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How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: What’s Really Hiding In Your Table Salt?

Post Published: 06 December 2009
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Category: Column, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, Thyroid Nutrition and Health
This post currently has 16 responses. Leave a comment

Salt seems such a ubiquitous ingredient.   It’s everywhere — on every dining room table we sit at, in every restaurant we visit, atop every food that passes our lips.   Salt is a most necessary flavoring and ingredient in cooking, baking, and seasoning.   It is ancient and it is necessary to human life and health (every cell in the body requires it to function).   But conventional medicine warns us to limit our intake.   Perhaps, though, this is flawed thinking because, after all, the salt that comes to us in little white shakers isn’t anything like nature intended, only you’d never know it just by looking.

Salt is especially a hot topic in the world of thyroids because we are told it is our most important source of iodine, which we need a good amount of, but not too much, and no one knows just how much is too little or too much… especially depending upon which kind of thyroid disease you have.   Either way, damage can occur if the proportion is out of balance.

The table salt we all grew up on and use daily in our cooking and in our homes is not actually the pure product it seems. Table salt is as much a “real” food as is white bleached flour, and refined sugar — they all have been stripped of natural vitamins and minerals and are partial, incomplete products that the body does not know how to process because they are not in whole form and not found in nature.

Sodium chloride is the resulting product of processing and refining sea salt — it’s what makes up table salt and it does the body absolutely no good.   Table salt has been bleached, refined, and mixed with various chemicals and anti-caking agents.   Specifically, table salt is usually mixed with sugar — yes, sugar!! — to give it a mild, non-bitter flavor, as the aforementioned processing removes essential minerals that would normally give natural salt a pleasing flavor.   With each shake of salt we’re putting on our food, we’re also shaking on dextrose.   Other ingredients usually include calcium silicate, sodium silicoaluminate (yep — that’s a toxic aluminum derivative), fluoride (yes, fluoride! Now if that doesn’t scream thyroid disease…), and potassium iodine.   Do you feel lied to yet?,   It is any wonder we’ve equated salt with so many health problems?

Not only does sea salt not contain any chemical additives, but also, it hasn’t been stripped of its natural minerals that are required by the body — iodine being one of them.   I won’t try and argue how much iodine a body needs everyday, because the verdict is still out, especially for us as thyroid patients.   (Even doctors and health professionals can’t agree.) Instead, what’s important to know is that sea salt does contain iodine.   The reason salt started to be iodized originally was not because sea salt didn’t contain iodine, but because people had already stripped natural salt of its trace minerals via processing. In the 1920s, many Americans were suffering from goiter, which is thought to be prevented through adequate iodine supply.   In areas of the country where goiters were rampant, there was no iodine in the soil.   Subsequently, manufacturers, as urged by the government, re-added iodine to their processed table salt.

Here’s what Dr. Mercola has to say on the subject: “For every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot get rid of, your body uses 23 times the amount of cell water to neutralize the salt. Eating common table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissue, which can contribute to: unsightly cellulite, rheumatism, arthritis and gout, kidney and gall bladder stones.   When you consider that the average person consumes 4,000 to 6,000 mg of sodium chloride each day, and heavy users can ingest as much as 10,000 mg in a day, it is clear that this is a serious and pervasive issue.

And while we’re at it, let me ask you this: why would the natural ratio of iodine in salt (as found in pure, unrefined, real sea salt) not be insufficient for the body?,   Don’t humans always get into trouble when they try to manufacture and replace something from-the-ground and found perfect in nature?

My personal choice for salt is always sea salt.   More specifically, I use the Real Salt brand.   Their salt is really the highest quality and lends a perfectly sweet flavor to whatever I’m cooking.   They also have a line of flavored salts (among them, onion salt, garlic salt, and a multi-seasoning salt), all of which utilize organic spices mixed with their sea salt.   I like these because, as a gluten-free’er, I usually avoid spice mixes due to the fact that there may be hidden sources of gluten, chemicals, excitotoxins (MSG, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, etc.), grains (in the form of cornstarch and anti-caking agents) in the mix, which may or may not be required to be listed on the ingredients label.

Real Salt is derived from salt deposits in Utah, in which (during the Jurassic era), volcanoes erupted around the seabed, which sealed in salt and trace minerals from modern pollutants and toxins.   So, the product we then consume is pure and non-toxic.   You can find Real Salt in most health food stores, Whole Foods, or via their website, www.RealSalt.com.   I love their product and they have my loyalty for life.   My health is too important to me.   It’s my own little way of saying no to fluoride and yes to better thyroid health.


Now before you move on to consider all of this, remember that last week, we participated in a giveaway with the good folks at Jarrow — a fabulous line of supplements and probiotics; probiotics being essential for endocrine and immune function.   And, the winner from last week’s giveaway for probiotics from Jarrow, as chosen by Random.org is…

Robyn!! (Robyn with a “y”!!)

