Foods You Should Avoid With Hypothyroidism from 8 Foods You Should Avoid With Hypothyroidism
8 Foods You Should Avoid With Hypothyroidism
Foods You Should Avoid With Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is typically defined as an underactive thyroid gland. It occurs when the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally, thyroid.org explains. “People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood.”
If you are someone who suffers from hypothyroidism it’s important to educate yourself on the foods that may be hazardous to your health. For instance, soy “may block your body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication,” Dr. Lisa Davis, Chief Nutrition Officer at Terra’s Kitchen, says; and “drinking too much alcohol has been shown to have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and even decrease its size.”
Soy offers many health benefits to both men and women. “According to the FDA, consuming 25 grams of soy per day as part of a low saturated fat diet can help protect against heart disease,” Dr. Lisa Davis, Chief Nutrition Officer at Terra’s Kitchen, says. “A potential issue with soy is that it may block your body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication.” In order to get the heart-healthy benefits of soy without affecting absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication you should take it 2-3 hours before or after consuming soy products, she adds.
“Guidelines currently recommend that adults consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day,” Davis says. “Amounts of dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and fiber supplements that go above that level can interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication.” If you're on a high-fiber diet, you should speak with your doctor about whether you need a higher dose of thyroid medication, she adds.
“Caffeine has been found to block the absorption of thyroid medication,” Davis says. “Wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after taking thyroid hormone replacement medication before having your cup of Joe.” If you have trouble functioning without your early morning cup of coffee, or other caffeinated beverage, then consider taking your thyroid hormone replacement medication at bedtime with a glass of water, she adds.
“Alcohol is estrogenic (estrogen promoting) and estrogen can suppress thyroid function and decrease thyroid hormone levels,” Davis says. “Drinking too much alcohol has been shown to have a toxic effect on the thyroid gland and even decrease its size. Interestingly, modest drinking has been shown to have a protective effect against thyroid cancer.” Individuals with hypothyroidism should not drink alcohol, and if they choose to do so, it should be in careful moderation.
"Fried foods are not only bad for your heart but have been found to disrupt the body’s ability to produce thyroid hormone and absorb thyroid hormone replacement medication,” Davis says. “While healthy fats like avocadoes, nuts, flax and salmon may be beneficial, unhealthy fats (trans fats and saturated fats) like fried foods, butter, mayonnaise, margarine, and fatty cuts of meat are detrimental to thyroid health and overall health in general.”
“Heavy consumption of cruciferous, or brassica, vegetables can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone,” Davis says. “Avoid consuming copious amounts of raw Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, spinach, turnips, arugula and bok choy. Instead, cook or steam your vegetables, which will almost fully negate this effect.” That way you don’t have to avoid including these cancer-fighting vegetables as part of a healthy diet, she adds.
“Elimination of dairy products may be beneficial for those who have an unknown dairy sensitivity or allergy to cow’s milk,” Davis says. “Those with a milk allergy are predisposed to excess inflammation that can lead to thyroid dysfunction.” Dairy also contains a substantial source of calcium which is also known to interfere with thyroid hormone replacement medication, she adds.
“According to the U.S. National Research Council, fluoride exposure can impact thyroid function in some individuals,” Davis says. “Fluoride may interfere with the absorption of iodine which can affect thyroid function in susceptible individuals.” Since tap water is a major source of fluoride, people with hypothyroidism should consider getting a water filtration system to rid their tap water of fluoride, she adds.