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10 Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism

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10 Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism

Chances are that if you or someone you love has hypothyroidism, you don’t know it or what it is. As a matter of fact, approximately 10 million people in the United States are likely to have it.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland is unable to produce enough of the thyroid hormone which helps to run the body’s metabolism. Therefore, people with hypothyroidism have a greater risk of being overweight.

Some causes of hypothyroidism include but are not limited to inflammation of the thyroid and autoimmune thyroiditis. Either previous or current inflammation of the thyroid can damage or kill the cells of the thyroid, leaving it incapable of producing the hormone it needs to. Autoimmune thyroiditis is a form of thyroid inflammation caused by a patient’s own immune system.

While eating certain foods won’t cure hypothyroidism, avoiding specific foods can help to restore function to the thyroid and minimize the symptoms. We’ve gathered these 30 foods you should avoid with hypothyroidism.

Broccoli
Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens that interfere with the production of the thyroid hormone if you have an iodine deficiency. They can also be responsible for blocking the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid function.

Mercury
Mercury

Tuna, swordfish, shark, kingfish, mackerel, as well as other predator fish usually contain more mercury than smaller fish. Too much mercury causes a wasting or decrease in the size and/or function of the thyroid.

Iodine
Iodine

While the thyroid gland does need a certain amount of iodine to perform its essential function, too much iodine can damage the thyroid and make you feel sluggish. It is advised that iodine levels be kept between 100 to 200 mcg/L per day.

Kale
Kale

Raw kale can steal the iodine from the thyroid and also contains goitrogens. Goitrogens are compounds that may interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. Eating foods with goitrogens can aggravate an already damaged thyroid but avoiding them can help restore it.

Hot Dogs and Deli Meats
Hot Dogs and Deli Meats

Most processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats usually contain additives that aggravate the thyroid gland. They also have high amounts of sodium that can put patients with hypothyroidism at a greater risk of high blood pressure.

Calcium and/or Iron Supplements
Calcium and/or Iron Supplements

Yes, your body needs both iron and calcium; however, too much of either can counteract the medications prescribed to treat hypothyroidism such as synthetic thyroid hormones or thyroid extract supplements.

Heated Food in Plastic Containers
Heated Food in Plastic Containers

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and endocrine disrupters are in everyday plastics such as bottles, food, and containers with BPA. Also, these foods have high amounts of sodium added which can increase chances of high blood pressure in hypothyroidism patients.

High-Fat and/or Fried Foods
High-Fat and/or Fried Foods

Many fried foods are high in fat which can lead to inflammation of the thyroid. Fats have been found to disrupt the body’s ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement therapies as well as interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce the hormone.

Processed Snacks
Processed Snacks

Cookies, chips, crackers, and other snacks usually contain high-fructose corn syrup. This can cause hormonal balances and weight gain in a healthy person, let alone someone with an unhealthy thyroid gland.

Desserts
Desserts

While that cake may look mighty tempting, you may want to remember that patients with hypothyroidism can gain weight more easily without that hormone to run your metabolism. In addition, limiting the amount of sugar in your diet can help reduce inflammation in your entire body.

Cabbage
Cabbage
Cabbage, like all cruciferous vegetables, should be avoided if you have hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, this seemingly healthy veggie can do more harm than good. This is because it’s difficult to digest and may potentially block the thyroid’s essential function—to utilize iodine.
Soy Milk
Soy Milk

While soy milk is typically a wonderful alternative to dairy, it can be harmful to the thyroid if you suffer from hypothyroidism. The soy in soy milk may negatively affect thyroid function if you’re treated with synthetic thyroid hormone. The concern is that soy will interfere with the absorption of this hormone.

Whole Wheat Bread
Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread is another concerning food that you may want to steer clear of if you’ve been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. The gluten found in bread (and pasta and rice) can easily irritate and alter the absorption of thyroid medicine.

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Strawberries
Strawberries

You must be so careful with your dietary choices if you struggle with hypothyroidism. Foods that are normally considered healthy and recommended by doctors and dieticians can cause concern for patients with hypothyroidism. For examples, strawberries can cause negative results if you have an underactive thyroid.

