Iodized Salt vs Sea Salt
It's really complicated, and I'll try to cover as much as I can. First and foremost, you may be receiving plenty of iodine through eating fish, tropical fruits, or other methods (like kelp). However if you aren't a big fish or fruit eater, then its very likely the majority of your dietary iodine comes only through the salts in foods you eat. Unfortunately almost all processed foods utilize non-iodized salt because its slightly cheaper on a larger scale, and because some people have allergies to iodine. Many products that in the past contained some level of iodine have been replaced with alternative synthetic or natural ingredients that yield better products (e.g. bromide bread), but could leave you in an iodine deficit.
|An example of a non-iodized sea salt.|
Recently, a doctor in the Goiter Belt of North Carolina (Jorge Flechas M.D.) found iodine reversed diabetes, and reduced his patients reliance on insulin and diabetic drugs. He chose to pursue the standard medical protocol for proving these results by utilizing other doctors to either confirm or reject his initial results. In additional to proving the effectiveness of iodine, he confirmed historical precedents set by physicians prior to the modern for profit health-care systems in effect today.
|A advertisement from India celebrating the benefits of iodine.|
So how do you know if your iodine deficient? Generally speaking, its believed most of us who are living in an industrialized nation have some level of iodine deficiency. Even if you consume iodized salt, some individuals may require additional amounts. You can speak to your doctor for a Iodine Load Test, or there are some obvious signs and symptoms which could indicate an issue. Symptoms like a low body temperature, cold hands or feet, or swelling of the thyroid area of the neck, could suggest you're iodine deficient. Unfortunately deficiency doesn't happen overnight, and if you think you've gone for a long period of time without a proper diet of the recommended daily allowance, you may wish to speak to your health-care provider. Administration of higher doses of iodine and/or thyroid medicine may be necessary for a period of months or years to overcome deficits.
This is important especially if you cook for others, such as children. It can effect their intelligence, their performance in school, and their overall health. Especially with recent heart campaigns to reduce salt in peoples' diets, we must continue to remember we are what we eat.
For myself, I try to make sure anytime I add salt to a recipe or even when eating out, that it's iodized. I don't add additional salt if I know it's not, and I continue to try reduce my consumption of products that I know do not have iodized salt in it. Though I'm not a big seafood eater, I love tropical fruits like pineapple and I also include a iodine supplement of 50 mg a day as a part of my diet.
I don't claim iodized salt is a cure for anything, nor can I say that iodine will be a miracle for anyone. All I hope to do is to educate you on why and how we add this nutrient to our food supply. It's up to you to decide if you can benefit from this information.