Hypothyroidism Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
by Dr. Anish MusaJuly 10, 2021

The butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck plays a pivotal role in your body's metabolism. It regulates the release of hormone production and metabolism of your body. But, when the thyroid production drops, it slows down the body's metabolism and eventually forms several health problems such as heart disease, infertility etc.

1-2 per cent of people worldwide are affected by thyroid disease (underactive thyroid) and is most likely to occur in females. A recent survey conducted by our team revealed that medications could hardly cure hypothyroidism. But does that mean you cannot cure it altogether? No. You can treat hypothyroidism by identifying the root cause of the disease and treating it accordingly.

Moreover, diet is an essential factor when it comes to treating hypothyroidism. So, following a diet can regulate the hormone secretion of your thyroid gland to a certain extent. This article will talk about the best diet that can cure hypothyroidism and help you regulate it.

How does diet affect hypothyroidism?

Diet plays a vital role in treating hypothyroidism. Certain foods can regulate thyroid hormone secretion, while others may worsen the symptoms. Besides, hypothyroidism leads to several conditions such as weight gain and heart diseases- so it is crucial to have healthy food, prevent slowing down the metabolism, and manage their weight.

Hypothyroidism Diet

There is no proper evidence that diet can essentially 'cure' hypothyroidism; however, taking an adequate diet and avoiding certain foods can help you restore the hormone secretion and regulate the symptoms.

Thyroid Hormone

For instance, essential minerals such as Selenium, zinc, iodine, iron and several vitamins and other micronutrients are known to rejuvenate the thyroid hormones to be used up by the body. However, our body cannot produce these minerals and needs to be taken externally- this explains the importance of diet and its role in treating it. Moreover, iodine deficiency is a leading cause of it in developing countries. So, people with hypothyroidism are advised to take iodine supplements to cure it.

Is there a perfect diet to cure hypothyroidism?

Every human being is different and has its requirements. A diet that works for one might not be the 'perfect diet for someone else and vice versa. Not a single diet can fit in for all human beings. How many times have we searched for diet plans on the internet? Quite a few times. But, a proper diet plan can be curated, keeping in mind the requirements of a person. So, eating a tailored diet to meet your nutritional demands and your sensitivities can work wonders for you. And that is where the concept of the elimination diet comes into play- it eliminates the diet that can cause sensitivities and avoid triggering your health.

Let's say you are sensitive to dairy and gluten; it would be best to avoid consuming dairy products and get rid of the 'cause' affecting your health.

What is an Elimination Diet, and how is it helpful?

We all have heard people talking about various diets that worked best for them. How often are we tempted to try them? And, let's be very honest, we even tried it out to see immediate results. But did that work for you? If not, ever wondered why? It might be because we could not adapt to it or are sensitive to a particular food. In simple words, milk-based food won't work for you just how it worked for someone else if you are lactose intolerant. Reactive food triggers responses and can cause a significant reduction in the thyroid antibodies too. Not only this, it can lead to several health issues, such as the leaky gut, where the permeability of the intestine is increased. Leaky gut leads to gut lining damage and eventually impairs the barrier to allow harmful microbes to enter your system and cause an increased risk of other health problems. But how do you know what does not work for you when we eat what we eat every day? Of course, we eat different types of food every day, preferably from childhood. But our body might not be able to process those, and eating challenging food can make it less specific and intricate to figure out what's not working for us.

So there is only a one-way out- elimination diet to figure out what triggers you. An elimination diet is a short term process that focuses on identifying the food that your body is sensitive to and avoiding the food. The diet is a three-step process -

  • Decide the foods that you wish to eliminate
  • Avoid the food you eliminated
  • Reintroduce the food one at a time after a period

The elimination process helps you figure out the foods that might be problematic for your body and eventually eliminate them to cure the disease. It includes eliminating food and adding it back after seeing how our body reacts to it. Doing this will give you a fair idea about what interferes with your thyroid gland and restricts secretion. Did you know that people search for questions like" How can I lose weight fast with hypothyroidism?" on the internet, but is weight your prime focus? Because proper diet can do wonders and elimination diet is proven to show results

Do's and don'ts of elimination diet

Now that you are clear about how crucial an elimination diet is, you must have a fair idea about the food you should avoid and include in your diet to control your thyroid levels.

As discussed earlier, an elimination diet involves removing foods such as grains, dairy, soy etc. Gluten present in wheat, barley etc., are known to cause adverse health effects, including celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases. Besides, goitrogen-containing food can interfere with thyroid functioning and cause severe adverse effects.

Said that, ever wonder which food you should cut down on your elimination diet? You can categorize your foods into two groups: foods you must avoid and food that you can avoid—the reason being; how hard it is to cut down a considerable portion from our diet.

Foods to avoid in the Elimination Diet

Here is a list of food that you must avoid-

These food items can interfere with your thyroid function and alter your hormone levels. So, it is advised that you should cut them off from our diet. Because, these foods can trigger your thyroid hormones and cause other health problems such as Celiac disease and autoimmune disorders.

Now coming to the food items that you can avoid to get better results-

  • Red meat
  • Eggs
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peanuts

The more you remove, the more likely you can find the offender affecting your body. So, try cutting down caffeine, alcohol etc., for the proper functioning of your thyroid glands.

"But, a hypothyroidism diet eliminates more than half of my food; what will I even eat?"- Is this your reaction? Well, there is food that can help you with a balanced, well-nourished diet. A strict gluten-free diet with rich protein sources can help in toxin elimination and regulate your thyroid hormone levels.

Foods to include in the Elimination Diet

Here are few food products that you can include in your diet-

  • Fish like Salmon
  • Fresh and non-seed herbs like basil
  • Fermented food
  • Herbal teas
  • Grains such as Buckwheat,
  • Milk substitutes such as coconut milk
  • Fats like Coconut oil, ghee

Besides, anti-inflammatory foods such as green leafy vegetables, fatty fishes like Tuna and fruits can help you prevent the inflammatory responses from your immune system.

Probiotics such as yogurt, kimchi, Sauerkraut etc are known to improve your gut microbiome and treat leaky gut.Prebiotics present in Asparagus, onions etc helps to improve your gut microbiome and help regulate thyroid hormones.

However, elimination diets work best in a short period- continuing it for an extended period can reduce the adequate intake of essential nutrients and cause nutritional deficiencies.

The bottom line

However, diet alone cannot cure hypothyroidism unless combined with proper medication and supplements. Lifestyle also plays a vital role in regulating thyroid disease. To yield better results, we must first find the root of the problem and cure it. Jeevam health focuses on finding the 'why' to curate the treatment for the disease. We are a team of experts who thrive on curing hypothyroidism by combining the proper medications with a proper, nourishing diet and supplements. We work to promote a healthy life and better wellbeing.

We’re here to help. Please get in touch with us and we can help address your concerns and assist you in your journey to better health. Book a call with Jeevam Health Team NOW!

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