Should You Be Using Iodized Salt?

Should You Be Using Iodized Salt?

Iodized salt can be found in many people’s kitchen cabinets, but you may be wondering: is it healthy? Should I be adding iodized salt to my food? 

This article will tell you everything you need to know about salt with iodine, from its many benefits to who should be consuming more to support their health.

Using iodized salt can be a great way to increase iodine intake and support thyroid function. Groups more likely to develop iodine deficiency should choose iodized table salt over other options.

To learn more about how iodine plays a role in thyroid function and how much you should be taking to stay healthy, keep reading. We have all the information you need to determine whether or not iodized salt can work in your diet.

What is iodine?

Iodine is an essential mineral found in the ocean, soil, and certain foods.

While many people are iodine sufficient by consuming animal sources and sea vegetables, some could benefit from adding more iodine to our food via salt.

But why is it so essential to ensure adequate iodine levels in the body?

Iodine for thyroid health

Iodine plays a vital role in thyroid health, as the thyroid gland needs this mineral to produce hormones that support many essential systems.

An iodine deficiency can result in the following side effects:

  • Swelling in the neck (also known as a goiter)
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Irregularities in weight
  • Thinning hair
  • Stunted growth
  • Dry skin
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Lower IQ
  • Lower body temperature
  • Depression

We should take a dietary vegan iodine supplement or add iodized salt to our food to avoid these symptoms.

Benefits of iodized salt

Iodized salt is a table salt containing iodine, and it can be used to increase our iodine levels and assist in thyroid gland function.

By adding salt with iodine to food, we can support the following functions within our bodies:

  • Thyroid gland function
  • Growth and development
  • Brain development
  • Cognitive function
  • Metabolism
  • Body temperature
  • Hormone regulation

However, certain groups maybe even more likely to benefit from iodized salt, as they are at a higher risk of developing iodine deficiency.

Who should use iodized salt?

Those with low iodine levels should consider adding this table salt to their diet to avoid iodine deficiency and support thyroid health.

Pregnant and lactating women

Research shows that iodine deficiency is widespread in pregnant women, so this demographic needs to consume a higher intake.

This is also true for breastfeeding women, as they need to get enough iodine to ensure their breast milk properly nourishes their infants.

Vegans and vegetarians

According to studies, 25% of vegetarians and 80% of vegans suffer from iodine deficiency.

This is because iodine comes primarily from animal sources or sea vegetables that aren’t frequently consumed in the average diet.

For this reason, it can be particularly beneficial for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone on a restrictive diet to start adding iodized salt to their diet.

Older adults

Studies have shown that older adults are at an increased risk of developing iodine deficiency, as thyroid function changes as we get older.

Older adults with low iodine levels should consider increasing their iodine intake using iodized salt.

Recommended daily intake of iodine

See the table below to determine how many micrograms of iodine you should be intaking per day to support a healthy thyroid gland.

Life Stage

Recommended Amount of Iodine (per day)

Birth to 6 months

110 mcg

Infants 7-12 months

130 mcg

Children 1-8 years

90 mcg

Children 9-13 years

120 mcg

Teens 14-18 years

150 mcg


150 mcg

Pregnant teens and women

220 mcg

Breastfeeding teens and women

290 mcg

Data from the National Institutes of Health 

For more information on the dietary guidelines for iodine, check out our article: Iodine For Vegans: Everything you need to know.

Final thoughts

We need to consume enough sources of iodine to avoid a deficiency, which is why many use iodized salt to support their intake of this vital mineral.

So next time you’re reaching for the table salt, you may want to check that it’s an iodine-rich source guaranteed to help with thyroid function.

But for those who need a little extra help avoiding iodine deficiency, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan iodine supplement designed to support thyroid hormone production and overall health.

Trusted sources

  1. Zimmermann MB. The effects of iodine deficiency in pregnancy and infancy. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;26 Suppl 1:108-17. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2012.01275.x. PMID: 22742605.
  2. Krajcovicová-Kudlácková M, Bucková K, Klimes I, Seboková E. Iodine deficiency in vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab. 2003;47(5):183-5. doi: 10.1159/000070483. PMID: 12748410.
  3. Miller, J. C., MacDonell, S. O., Gray, A. R., Reid, M. R., Barr, D. J., Thomson, C. D., & Houghton, L. A. (2016). Iodine Status of New Zealand Elderly Residents in Long-Term Residential Care. Nutrients, 8(8), 445.
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