Why Iodized Salt?
by Seethalakshmi Seshabhushan Nagaraja MS BS BE RDN Published on July 25, 2019 | Updated on August 1, 2019
Do you pass the iodized salt or pass on the iodized salt? According to the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, controlling your consumption of sodium is beneficial for health. The daily recommendations are 1500 mg to 2300 mg of sodium per day. Limit your total daily intake to 1 teaspoon of salt that contains about 2300 mg of sodium. If you have hypertension or high blood pressure, reducing your salt intake to 1500 mg of sodium may help with your blood pressure management. Always consult and follow your doctor’s recommendations on medications and dosage.
There are many varieties of salt and salt alternatives. Iodized salt is a healthy alternative to regular salt. Cooking with iodized salt instead of regular salt does not alter the flavor of foods.
Health benefits and important functions of iodine
Iodine is a trace mineral that is essential for good health -
• Iodine is a necessary component of thyroid hormones
• Iodine is necessary for normal metabolic rate
• Iodine supports optimal utilization of oxygen and thus helps with maintenance of normal basal metabolism.
• Iodine is required for normal regulation of body temperature
• Iodine is required for normal reproduction and healthy pregnancy
• Iodine is vital for normal healthy growth of babies and children
• Iodine supports important physical functions
Energy & metabolism
Your basal metabolism is the amount of energy that you need when you are at complete rest. You need more energy during periods of physical activity or when you are working than when you are at complete rest.
Did you know?
• Iodine is added to foods and vitamins as potassium iodide
• Iodized salt ¼ teaspoon or 1.5 g contains 45% of recommended amount of iodine
• Iodized sea salt ¼ teaspoon or 1.3 g contains 40% of recommended amount of iodine
• Centrum multivitamins formulated for women – 1 tablet contains 150 µg or100% of recommended amount of iodine
• Plants grown in iodine rich soil are a source of iodine for humans and animals.
• Dough conditioners used to make bread contain iodates.
How much iodine?
Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is the average daily amount of a nutrient considered adequate to meet the needs of most healthy people.
Tolerable Upper Intake Level or UL represents the estimated maximum daily amount of a nutrient that appears safe for most healthy people to consume on a regular basis.
Iodine Recommendations - RDA & UL
|1 to 3||90||200|
|4 to 8||90||300|
|9 to 13||120||600|
|14 to 18||150||900|
|19 to 30||150||1100|
|31 to 50||150||1100|
|51 to 70||150||1100|
|Women During Pregnancy|
|18 and younger||220||900|
|19 to 30||220||1100|
|31 to 50||220||1100|
|Women During Lactation|
|18 and younger||290||900|
|19 to 30||290||1100|
|31 to 50||290||1100|
Do not consume more iodine than the recommended upper limit. Always consult with your doctor if you are taking thyroid medications as you may have iodine restrictions.
Are you consuming adequate iodine?
Food Sources of Iodine
¼ teaspoon or 1.5 g
|68 µg or |
45% of daily recommended amount of iodine
|590 mg or
26% of daily recommended amount of sodium
|Iodized sea salt |
¼ teaspoon or 1.3 g
|60 µg or |
40% of daily recommended amount of iodine
|530 mg or
23% of daily recommended amount of sodium
|salt, Lite, iodized, Morton |
|salt, iodized, Morton |
Food Sources of Iodine
µg of iodine contained per 100 g of food
|milk chocolate candy||71.5|
|cake, chocolate with chocolate icing, ready-to-eat / frozen||44.8|
|cake, yellow with white icing, from mix||87.8|
|cookie, chocolate with crème filling||76|
|Danish / sweet roll, ready-to-eat / frozen||59.9|
|doughnut with icing, from doughnut store||31.8|
|doughnut, cake type, ready-to-eat / frozen||25|
|ice cream, chocolate||45|
|ice cream, vanilla||57.7|
|ice cream, vanilla light||72.3|
|sherbet, fruit flavor||147|
|cottage cheese, 2% fat||40|
|milk, 2% fat||45.2|
|half and half cream||41.1|
|yogurt, 2% fat, plain||33|
|yogurt, 2% fat, strawberry||20|
|cod / haddock fillet, baked||116|
|fish sticks, frozen, heated||60.5|
|salmon steak / filet, fresh / frozen, baked||21.5|
|shrimp, breaded and fried, homemade||41|
|tuna, canned in oil||20|
|Bread, cracked wheat||51.2|
|roll, white, enriched||81|
|navy beans, boiled||39|
|meal replacement liquid, ready-to-drink||152|
1. Whitney, Eleanor Noss, and Sharon Rady Rolfes. Understanding Nutrition. Cengage, 2019.
2. Pennington, Jean A. Thompson., and Judith Spungen. Bowes & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. 19th ed., LWW, 2010.
3. Tørris C, Småstuen MC, Molin M. Nutrients in Fish and Possible Associations with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. Published 2018 Jul 23.
4. Karmakar N, Datta A, Nag K, Datta SS, Datta S. Knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding household consumption of iodized salt among rural women of Tripura, India - A mixed-methods study. J Educ Health Promot. Published 2019 Jan 29.
5. NIH. Health Information. Iodine. ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/. Accessed July 25, 2019.
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