Eight Foods to Avoid When You Have Hypothyroidism

Having a thyroid condition is no picnic believe me I know, but you are not alone with this health issue. According to the American Thyroid Association (https://thyroid.org/media-main/press-room), more than 12 percent of the population may end up dealing with a thyroid condition at some point in their lives. And, thyroid issues can be sneaky: Of the nearly 20 million Americans living with the disease, as many as 60 percent don’t even realize they have it.

As with many health conditions, some factors are out of your control, including your family history and the environment around you. But diet also plays a prominent role – and since you’re in charge of your plate, you can decide which thyroid foods to choose.

Many of the others to watch out for already fall into the no – no category as part of a smart diet. So, skipping or at least cutting way back, is a no brainer. These include fried fast foods, salty processed foods, sugary treats, such as pastry, cake, cookies, and ice cream, and excessive alcohol. Just remember, there are healthy alternatives to many of these foods.

You can restore your thyroid all natural as I did, and I can coach you on how to accomplish this.

Here are the eight foods to avoid:

1. Foods with Soy, including Edamame, Tofu and Miso

There’s long been concern over the potential negative effects that certain compounds in soy – called isoflavones – may have on the thyroid. Some researchers believe that too much soy may increase a person’s risk for hypothyroidism, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16571087) that consumption of soy may interfere with the ability to absorb thyroid medication. For that reason, you may want to wait four hours after eating soy-based foods before taking your regular dose. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/expert-answers/hyperthyroidism/faq-20058188).

2. Cruciferous Vegetables like Broccoli and Cauliflower

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, are full of fiber and other nutrients, but they may interfere with the production of thyroid hormone (https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables) if you have an iodine deficiency. So if you do, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and bok choy because research suggests digesting these vegetables may block the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid ability to utilize iodine which is essential for normal thyroid function. However, according to the Mayo clinic (https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-hypothyroidsim-spinach-and-kale/), you would need to consume a significant amount of cruciferous vegetables for it to truly impact iodine uptake. Also, when you are taking a superfood supplement like wild crafted micro algae, it has the iodine your thyroid needs.

3. Gluten, found in Bread, Pasta, and Rice

Those with hypothyroidism may want to consider minimizing their intake of gluten, a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye, and other grains, says Ruth Frechman, RDN, a dietitian in the Los Angeles area and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten can irritate the small intestine.

An article published in May 2017 in the journal Endocrine Connections noted that hypothyroidism and celiac disease are often present together, and while no research has demonstrated that a gluten-free diet can treat thyroid conditions, you may still want to talk to a doctor about whether it would be worth eliminating gluten, or getting tested for celiac disease. A study published in July 2019 in Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes found that a gluten-free diet may have clinical benefits for women with thyroid disease.

4. Fatty Foods Such as Butter, Meat and All Things Fried

Fats have been found to disrupt the body's ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines, says Stephanie Lee, MD, PhD, associate chief of endocrinology, nutrition, and diabetes at Boston Medical Center and an associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts.

Fats may also interfere with the thyroid's ability to produce hormone as well. Some healthcare 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.

5. Sugary Foods Like Chocolate Cake

Hypothyroidism can cause the body's metabolism to slow down, Frechman says. That means it's easy to put on pounds if you aren't careful. "You want to avoid 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.

6. Processed Foods in Packages and the Frozen Aisle