Foods to Avoid – Eat In Moderation for Thyroid Health
Hypothyroidism can be a tricky condition to manage, and what you eat can interfere with your treatment. Some nutrients heavily influence the function of the thyroid gland, and certain foods can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb the replacement hormones you may take as part of your thyroid treatment. There’s no such thing as a “hypothyroidism diet” that will make you well, but eating smart can help you feel better despite the condition.
Here are seven foods to limit or avoid as you manage hypothyroidism:
Soy is loaded with plant-based phytoestrogen, and some researchers believe too much soy may increase a person’s risk for hypothyroidism. People with hypothyroidism should moderate their intake of soy. However, because soy hasn’t been definitively linked to hypothyroidism, there are no specific dietary guidelines.
2) Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, particularly people who have an iodine deficiency. Digesting these vegetables can block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid function. People with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy. Cooking the vegetables can reduce the effect that cruciferous vegetables have on the thyroid gland. Limiting your intake to 5 ounces a day appears to have no adverse effect on thyroid function.
People with hypothyroidism may want to consider minimizing their intake of gluten, a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. Gluten can irritate the small intestine and may hamper absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication.
4) Fatty Foods
Fats have been found to disrupt the body’s ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines.Fats may also interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormone as well. Some health care professionals recommend that you cut out all fried foods and reduce your intake of fats from sources such as butter, mayonnaise, margarine, and fatty cuts of meat.
- Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Almond Butter
- Chia Seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5) Sugary Foods
Hypothyroidism can cause the body’s metabolism to slow down.That means it’s easy to put on pounds if you aren’t careful. “You want to avoid the foods with excess amounts of sugar because it’s a lot of calories with no nutrients,” she says. It’s best to reduce the amount of sugar you eat or try to eliminate it completely from your diet. (Also, check to see if you have Candida, as most people have it and do not know.)
6) Processed Foods
“Processed foods tend to have a lot of sodium, and people with hypothyroidism should avoid sodium,”. Having an underactive thyroid increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, and too much sodium further increases this risk. Read the Nutrition Facts label on the packaging of processed foods to find options lowest in sodium. People with an increased risk for high blood pressure should restrict their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
7) Excess Fiber
Getting enough fiber is good for you, but too much can complicate your hypothyroidism treatment. Guidelines currently recommend that older adults take in 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Amounts of dietary fiber from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes that go above that level affect your digestive system and can interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs. If you’re on a high-fiber diet, ask your doctor if you need a higher dose of thyroid medication. Your maintenance dose may need to be increased if you aren’t absorbing enough medication.
About the Author
Danna Bowman is the founder of Thyroid Nation. She developed Hashimoto’s after years of unknowingly suffering with hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances and adrenal issues. Hypothyroidism runs in her family but it was never discussed, unfortunately. Her husband, 2 kids and her, picked up and moved, sight unseen, from Texas to Costa Rica in 2008. She was accurately diagnosed, however, they only offer Levothyroxine or Thyroidectomy as a solution for the disease. After a year of suffering, she turned to the internet. She found a doctor in Arizona that would consult with her and send Natural Dessicated Thyroid to her. After learning and realizing the misinformation and lack of information in Costa Rica and worldwide, she founded the website to help educate others. In 2015, she launched Thyroid Nation RADIO, a weekly thyroid and health, LIVE radio show with her co-host, Tiffany Mladinich. Follow her and Thyroid Nation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram.