Fancy salts (sometimes called ‘designer salt’, not to be confused with Pepsi’s designer salt) may lack iodine, an essential mineral that helps the regulate the metabolism.
Iodine is a micronutrient, meaning it is only required in very small amounts and typically is consumed in vegetables that have absorbed it from the ground. However, when the soil is deficient in iodine, so are the vegetables.
The Goiter Belt
In the US, some areas have particularly low levels of iodine in the soil and drinking water. This area is known as the Goiter Belt. Goiter is a condition where the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck, swells when it is not functioning properly. People in the belt typically suffer from thyroid problem more than people who live outside the Goiter Belt because of the low iodine levels.
The remedy for low levels of iodine in the soil is to supplement the diet with iodine. This is primarily done through iodized table salt.
Check your salt
If you buy regular run-of-the-mill table salt like Morton’s (think: when it rains, it pours), it contains iodine. When used as part of a normal diet, this type of salt can make up for the potential absence of iodine from vegetables.
However, with the popularization of fancy salts like sea salts, kosher salts and whatever other kind of expensive salt you can buy, the amount of iodine people consume has dropped. Most of these types of salts do not contain iodine.
It’s unfortunate because many people do not even know about this, and potentially could be on thyroid medication unnecessarily.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid
- hair loss
- cold intolerance
- weight gain.
If are experiencing these symptoms, it may be worth checking your salt. Of course talk to your doctor as well.
Source: Wikipedia – thyroid
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by nate steiner