Iodized Salt

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

RDA µg/day
Iodine UL
1 to 390200
4 to 890300
9 to 13120600
14 to 18150900
19 to 301501100
31 to 501501100
51 to 701501100
> 701501100
Women During Pregnancy
18 and younger220900
19 to 302201100
31 to 502201100
Women During Lactation
18 and younger290900
19 to 302901100
31 to 502901100

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

Iodized salt
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
100 g
6500 µg
salt, iodized, Morton
100 g
6500 µg

Food Sources of Iodine

µg of iodine contained per 100 g of food
milk chocolate candy71.5
Brownie, ready-to-eat21.6
cake, chocolate with chocolate icing, ready-to-eat / frozen44.8
cake, yellow with white icing, from mix87.8
cookie, chocolate with crème filling76
Danish / sweet roll, ready-to-eat / frozen59.9
doughnut with icing, from doughnut store31.8
doughnut, cake type, ready-to-eat / frozen25
ice cream, chocolate45
ice cream, vanilla57.7
ice cream, vanilla light72.3
sherbet, fruit flavor147
corn flakes93
American cheese53.1
cheddar cheese56.6
cottage cheese, 2% fat40
cream cheese45.6
Swiss cheese115
milk, nonfat42.6
milk, 2% fat45.2
milk, whole45.2
chocolate milk45.3
half and half cream41.1
yogurt, 2% fat, plain33
yogurt, 2% fat, strawberry20
sour cream43.9
eggs, soft-boiled39.9
cod / haddock fillet, baked116
fish sticks, frozen, heated60.5
salmon steak / filet, fresh / frozen, baked21.5
shrimp, breaded and fried, homemade41
tuna, canned in oil20
prune dried30
Bread, cracked wheat51.2
bread, white83.1
roll, white, enriched81
cowpeas, boiled26
navy beans, boiled39
meal replacement liquid, ready-to-drink152


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. Accessed July 25, 2019.

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