It might be a surprise to learn that iodized salt is not a great source of iodine. But there are three common misconceptions about salt and iodine that might surprise you even more.
First, a lot of us have been told that we get enough iodine from iodized salt. But this is not true. We may get a lot of salt in our diets, but that doesn't mean we get a lot of iodine.
In fact, a lot of salt doesn't contain iodine. Isn't that interesting? You might have a box of Morton's salt in your cupboard and think that contains iodine. But that's also not true. Check it out. A close look at the label clearly says the salt isn't iodized. And, did you notice the label says: "Does not supply IODIDE"?
Well, that brings me to the next big misconception about iodized salt. It doesn't contain real IODINE. It contains IODIDE. Sorry to type in all caps. I promise I'm not yelling. But I do want to emphasize this point.
There are TWO types of iodine, and differences matter a lot for your health. We will get to the chemistry stuff in a minute. But I love a little history so let's take a stroll back in time and learn why IODIDE how added to salt in the first place.
The History of Iodized Salt
When the United States entered World War I, the extent of goiter was finally realized. As men across America enlisted in the armed forces, doctors discovered something remarkable. The enlisted men from the Upper Midwest had a 30% higher incidence of goiter than soldiers from the rest of the country. The benefits of iodine well-known, and many doctors prescribed iodine in the old days. But it wasn't until World War I that people understood the connection between iodine deficiency and our diets. More precisely, how iodine is related to our soil.
The Goiter Belt represents a "belt" across the country where the soil has less iodine. If you've ever heard the term "Goiter Belt" and wondered where it came from, now you know.
Iodine deficiency was also linked to lower IQ, cognitive function, and other health issues. As a result, the USA began adding potassium iodide to table salt.
The Big Problem with Salt You May Not Know
Today, most Americans get way too much sodium and in forms that don't contain any iodine. Excessive sodium intake is associated with a whole range of health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Cutting back on salt is good for overall health. Harvard Health recommends cutting back on salt and getting iodine from other sources instead.
Another problem with iodized salt is that it contains tons of synthetic chemicals that are not healthy for the body. Back in the 1920s, salt was harvested from the sea and naturally contained the trace mineral iodine. Today, iodized salt is no longer naturally harvested because it costs more money.
These days it's cheaper to manufacture sodium using processed ingredients, then harvest it. That's right. A lot of salt on our food is manufactured.
Manufactured sodium contains approximately 97.5 percent sodium chloride, which is an unnatural chemical form of salt. It's the type of salt used in processed foods. Various chemicals, such as aluminum and other toxic ingredients, are added to the sodium chloride to absorb moisture.
What's Really in Iodized Salt?
Who knew there was so much to learn about salt and iodine. And we're just getting to the best part. As we talked about earlier, much of the salt these days isn't iodized. If you do find iodized salt, it contains IODIDE, not IODINE.
Potassium Iodide is a human-made salt compound of iodine (2). It helps the thyroid to create thyroid hormone, so it's essential for health.
But your body still needs IODINE. Meaning, iodine from the earth as mother nature created it. This type is called molecular iodine, and it's what your body needs for healthy breast tissue, healthy ovarian function, fertility, hormone balancing, fertility, and the development of babies (3)†.
Iodine is so cool. That's why I made Thiodine and love it so much. Thiodine contains both iodine and iodide, so your entire body gets what it needs. And you don't have to worry about getting all that manufactured salt in your diet. Win.
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