Dietary recommendations for patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism are easy to follow. It’s not a specific, rigid diet – just some helpful guidance to keep in mind. Foods rich in iodine, magnesium, selenium, and zinc are highly recommended by Dr. Hugh Melnick. The Doctor also has advice on which foods to eat sparingly when you are taking medication for an underactive thyroid.
Hypothyroidism Dietary Recommendations
Many foods can help improve the performance of your thyroid medication and minimize unpleasant side effects. There are limitations on other foods that should be taken into consideration to get the most out of your thyroid medication.
- Eat a Balanced Diet. Your thyroid needs adequate amounts of iodine in order to fully function. You don’t need to take an iodine supplement in order for that to happen. A balanced diet of whole grains, beans, lean proteins, and colorful fruits and vegetables should provide enough iodine.
- Monitor Your Soy Intake. Soy may hinder the absorption of thyroid hormones. If you drink or eat too many soy products, you may not be able to properly absorb your medication. This can be especially important in infants needing treatment for hypothyroidism who also drink soy formula.
You need steady doses of the medication to achieve even levels of thyroid hormone in your blood. Avoid eating or drinking soy-based foods for at least two hours before and after you take your medication.
Soy is found in:
- Vegan cheese and meat products
- Soy milk
- Soy sauce
Limit Your Fiber Intake
Like soy, fiber may interfere with hormone absorption. Too much dietary fiber may prevent your body from getting the hormones it needs. Fiber is important, so don’t avoid it entirely. Instead, avoid taking your medicine within several hours of eating high-fiber foods.
Nutritional Supplement and Rx Advice
Nutritional supplements and other Rx medications can interfere with thyroid medication absorption.
- Take other Rx medications and nutritional supplements at a different time of the day than you take your thyroid medication
- Take your thyroid medicine on an empty stomach
Foods to Avoid
Giotrogens are compounds in certain foods that may interfere with normal functioning of the thyroid gland and should be eaten sparingly.
- Cruciferous Vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, spinach
- Some Fruits/Starchy Plants – peaches, strawberries, sweet potatoes, cassava
- Nuts/Seeds – millet, pine nuts, peanuts
- Highly Processed Foods – hot dogs, cookies, cakes, chips, etc.
- Beverages – coffee, green tea, and alcohol can irritate your thyroid gland
Foods to Eat
There are plenty of food options for patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism to enjoy.
- Whole eggs contain iodine and selenium in the yolk and are full of protein in the whites
- All meats including beef, chicken, lamb – no processed meats
- All seafood including salmon, tuna, halibut, shrimp
- All vegetables with limitations on cruciferous ones
- All fruits – bananas, oranges, tomatoes – with limitations on strawberries and peaches
- Gluten-free grains and seeds, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, chia seeds, flax seeds
- All dairy including milk, cheese, yogurt
- Water and non-caffeinated beverages are best
Top Hyperthyroidism Dietary Recommendation Expert
Dr. Hugh Melnick – founder of Advanced Fertility Services in NYC – has decades of research and clinical experience in diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism.
Your initial consultation with the Doctor can be conducted via telephone, Skype or FaceTime.
Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Hugh Melnick by calling 212.369.8700 – or – post your comments and questions below.