Salt is a simple compound made up of two elements: sodium and chloride. Specifically, it comprises 40% sodium and 60% chloride. So when we talk about 'salt,' we're talking about these two components working together.

Recommended Daily Intake of Sodium

You might be surprised at just how little sodium our bodies need. Experts suggest that the daily sodium requirement is roughly 2,300mg - equivalent to about a teaspoon.

However, this doesn't mean you should shake out a full teaspoon for every meal. Many everyday foods naturally contain small amounts of sodium, adding up throughout the day.

The Role of Salt in Insulin Resistance

Did you know your salt intake could be linked to insulin resistance? A diet low in salt can make insulin resistance worse.

Different types of salt

Impact of Low Salt Diet on Insulin Resistance

A study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism revealed surprising facts about low-salt diets and their impact on insulin resistance. Contrary to popular belief, restricting salt didn't help with the condition but aggravated it.

This happens because when we cut back drastically on sodium - 40% component of table salt - our body reacts by becoming more resistant to insulin. This throws off the balance of the entire metabolic process and often results in high blood pressure.

High levels of circulating insulin cause our kidneys to retain sodium, which increases fluid volume, leading to elevated blood pressure.

Potassium Deficiency and Its Effects

When potassium levels dip too low, it can have a ripple effect on your health. The most common fallout? Increased salt sensitivity and insulin resistance.

Causes and Consequences of Potassium Deficiency

Your body needs potassium to perform many functions. However, poor diet or specific conditions can lead to deficiency.

The impact isn't limited to fatigue or muscle weakness either. Lack of this essential mineral can make you more sensitive to the effects of salt in your diet - a condition known as salt sensitivity.

Low Potassium Diet and Insulin Resistance

Moving beyond just affecting blood pressure, a shortage in dietary potassium also affects how well your body uses insulin.

A low-potassium diet has been linked with worsening insulin resistance; this not only hampers glucose regulation but is also a precursor to type 2 diabetes down the line.

Balancing Sodium Levels with Potassium Intake

It's no secret that our bodies need a careful balance of nutrients to function correctly. But did you know that the harmony between sodium and potassium is particularly crucial? Yes, these two electrolytes work together like dance partners, keeping your body in rhythm.

Sodium often gets bad press because excessive amounts can lead to high blood pressure. However, it's essential for nerve and muscle function. The CDC recommends an intake of 2,300 milligrams per day – roughly one teaspoon.

Increase Your Potassium Intake

Higher levels of this mineral can help balance sodium levels naturally. Studies have shown that potassium-rich diets are linked to lower blood pressure and improved heart health.

Kick It Up With Keto

If you're on a ketogenic diet or practicing intermittent fasting for insulin resistance improvement (kudos.), be aware your salt requirements may go up slightly. That doesn't mean going overboard; just around one extra teaspoon should do it.

Dietary Considerations for Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting

Your body's needs change when you're on a ketogenic diet or practicing intermittent fasting. It may come as a shock that these techniques can necessitate upping one's salt intake. This is because our bodies lose more sodium when we cut carbs.

Intermittent fasting concept

Salt Requirements in Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting

A keto diet or intermittent fasting may necessitate at least one teaspoon of salt daily to help improve insulin resistance. Studies show that adequate salt intake can support healthy blood pressure levels during low-carb diets. But remember, not all salts are created equal.

Choosing the Right Type of Salt

You'll want to pick sea salt over table salt whenever possible. According to research, sea salts contain trace minerals, which could boost your health while following these dietary plans.

Making thoughtful choices about things as simple as the type of salt you use can significantly impact managing insulin resistance.

Milk Thistle and Insulin Resistance

Milk thistle benefits have garnered attention for their potential role in managing insulin resistance.

Milk thistle, a herb derived from the Silybum marianum plant, contains a bioactive compound called silymarin, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some studies suggest that silymarin may help improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with insulin resistance or prediabetes. It is believed to work by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which can contribute to insulin resistance.

While research on milk thistle's effectiveness in managing insulin resistance is ongoing, including it as a part of a proper diet and consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance can be a step in exploring its potential benefits for individuals with insulin resistance or prediabetes.


Managing insulin resistance and breaking through weight loss plateaus requires understanding the delicate balance between sodium and potassium intake.

Embracing a holistic approach, including mindful salt selection and considering complementary strategies like milk thistle, empowers individuals to support their metabolic health effectively.

By making informed dietary choices and lifestyle adjustments, one can navigate insulin resistance with confidence and resilience.

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