People doing certain treatments for thyroid cancer need to go through a temporary low iodine diet. The diet can be quite restrictive:

  • No iodized salt (only trust salt you added yourself)
  • No dairy
  • No egg yolks
  • No soy
  • No sea products (seaweed, carrageenan, etc)

This rules out many emulsifiers that are popular for making salad dressing: egg yolks, mayonnaise, (store-bought) Dijon mustard, and yogurt are all forbidden. What are some other good emulsifiers one could use for vinaigrette, without any of these forbidden ingredients?

  • 2
    I'm guessing that prepared Dijon mustard is out because of the possibility that it contains iodized salt ... but preparing a Dijon type mustard at home using Kosher salt would solve that problem. Are there other issues with Dijon mustard that I've missed? Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 17:27
  • 1
    You're right. Making our own mustard is an option.
    – hugomg
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 17:38
  • That might be the easiest solution, but if you look at the related post on alternatives to xanthan gum for stabilizing mayonnaise, it mentions sunflower lecithin ... which may also be a decent stabilizer for a vinaigrette. I'm pretty traditional with my salad dressings, so I would probably just make my own mustard - but YMMV. Good luck with your search! Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 18:33
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    If you’re just going for a vinaigrette, you don’t need an emulsifier. Make it in a mason jar or similar, seal tightly, then shake the hell out of it. It’ll separate with time, but if you do it just before serving you should be fine
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 20:50
  • Tahina (sesame paste) is a good emulgator, but I couldn't find out whether it's low in iodine. Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


Tahina (and probably sesame paste in general) is a surprisingly good emulsifier which I've used for dressings and to stabilize vegan mayonnaise. It has a high oil content, and slightly bitter nutty taste, but that's not really noticeable in small amounts.

(Note: I couldn't find information about the iodine content of sesame, but the OP thinks sesame should be fine, so I have added this answer.)

  • It worked great!
    – hugomg
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 21:46
  • Glad to hear that. Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 8:10

Both garlic and mustard help emulsify vinaigrettes. Rather than using jarred mustards (which might contain iodine) use dry mustard powder. For the right dressing, tomato paste or finely minced shallots work too.

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