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Tips to get enough iodine if you don't eat bread!

  1. More and more people are not eating bread, or at least a lot less than they used to do. This could be because they are on a low-carbohydrate diet, or because they notice that their intestines do not respond well to wheat. In addition, oatmeal and salads are often also a good alternative with many healthy nutrients.

  1. But as healthy as it can be to eat with bread, there are a number of risks to watch out for - and one of them is deficiency of iodine. We will explain in detail what this means and how to prevent it.

Iodine in bread

  1. How does a lower consumption of bread lead to an iodine deficiency? Very simple: it was precisely to prevent that shortage that it was decided decades ago that Dutch bakers could use special baker's salt to bake bread, to which a lot of extra iodine has been added. At that time, the whole of the Netherlands still ate a lot of bread, and this was an extremely effective way to prevent deficiencies.

  1. Now that more and more people either eat organic bread (where often unprocessed, and therefore poorer iodine sea salt is used), or no longer eat bread at all, there is a risk of chronic deficiency again for a large part of the Dutch population.

Iodine deficiency

  1. Iodine is an important substance for the functioning of your body, and the thyroid gland in particular is quite dependent on it. An iodine short is not necessarily a problem, because your thyroid gland often has some reserves - but over time, all kinds of bothersome symptoms can occur, most of which are related to an underactive thyroid.

  1. Think for example of extreme tiredness, forgetfulness and sadness or even depression. There are also physical consequences: your skin and hair dry out, your face and ankles swell, and you can suffer from painful muscle cramps.

How much iodine do you need?

  1. The amount of iodine you need each day depends on a number of factors, but most adults can stick to the recommended amount of 150 micrograms (mcg) per day. Only for pregnant women the advice goes to 175 mcg, and those who breastfeed can use as much as 200 micrograms of iodine per day.

  1. For children up to 9 years old, the RDA is between 50 and 120 mcg. To give you an idea, 150 mcg of iodine is about as much as six slices of bread with baking salt. So, most people who eat bread get their RDA with it.

Iodine in food

  1. But what if you don't eat that bread? Then you can also choose to get iodine from other foods. 150 mcg of iodine equals 150 grams of white fish, 300 grams of fatty sea fish, 8 boiled eggs, 1 kilo of cheese or 14 glasses of semi-skimmed milk. Don't feel like eating half a dozen eggs every day?

  1. Then seaweed can also be a solution: 15 grams of kelp powder, for example, is also sufficient to get your daily portion of iodine! Build this up slowly though: your gut is probably not very used to seaweed yet, and if you start tossing whole scoops through your smoothies at once, you probably won't get it right.

Buy baking salt

  1. It is of course also an option to buy your own baker's salt. It contains well over 50 mcg of iodine per gram, which means you don't need much of it to get enough of the mineral (so you don't end up with a sodium surplus on the back!)

  1. Note: baker's salt is not the same as the well-known jozo salt: iodine has also been added, but about three times less than baker's salt. So to get your iodine completely out of jozo salt, you would have to consume an unhealthy amount of sodium.

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