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Peaches
Peaches

Peaches are another fruit that should be avoided. They, like all of the foods on this list, can negatively contribute to your hormone levels and affect the function of your thyroid. It’s important to focus on the fruits and veggies you can eat versus the ones you can’t.

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Rice
Rice

There are pros and cons to rice. Rice, like all whole-grains, is extremely fibrous and can help with bowel regularity. However, the fiber in rice can also interfere with your thyroid hormones. So, if you’re going to eat rice, be mindful of your portion size.

Caffeine
Caffeine

Caffeine can have major implications on your health, so be aware of your daily caffeine intake. Coffee, the ultimate caffeinated beverage, doesn’t just wake you up and energize you. It can also increase your blood sugar levels and impact the levels of your thyroid hormones.

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Tofu and Edamame
Tofu and Edamame

Soy is one of the main ingredients in foods like tofu and edamame. So, as mentioned before, it’s important to understand the concern over its negative effects. Many health professionals recommend watching soy consumption and waiting four hours after eating soy products to take thyroid medicine.

Soda and Energy Drinks
Soda and Energy Drinks

Soda and energy drink consumption can cause significant health problems if you have hypothyroidism. The sugar in these beverages can upset your thyroid and should be avoided, if possible. If you still want to drink these beverages, try looking for the diet and no sugar options.

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Candy
Candy

There’s nothing more sugary than candy! And with that being said, it can wreck serious havoc on your thyroid. This is because hypothyroidism affects your body’s metabolism. It’s best to consume sugar and sweets in moderation.

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Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

One of the signs of hypothyroidism is weight gain. And with that being said, you may find yourself eating a diet full of healthy foods like blueberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and other nutritious options. However, you’ll want to watch your intake of sweet potatoes so that you don’t block your thyroid’s absorption.

Peanuts
Peanuts

While the majority of foods interfere with hypothyroidism medicine, this food actually appears to trigger the disease. Peanuts and peanut butter contain compounds called goitrogens. These can enlarge the thyroid gland and cause health issues. Millet and pine nuts should also be avoided.

Pasta
Pasta

Because pasta is a grain and contains gluten, it’s another worrisome food. Eating pasta in moderation is your best bet. If that doesn’t help, you may want to try a gluten-free diet to prevent further issues with your thyroid.

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Beans
Beans

Beans and legumes aren’t always the better option. In fact, the high amount of dietary fiber that they contain can bother your thyroid gland. The excess fiber is the problem. It can affect your digestive system and negatively interact with thyroid hormone replacement drugs.

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Fast Food
Fast Food

The majority of fast food restaurants serve fatty foods. Not only are they high in calories, but they’re also high in fat. Fats disrupt thyroid hormone replacement medicines because they aren’t able to correctly absorb. Reduce the amount of times you eat out every week or month to lower your fatty food intake.

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Corn
Corn

Corn is one of the more discussed foods. Many people debate whether or not it’s okay to eat for those with thyroid issues. The trouble with this vegetable is that corn is cross-reactive, meaning that it’s technically gluten-free, but it causes the body to react as if it’s eaten gluten.

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Seeds
Seeds

Seeds with high oil contents are sometimes used to make vegetable oils. Sunflower, sesame, flaxseed, and many others are often used. Once they are turned into vegetable oils, they become troublesome to your thyroid. These oils block the release of hormones and block cells from using the thyroid correctly.

Liver
Liver

Most organ meats—like kidneys, hearts, or livers—contain lipoic acid This acid compound works against thyroid medication by affecting the way they work. If this happens, you may be unintentionally sabotaging your health and wellness.

Egg Yolks
Egg Yolks

While eggs are commonly considered to be good for your thyroid, that’s not completely true. Egg whites are good for your thyroid. They’re low in iodine and can be beneficial to your health. Egg yolks aren’t so good for your thyroid. They’re high in iodine and can worsen your hypothyroidism.

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Fish and Shellfish
Fish and Shellfish

You’d be surprised to know how bad seafood can be for you if you have hypothyroidism. Fish, shellfish, and seaweed contain large amounts of iodine. While iodine is necessary for a healthy thyroid, too much iodine has the potential to worsen your hypothyroidism.

Author Alot Living Team Last Updated: May 21, 2020


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