Hypothyroidism- What Foods To Avoid And Consume?
Do you suffer from hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid)? It can be a pretty tricky thing to manage. Though there is not an exclusive diet for hypothyroidism, eating smart can help you feel better.
Foods to limit or avoid
Estrogen (a hormone) is known to interfere with the ability of your body to use the thyroid hormone. Soy is packed with phytoestrogen (plant based) so people who suffer from hypothyroidism should limit their soy intake. The link between soy and hypothyroidism is still no definite but it is better to limit your intake.
2) Cruciferous veggies
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage are known to interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, especially in those who are deficient in iodine. Digesting cruciferous veggies can block the ability of the thyroid to absorb iodine, which is essential for the normal functioning of the thyroid. People with hypothyroidism should limit their intake of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy and turnips. Cooking the veggies reduces the effect they have on the thyroid gland. Limit your consumption to 5 ounces or 140 g a day.
Gluten intake needs to be minimized as it can hamper the effect of the thyroid medication. If you do eat gluten, choose whole grain varieties of pasta, bread and rice, which have high fibre content to improve the irregularity of bowel movements that are a common symptom of an underactive thyroid. However, make sure you take your medicines before or after a long gap of consuming high fibre foods as they affect the absorption of the thyroid medicine.
4) Fatty foods
Fats are known to interfere with the absorption of thyroid medicines. They also interfere with the thyroid’s functioning. So, you need to cut out fried stuff and reduce intake of fats from butter, mayo and fatty meat.
5) Sugary foods
The body’s metabolism slows down due to hypothyroidism and it makes piling on of kilos easy! You need to stop consuming sugary foods and try to eliminate sugar completely from your diet.
6) Processed foods
Eliminate processed foods from your diet as they contain sodium, which is bad for people with hypothyroidism. The risk for high blood pressure is more for those with an underactive thyroid and consuming too much sodium increases the chances. Restrict sodium intake to 1500 mg a day.
7) Too much fibre
Though fibre is good, consuming excess of it can interfere with absorption of thyroid medication. Don’t consume excess of fibre.
Caffiene is known to block absorption of thyroid medicine. So, coffee meeds to be limited and you must wait at least for half an hour after consuming the medicine before you drink coffee.
Alcohol has to be completely out of your life as it has a toxic effect on the thyroid gland. It adversely affects the levels of thyroid hormone in the body and suppresses the ability of the body to use the thyroid hormone.
Foods to consume
Fatty fish such as wild salmon, tuna, trout or sardines have omega 3 fatty acids. Hypothyroid when unmanaged can increase the risk of heart disease. Omega 3s are helpful in lowering that risk. Also, fish is a good source of selenium, a nutrient concentrated in the thyroid.
Nuts are another great source of selenium. Nuts are an easy to carry snack and can be carried anywhere. Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts are high in selenium and this helps in proper functioning of the thyroid. Do control portion size as nuts are high in calories and fat.
3) Whole grains
One common symptom of hypothyroidism is constipation. To ensure bowel regularity you need to consume whole grain foods that provide you with fibre. Consume fibre within limits though. Take your medicine several hours before or after consuming fibre rich foods.
Weight gain is an early sign of hypothyroidism. You need to include low calorie and high density foods in your diet. So eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Cherries, blueberries, sweet potatoes and green peppers are good for you.
Seaweed is rich in iodine and essential for thyroid function. Add seaweeds such as nori, wakame to your salads and soups. However, too much iodine can also adversely affect the functioning of the thyroid, which can happen if you take iodine supplements. Talk to your doctor before increasing your intake of iodine.
Adding beans to your diet is a good idea as they provide energy, it can be helpful as hypothyroidism can make you feel drained easily. They also are high in fibre, which can be beneficial if you have constipation, a side effect of hypothyroidism. Don’t have beans in excess stick to 20 to 35 g of fibre a day as excess fibre will interfere with thyroid medicines.
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