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Which Thyroid Diet Should You Be Cautious Of

Dr. Westin Childs, Guest
Thyroid Nation

(Thyroid Diet: part 2 of 3)

Diets you should avoid or proceed with caution if you have Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism

Having gone through diets that are beneficial to people with Hashimoto’s we should also go over some diets that you should avoid if you have this condition.

Some of these diets should be avoided at all costs and others can be used but only if you are working with a skilled practitioner who understands your condition.

​Let’s dive in, the first thyroid diet to avoid or proceed with caution is:

1) Low Fat Diets

Why you should avoid this thyroid diet: 

I’m referring to the typical low fat diet that modern medicine and the conventional media recommends for weight loss and better health.

Despite these widespread recommendations and belief that a low fat diet is somehow healthy for your heart and waistline, none of these reported “facts” are supported by the literature.

Low fat diets (even diets low in saturated fat) have never been shown to be effective for weight loss or heart health but they are unfortunately pushed by almost every Doctor and Cardiologist you may see.

This is especially important for patients with Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism because these patients commonly have problems with weight. They are often told to “eat less and exercise more” for weight loss.

Hashimoto’s patients commonly have cholesterol problems as well (due to low thyroid function) and are commonly told to “eat less red meat”. The problem is: these people don’t have a cholesterol problem, they have a thyroid problem. ​

Unfortunately nowadays low fat has become synonymous with high sugar. Foods that have “low fat” or “non fat” on the label should be avoided at all costs.

Quick tip: ​Some people do better with lower amounts of fat and that’s ok. But if you do better on low fat your diet should still consist mostly of fruits, vegetables – not sugar based products.

Very low carbohydrate diets can pose problems for people who have Adrenal related issues Click To Tweet

2) Very Low Carbohydrate Diet and Nutritional Ketosis

​Why you should proceed with caution with this as a thyroid diet: (Talk to your functional medicine doctor first)

Very low carbohydrate diets are diets that typically have less than 10% of total calories as carbohydrates.

Ketogenic diet macros

​While it is true that many people stand to benefit from these diets – especially those looking for weight loss or those with metabolic diseases like diabetes, these diets aren’t for everyone.

Very low carbohydrate diets (especially Nutritional Ketosis diets)​ can pose problems for people who have Adrenal related issues or difficulty with blood sugar regulation.


Because so many people with Hashimoto’s have both problems I don’t recommend jumping into these diets right away, until you have optimized your thyroid medication dosing ​and you have optimized your adrenal/cortisol function.

Also avoid the mentality of counting calories - calories matter, but your hormones matter so much… Click To Tweet

3) Any and All Low Calorie Diets

Why you should avoid these diets at all costs: 

​Despite the fact that calorie restricted diets don’t work for weight loss! They can also be incredibly harmful to your thyroid function

​25 days of a calorie restricted diet is enough to reduce thyroid function and T4 to T3 conversion by up to 50%.

Whatever you do, do NOT use a calorie restricted thyroid diet if you have Hashimoto’s. You will only make your thyroid function worse and it will ultimately lead to more weight gain.

Also avoid the mentality of counting calories – calories matter, but your hormones matter so much more. ​

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About the Author

westin-childsDr. Westin Childs is a physician that specializes in treating and reversing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other thyroid related problems. His goal is to provide high quality actionable information based on the most recent scientific journals and literature that you can trust. Check out his website at and follow him on Facebook.

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Questions or anything to add about a thyroid diet, or something that works for you?  We’d love your thoughts in the comments section–Please!



  1. “Despite the fact that calorie restricted diets don’t work for weight loss!”

    Excuse me, but that is blatantly false. There is a wealth of evidence proving that calorie-restricted diets work for weight loss. In fact- short of bulemia and liposuction- the ONLY way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis.

    • Hey Aaron,

      Thanks for the comment. What is implied there is that calorie restricted diets don’t work for long term weight loss. They have a success rate of 1% and a failure rate of 99%.

      The model of calories in – calories out is very outdated and the real story is much more complicated. What matters is what your body does with the calories you consume and that depends on hormonal balance.

      For instance: if your insulin levels are high, you can eat 1000 calories and continually gain weight because all calories will be directed to your fat cells in the presence of insulin.

      I hope this clarifies things,

      Dr. Childs

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