Iodized vs. Non Iodized Salt – The Stack Differences Will Stun You
It’s most likely that you consume salt daily. Salt is contained in almost all the foods you purchase. When preparing meals at home, you add some salt, don’t you?
What you might not know is the fact that salts used in preparing meals are of two different types, that is, iodized or non-iodized salt. The two distinct salts are quite different. They differ in quite a number of ways.
Before I answer this query directly, it’s prudent that I give some background. Every human needs traces of iodine for growth and proper development. Iodine, a non-metallic mineral exists in a good number of soils. It’s absorbed by plants and then ingested by animals and humans.
The thyroid gland hosts the largest iodine stores in the body. The gland needs iodine for purposes of synthesizing the hormones it secretes. Consequently, iodine deficiency leads to weight gain, slowed metabolism, and the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Additionally, it causes development of other hypothyroidism symptoms such as intolerance to cold and weight gain. Iodine deficiency also promotes skin, gastrointestinal and neurological abnormalities.
Having established the essential nature of salt to our bodies, let’s now look at non-iodized and iodized salts. Most importantly, you need to know what ‘iodized’ mean.
Non-iodized salt also goes by the name table salt. It’s commonly used as a food preservative and condiment during meals. Chemically speaking, non-iodized salt refers to refined salt that comprises of roughly 97 – 99% sodium chloride.
It’s produced by refining mined salts where it’s first dissolved in water and purified of other minerals from the solution. Finally, it’s re-evaporated. A similar process is utilized for iodized salt but with an extra process for adding iodine.
Iodized salt is also spelt as iodised. It’s simply table salt with added chemical element iodine. As we saw earlier, iodine is very important to the body. It’s therefore safe to say that iodized salt is regular salt with health benefits.
Even though iodized salt can be highly beneficial to the body, new studies indicate that too much intake is dangerous. Iodine’s Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults is 150 micrograms. For pregnant women, it’s 200-300 micrograms.
Difference #1: Health
When it comes to health, iodized salt clearly enjoys the upper hand. That’s because it contains iodine. A deficiency of iodine can be prevented by the use of iodized salt. Iodine deficiency is highly common especially in Third World countries.
Through the introduction of iodised salt and using it to replace normal salt, health officials can employ a valuable measure that prevents adverse health effects such as mental retardation and goiter.
Conversely, in a good number of developed countries, where deficiency of iodine is rare, health advantages of iodised salts reduce since residents in such countries don’t need the additional element iodine that the salt provides.
Difference #2: Taste
By popular belief, in terms of taste, iodized salts have a poor flavor in comparison to non-iodized salts. Nevertheless, members in the food industry disagree.
Most of them state that there’s no difference between these two types of salts. According to scientific studies, the difference in flavor is actually insignificant. The studies concluded that iodized salt actually boasts a small different flavor from the non-iodized one.
However, it doesn’t affect the food that’s seasoning to a big degree. So what explains this? It’s basically because the mechanism through which iodized salts changes the flavor of food is iodine absorption.
A good number of foods tend to absorb very little iodine when they’re cooked with iodized salt. While that might be the case, certain foods have a tendency of absorbing more compared to others such as rice and pasta.
Difference #3: Production Process
Salt producers have a variety of ways of manufacturing salt. In spite of the method used to create their salt, the final product that is, the mineral with a chemical composure of NaCl is normally referred to as non-iodized salt.
This kind of salt tends to be produced in almost the same way as non-iodized salt. For most part, the production process of these two is the same. Nonetheless, the post-production addition (addition of iodine) on iodised salts is what makes it different.
Difference #4: Texture And Color
According to chefs from across the world, using iodized salt instead of non-iodized one changes texture and color of the food they’re preparing. For instance, those from the U.S., Pakistan, Romania, and Canada are of the opinion that iodized salt isn’t great for pickling.
They opine that applying iodized salt to pickling mixtures have resulted to the softening and darkening of pickled food items. Nevertheless, there are no scientific studies that can support the claims yet.
Difference #5: Cost
Compared to non-iodized salt, iodized salts are cheaper. While the latter might cost $0.49 per pound, the former can retail upwards of $0.79. For instance, the Himalayan salt goes for roughly $39.40 per pound.
Iodized vs. Non- iodized salt: Comparison Chart
Contain the element iodine
Doesn’t contain the element iodine
Numerous health benefits
Countable health benefits
Some people claim they have less flavor
Some people claim they have more flavor
The debate as to whether which is the best between iodized and non-iodized salt is neither here nor there. Each of these two types of salts brings with it its own advantages and disadvantages.
Iodized salt, which is popularly known as table salt is normally mined from underground. Sea salt on the other hand is obtained by the process of evaporating seawater. By weight, both of them contain similar amounts of sodium.
However, most people believe that sea salt is more healthy since it brings with it more minerals. The truth is that while that might be the case, they’re just insignificant amounts.
Are you confused on which of the two salts to use in your day-to-day needs? I created this primer to help you make an informed decision. By carefully passing through everything that’s been discussed above, you’ll surely arrive at an informed choice.