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

"Processed foods tend to have a lot of sodium, and people with hypothyroidism should avoid sodium," Frechman says. 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 American Heart Association.


7. Coffee

Coffee is not a food.  A non-food is a stimulant to the body.  A stimulant is anything that causes the body to go into an abnormal reaction at a very high nutritional cost to your body in the long run. 

To become healthy, you want everything that goes into your body to be nourishing (give to the body nutrients but not take away nutrients like coffee does).   A good substitute for coffee is a new product called “Teeccino” made of dates, figs, carob, barley, etc.  Most health food stores carry this new product.  Try it and you might be able to break the coffee habit a lot easier than you think.  

I stopped the coffee habit by drinking hot water, with 1/2 fresh lemon, a tablespoon of raw honey, turmeric, cinnamon and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.  Other homemade teas are fresh mint leaves, fennel, caraway, anise and ginger.  Or a quarter teaspoon of organic turmeric, a ¼ tspn of ginger, ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon (a little honey if you prefer).  This is also great as an anti-inflammatory remedy.


8. Alcohol Does not Play Well with Your Thyroid


Alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on both thyroid hormone levels in the body and the ability of the thyroid to produce hormone, according to a study in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Alcohol appears to have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and suppresses the ability of the body to use thyroid hormone. Ideally, people with hypothyroidism should cut out alcohol completely or drink in careful moderation.

Here's what Sidney Baker, M.D., says about alcohol. "In life, the burning of the alcohol results in its detoxification. It does not need a sticky carrier to get it out of the body. It goes up in smoke. One of the reasons it is toxic, however, is that it must be burnt. Unlike other foods, including the lactic acid found in foods, the body cannot treat alcohol as something to be saved for later and stored as fat. Another reason that alcohol is toxic is that it interferes with the chemistry of the liver detoxification system.


Alcohol has a particularly bad effect on a group of enzymes called cytochrome p450 that are the main worker in the body's detoxification system. In this way alcohol can function as a sort of master toxin, enhancing the toxicity of all other toxic substances and even turning a relatively harmless substance into a poison by seriously interfering with a person's ability to detoxify such toxins. Alcohol also interferes with the activity of key enzymes in the transformation of fatty acids into hormones.


Next time you go past the liquor store, replace in your mind's eye the sign that says "Peter's Spirit Shop" with one that says "Fungal Toxins Sold by the Bottle." Wine, beer, whisky, vodka, sake, tequila and rum are all made by fermenting the sugars found naturally in grapes, grains, cactus or sugar cane."


If you want to heal your body, you can’t be drinking any alcohol.


Give your body the right environment and it will heal.


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