Iodine and White Bread

by Leisa on November 5, 2008

Another source of inspiration for a blog post came again from a Sunday newspaper – honestly I’m going to have to start buying those things purely for the entertainment value!

Last weekend there was a story about how many Australians are deficient in iodine, and how nutritionists are advising the government to recommend the addition of iodine to white bread.

White bread.

Could we find a less nutritious substance on the face of the planet?  Hardly.

If this is what nutritionists are advising, thank goodness I am not a nutritionist.  It has hardly been news for anyone that has an interest in health – and especially thyroid health – that iodine levels in Australian soil are mainly deficient and that corresponds across to the general population.

But to advise the addition of iodine to white bread is a scary thought.  And it actually just goes to show what horrible diets most people have, if white bread is the most ubiquitous source of food that will get supplemental iodine to the most number of people.

That’s pretty sad.

There are a lot of alternatives to iodised salt or iodised white bread that are actually very good for your health.  These include a variety of seafoods and sea vegetables – but unfortunately a lot of these foods are not common to the Australian table.  Many Asian countries incorporate seaweed into their everyday diets, but most people in Australia have never experienced this family of vegetables unless it is the small piece of Nori that comes with sushi.

Dulse is a particularly nice seaweed that you can purchase in dry flakes that are lovely on a salad or can be chewed on their own. Kelp is high in iodine, but not very nice to eat – so supplements of that are much more palatable :-)  Wakame, arame, and nori are other seaweeds that can be experimented with to see what flavours suit.

It is much healthier to find natural sources of food high in essential minerals, than to eat food that is highly processed, but “enriched” with a few vitamins and minerals that the government nutritionists think are important.



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