Robyn, email me your shipping information, please, so that Jarrow can ship your probiotics asap!,   Liz@DearThyroid.com

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Until Next Week,

Love Always,

Liz

Have a question, comment, story, love letter, or rant/rave to send me?: Liz@DearThyroid.com

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16 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: What’s Really Hiding In Your Table Salt?

  1. Alexia says:

    I use untreated pink sea salts

  2. dearthyroid says:

    Alexia, what’s the difference in flavor with the pink sea salt?

  3. Sherree says:

    I rarely, if ever use salt on my food. When I do use salt for cooking, I use sea salt. Guess I’m going to have to really look at the labels of the sea salt as well- to make sure it is what is.

    Gotta love it.

  4. Alexia says:

    Absolutely no bitter aftertaste. It is amazing salt.. very understated..The consistency of powedered sugar

  5. dearthyroid says:

    Sheree! Yes! However, so unless it’s organic, many companies aren’t required to list other non-salt ingredients. You know? So, you can be doing your best to be informed, but they don’t always list everything. SO frustrating.

  6. Jennifer Galan says:

    is Trader Joe’s Sea salt ok?

  7. amy says:

    Okay. Just read my sea salt bottle. Brand Baleine. Contains magnesium oxide and yellow prussiate of soda(anticaking agent). What are those? I has better google. As someone who is usually a very good label reader I am a little upset!! Looks like I need to get some new salt. Ugh.

  8. dearthyroid says:

    Jennifer, good question!! I don’t have Trader Joe’s by me, so I don’t know. Does anyone else know?

  9. dearthyroid says:

    Amy, uggggh. Isn’t that frustrating?

  10. amy says:

    Sodium ferrocyanide, also known as tetrasodium hexacyanoferrate or sodium hexacyanoferrate (II), is a coordination compound of formula Na4Fe(CN)6 which forms semi-transparent yellow crystals at room temperature, and which decomposes at its boiling point. It is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol, and the solution can react with acid or photodecompose to release hydrogen cyanide gas.

    In its hydrous form, Na4Fe(CN)6•10H2O (sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate), it is generally known as yellow prussiate of soda. From:wikipedia

    As yellow prussiate of soda, it is added to road and food grade salt as an anticaking agent. When combined with iron, it converts to a deep blue pigment which is the main component of Prussian blue. In photography it is used for bleaching, toning and fixing. It is used as a stabilizer for the coating on welding rods. In the petroleum industry it is used for removal of mercaptans.

    Well, this is really not anything I want in my food!

  11. Zari says:

    Salt water, or sea water, is very similar to the human body in terms of most minerals. Of course you can’t drink much sea water or horrible things happen, as witness what happens to shipwrecked sailors.

    Folks who live near the sea and eat lots of local food don’t have to worry too much about getting enough salt or iodine. However…..

    Historically people who live away from the sea, in particular folks in mountainous regions, did not have access to sea salt. So they used locally obtained salt, and especially salt from mountainous areas did not have much iodine. Hence the addition of iodine, which did eliminate a lot of thyroid problems. However once the masking effect of a low iodine diet were eliminated, thyroid problems that had been suppressed by iodine deficiency appeared.

    Those of us with Graves in particular have to be careful not to have too much iodine. An iodine deficiency would in theory counteract Graves but it’s probably not a very effective way to go.

    In terms of natural salt, prsumably the salt from Utah is tested just like everything else and is free of problems. But we really need to be aware of natural additives as well. Salt is a mineral, and as such subject to intermixture with a wide variety of other minerals, many of them not good for us.

    The example of the Bangladesh water project is illuminating. In an effort to combat dysentery caused by srface water contaminated by feces, vast amounts of time and effort were expended in digging wells which extended far below the surface to pure uncontamited water. Very quickly the dysentery was drastically lessened which was good, since it is a leading killer in 3rd world countries. However a few years later a new major health problem erupted. All that groundwater was contaminated with naturally occuring arsenic which is the 20th most common element in the Earths crust. Amounts were low enough that the symptoms took a few years to appear. The lesson is pretty clear-natural doesn’t mean safe.

    Personally I use sea salt to flavor my food and on the rare occaisions I cook something that calls for a recipe with salt. But my biggest intake of salt, aside from sea food, is probably in things like cereal or other prepared foods-think everytime I eat out or eat bread or similar things.

  12. I didn’t want to read this – because I thought just another thing to monitor. But you’re right – more than anything the prepared foods are the culprits for me.

  13. Janna says:

    Brilliant, informative article on salt. Well said.

  14. Lolly says:

    Great information, I use sea salt too although I didn’t add salt to cooking if someone wants to add it after that is up to them, you can still flavour food without too much or little to no salt at all.

    This is something we GD peeps should avoid, when in active GD meaning hyper.

  15. J says:

    Trader Joe “sea salt” is “99% pure sodium chloride,” regular table salt. The remaining 1% is undisclosed. I’m a big fan of Trader Joe but this gross misrepresentation of sea salt is very disappointing to say the least! From what I’ve read, a true sea salt would be multi-mineralized and thus have some color to it.

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