Without a specific eating plan, the main recommendations for hypothyroidism are to eat healthy, balanced and avoid excess of some specific foods.

7 prohibited foods if you suffer from hypothyroidism7 prohibited foods if you suffer from hypothyroidism

Last update: January 7, 2024

Knowing the foods prohibited in hypothyroidism is one of the main interests of people with this condition. And it is no wonder, since diet offers support to medical treatment and it is almost essential to experience this situation with more vitality and fewer symptoms.

Furthermore, below we will see how, with few exceptions, the advice does not differ much from the usual advice for a healthy and varied diet. An easy to follow, nutritious and delicious diet.

Hypothyroidism: what it is and what role does diet play in its management?

Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, It is a disease of the thyroid gland, which appears when it is unable to produce the adequate amount of thyroid hormones.

This gland, which is located in the front part of the neck, secretes hormones that affect various organs. It is for this reason that Hypothyroidism has an effect on multiple functions:

  • The digestion
  • the breathing
  • metabolism
  • the state of mind
  • heart rate

The causes and main symptoms of this pathology are varied: from tiredness or constipation to dry skin and weight gain. These can appear in more advanced stages and become worse if adequate treatment is not received.

Medical therapy focuses on administering the hormone through drugs and, in many cases, must be followed chronically. The specific amount is variable in each individual depending on the underlying cause of hypothyroidism.

At the food level there is no specific plan for the affected people. Nevertheless, an appropriate diet (along with lifestyle changes) can help improve symptoms and the well-being of the majority of patients.

It is recommended to follow a diet that is as healthy and varied as possible.. It should predominate in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish and legumes, among others.

Are there foods prohibited in the diet for hypothyroidism?

Although it is common to find lists of foods that inflame the thyroid or are harmful, there is little consensus on this topic. For now, Only minimal restrictions are known to be taken into account. These refer to excess soy protein and iodine.

In addition, the intake of certain foods should be moderate for some people with hypothyroidismbut it is not necessary to remove them as a general rule and in all cases.

1. Algae

Algae are well known for their mineral content.. Some of them are found in high concentrations, such as iodine. The latter is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. But if you ingest too much it can also be unfavorable.

Brown algae, such as wakamethe kombusea spaghetti or hiziki, are the ones with the highest percentages. For people with hypothyroidism, They are one of the first foods to try with great caution.

2. Soy

Soy is not, by itself, harmful to people with thyroid problems. Of course, it has to be consumed cooked and as part of a varied diet.

However, unlike other goitrogenic foods, It is advisable to take an extra precaution: eat it away from medication. The reason? An inhibitory effect on its absorption has been observed, which may modify the effect of the drug.

If soy and its derivatives are part of the usual diet, it is worth discussing it with the medical team.. In this way, the need to adjust the dose of thyroid hormone administered can be assessed.

These tips concern soybeans, soy drink, tofu, tempehmiso or dehydrated protein (among others).

3. Raw broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage

These vegetables are known as goitrogenic foods: They can interfere with the uptake of iodine and hinder the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Other foods with a goitrogenic effect (due to the presence of said goitrogens) are:

  • soybeans, millet
  • cassava, sweet potato
  • Bamboo shoots
  • red cabbage, turnips, Brussels sprouts

Now, this does not mean that these are foods that are prohibited for people with hypothyroidism. You do not have to eliminate them completely, but avoid excessive amounts and always eat them cooked (heat can destroy goitrogens). It is also necessary not to use or drink the broth from its cooking.

Goitrogens lose activity when vegetables are cooked. For this reason, if you want to add them to your diet, it is best to eat them, for example, steamed or sautéed.

4. Sugary drinks and foods

Hypothyroidism can cause other types of metabolic irregularities, including an increase in blood sugar levels. So it is advisable to more strictly follow the general recommendation to moderate added sugars in the diet.

Furthermore, given that a healthy and nutritious eating plan is basic for this condition, the reason for withdrawing this type of products is twofold. As a review, We are talking about the following foods that should be limited:

  • juices
  • refreshments
  • sweets and treats
  • energy drinks
  • dairy desserts and smoothies
  • honey, syrups and other sweeteners
  • cookies, biscuits, sugary cereals

5. Ultra-processed foods

Pastries, ready meals, fast food and other ultra-processed products They should be introduced into the diet sporadically.

In its preparation, hydrogenated fats, added sugars and refined flours are usually used, which provide few or no nutrients. Due to this, its regular intake has been linked to the possible appearance of various health problems.

6. Red meat and very fatty cheeses

Red meat, processed meat and more mature cheeses have a high percentage of saturated fat. And to provide a healthier lipid profile, it is advisable to reduce the latter and increase the unsaturated type.

As with ultra-processed products, these are not foods that are prohibited for hypothyroidism. However, Your intake should be moderate in a healthy eating plan (optimal for this condition).

7. Cereals with gluten

It is common to read that a gluten-free diet is necessary for people with Hashimoto’s disease (a type of hypothyroidism of autoimmune origin). But This recommendation is not extended to all people with this condition..

As Szczuko, Syrenicz and other authors point out, Gluten should only be removed if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.. Both problems can coexist with Hashimoto’s disease.

Other dietary recommendations for people with hypothyroidism

A nutritious diet is a great ally to improve and cope with some symptoms of this condition and reduce the risk of associated complications.

On the other hand, providing a sufficient amount of fiber is positive for improving constipation, one of the most common manifestations.

To make it, It is advisable to pay attention to these tips dietary, in order to add them to the list of foods that are preferable to avoid:

  • Include vegetables in all main meals. Almost all options are good, except eating goitrogenic vegetables raw or in large quantities.
  • Choose fruit for dessert and snacks. In principle, there are no forbidden fruits in hypothyroidism. The most suitable are the fresh and seasonal ones, in which the vitamin content is better preserved.
  • Eat, whenever possible, grains and their whole grain derivatives: rice, bread, pasta, oatmeal, rye, among others.
  • Prioritize lean protein sources: legumes, fish (white and blue), eggs and poultry. Plain yogurt with no added sugar is an excellent choice for breakfast.
  • Use olive oil for cooking and dressing. In addition, avocado, olives and nuts also provide healthy fats.
  • Choose water as your drink of choice.

In addition, The eating plan must be accompanied by other healthy habits: adequate physical exercise, sufficient rest, stress reduction and abandonment of

In case of hypothyroidism it is preferable to moderate the intake of certain foods

In order to improve the symptoms of hypothyroidism and increase well-being, it is advisable to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This involves, in part, having a nutritious and varied diet.

Few foods are strictly prohibited, But it is advisable to limit the intake of added sugar, red meat, prepared dishes, seaweed and soy derivatives (among others).

It must be taken into account that The main recommendations may vary from one person to another. For this reason, it is advisable to consult with a nutrition professional.