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Do processed and fast food contain iodine?

By Expert HERWriter August 12, 2009 - 11:27pm
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Non-iodized salt or iodized salt: Which do processed and fast foods contain?

Hello everyone,

Since I have a thyroid issue I am always reading up on how we can help keep our thyroids healthy. Iodine has been shown to be crucial to the health of the thyroid, and I know that you can buy iodized salt at the grocery store and that some foods contain it and of course multivitamins can have it too.

So here's my question that I'm hoping you can help me with--do processed foods and/or fast foods contain iodized or non-iodized salt? I know they are salty, that's for sure! But is it at least the iodized form that will help our thyroids? I'm not sure if there's a cost difference between the two that would factor in.

It would be great if we could have an idea of how much iodine we were getting in our daily diets and if processed foods contain it then we might be getting more than we realize. Does anyone know? Thanks so much, Michelle

Add a Comment25 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

You can always add iodine to your diet with supplements , seafood, kelp, all salts except kosher. I don't think you realize that many people can not have iodine in their diets either permanently or for a short time. To ask that all foods be iodized would be irresponsible.

August 5, 2015 - 7:30am
EmpowHER Guest

The below is confirmed and several calls were made to FDA as well as large food companies such as General Mills and Frito Lay. Both companies used non-iodized salt accross thier product line and general mills confirmed the necessity of the ingredients list to specify "iodized salt" or "salt with iodine" if the did indeed used iodized salt.

Anonymous(reply to Diane Porter)

Sea Salt and anything for the Sea have high amounts of naturally occurring iodine.

As of information I have found Jan. 2012 both the FDA and USDA stipulate if iodized salt is used in processed/manufactured foods, it must be listed as iodized salt.

I contacted the USDA directly. A NIH lid states the FDA mandates manufactured food to list iodized salt as such.

hope this helps a thyroid cancer patient out there.

June 14, 2012 - 9:40am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Sea salt DOES NOT contain anything but a trace of iodine. It is NOT to be considered anything close to an adequate source of iodine in your diet. If you want a nature source of iodine, kelp is the answer, and not, btw, other seaweeds, although they usually do have much lower amounts of iodine compared to kelp. The above information is easily verified on the Web.


July 3, 2013 - 6:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Sea salt is NOT to be used when on a non iodine diet, as are any seafoods because ALL seafoods contain iodine. Also, my daughter is on a no iodine diet and I have been reading ingredients labels on EVERYTHING and not once have I seen an ingredient listed as IODIZED salt. They only list salt. There is also iodine in eggs, cheese, and all dairy products, as well as soy and some other plants. Do not believe that you can get by iodine free by reading ingredients on labels. If you are on a non iodine diet it could be dangerous.

August 10, 2014 - 8:20am
EmpowHER Guest

Another person struggling with the Low Iodine diet required for radiation due to thyroid cancer. I just bought some kosher chicken stock and I am praying that it was made with Kosher salt and not sea salt. The Kroger that I shopped at had sea salt in the kosher section - so now I suddenly got paranoid. When it makes the difference between life and death . . . . I would really like to know.

November 10, 2010 - 5:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Kosher foods do NOT contain iodine. Sea salt does. You are safe with Kosher salt. Mayonnaise, mustard and catsup also have iodine in them

August 10, 2014 - 8:22am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Anon - You might try contacting the manufacturer and asking. If they don't have contact information on the product you could Google the company and should be able to get a phone number. Good luck! Pat

November 10, 2010 - 5:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

I arrived at this post because I was searching for FDA iodine labeling requirements. I want thank Diane Porter for her information gleaned from the "nice woman at the FDA". because it answered my question. I too would love to see better labeling so we know which salt contains iodine when it is included in prepared foods.
But, I want to caution against promoting any mandated iodine "doping" of food. My wife comes from a country in which iodine is added to all food at every stage of the food chain (Switzerland). i.e animals are fed iodized feed, vegetables are fertilized with their manure and/or iodized fertilizer, thus all food contains some level of iodine. She and others she knows from her homeland are sick from the effects of this. There is a group which petitions the Swiss government to limit the dose of iodine in the food chain. They know that too much iodine can also be a very bad thing.
In another example, several of our elderly colleagues are very ill from the affects of using dissolved iodine to clean vegetables in third-world living situations in the past.

September 30, 2010 - 10:22am
EmpowHER Guest

After reading the information here on iodized salt and processed foods, I think I'll double my efforts at buying the "low sodium" version when I buy processed foods, and then add table salt (sea salts, preferably) to get both the flavor and the iodine. To be honest, this seems to be a smarter way to eat foods, anyway, since salt added to the surface just prior to consumption requires much less to flavor the food (the salt hits your tongue immediately) than salt that has dissolved into the food during cooking.

July 25, 2010 - 7:20pm
EmpowHER Guest

Here is an article I wrote that might be helpful on this topic. Especially for thyroid cancer patient on a low iodine diet. Good luck everyone and God bless.


November 24, 2009 - 6:58pm
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