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Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism

Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a thyroid condition wherein the thyroid gland is unable to secrete enough hormones that are essential for proper functioning of the body. This article provides a list of foods that need to be avoided in this disorder.
Rajib Singha
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Although hypothyroidism may strike anyone, people in the highest risk zone are women who are older than 50. Due to the lack of the hormonal secretions, most chemical reactions in the body get disturbed. However, this does not show up in the early stages of the disease but when it has already reached an advanced stage. If let untreated, an underactive thyroid gland may become responsible for conditions such as obesity, infertility, joint problem, and various heart diseases, and make existing conditions worse than ever. Although this condition is incurable, there are dedicated treatment methods available which help reduce the symptoms and the risks of complications. The treatment mainly comprises the use of synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine. Along with following the course of the medication, patients must also keep a check on the foods they consume so as to benefit the treatment.
Underactive Thyroid Diet
Foods - Red Flag!
  • African cassava
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Canola
  • Cassava root
  • Cauliflower
  • Edamame
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Millet
  • Mustard greens
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Pears
  • Pine nuts
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Soy ice cream
  • Soy milk
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tofu
  • Turnips
The diet of an affected person must not contain any kind of soy products, vegetables from the cruciferous family, and gluten-rich foods. Soy products contain certain agents that seem to interfere with a certain enzyme produced in the body (known as thyroid peroxidase). This particular enzyme is required by the body to combine iodine with a few hormones secreted by the thyroid gland.

Although the cruciferous vegetables do great for good health, apparently, they are not a good choice for an underactive thyroid, especially when eaten raw. Even these food items are known to inhibit the function of thyroid peroxidase. Moderate consumption of cooked form of these vegetables may not do much harm, but one has to watch out for the quantity.
Foods - Green Flag!
  • Fresh vegetables and sea vegetables can be included. Avoid the vegetable mentioned above.
  • Blueberries, cherries tomatoes, squash, and bell pepper are high in antioxidants and are beneficial in hypothyroidism.
  • Foods rich in B-vitamins and iron must be included in the diet.
  • Kelp
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Salmon
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Watercress
  • Dates
  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Carrots
  • Sweet peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Parsley
Complications
The common ones may include:
  • Goiter - enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Heart diseases - primarily caused due to increase in the 'bad' LDL cholesterol in the body.
  • Mental problems - depression may set in, apart from impaired or slow mental function.
  • Infertility - lack of thyroid hormones may interfere with ovulation, thereby causing fertility issues.
  • Congenital defects - babies born to mother with untreated condition of underactive thyroid gland are most likely to sustain defects right from their birth.
  • Nerve damage - nerves that carry information from the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body can sustain injury due to uncontrolled hypothyroidism. This is known as peripheral neuropathy, which commonly affects the limbs.
Also, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and meat that are treated with hormones should be avoided in the hypothyroidism diet.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.