Is there something called as thyroid diet?
There is no such thing as a strict thyroid diet for thyroid patients. However, people can always inculcate the habit of eating food that is beneficial for their overall health. At the same time, one must avoid foods that can be harmful in a thyroid diet.
Thyroid gland regulates important functions and bodily activities like metabolism, temperature, heart rate etc. The maintenance of proper thyroid functioning is really critical for the body. Therefore, a careful thyroid diet for thyroid patient will surely help their situation.
People with thyroid disorders concentrate more on different thyroid treatment options. They generally undermine the nutritional aspect of it. Taking a good diet can actually help in keeping the thyroid gland healthy and strong.
Diet for Thyroid Patient
How can a thyroid diet help
A thyroid gland works by releasing thyroid hormones T3 (tri-iodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxin) by using iodine from the food you consume. In most cases, thyroid disorders are a result of dietary deficiencies like iodine deficiency and protein malnutrition in or body.
A thyroid disorder can result in conditions like weight issues, constipation, lack of sleep and other problems. So maintaining a good thyroid diet for thyroid patients is quite crucial.
There are some foods that can help with thyroid treatment. On the other hand, there are some foods that, if eaten in excess, will hamper the thyroid treatment process. Therefore, we will not just talk about a good diet for thyroid patients but a diet that boosts your overall health.
Diet Plan for Thyroid Patient
There are different types of thyroid issues. Some thyroid issues are because of an over-active thyroid while some are because of an under-active thyroid. Therefore, a diet plan for thyroid patient depends on the condition of the disorder.
There are some common foods that should be eaten as a part of a thyroid diet for a healthy thyroid.
Essential nutrients required in a Diet Plan for Thyroid Patient
When you understand the kind of nutrients and how they affect your body, you will get more clarity about the right kind of diet plan for thyroid patient.
Role of Protein in diet plan for thyroid patient
Thyroid gland uses iodine and tyrosine to form thyroid hormones. This tyrosine is an amino acid which is produced from the protein you take. Protein also helps in carrying the hormones and hence performing important bodily functions.
Foods to Include: You can include protein rich food like fish, nuts, and eggs in your thyroid diet.
Role Iodine in a diet plan for thyroid patient
In most cases, iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid disorders as your gland uses iodine to secrete important hormones. However, at the same time, you should also avoid the intake excess iodine. Get your thyroid and iodine levels checked before adopting a thyroid diet.
Foods to Include: You can include iodine rich food like banana, seafood, sea vegetables or seaweeds, or iodized salts. Sea vegetables also contain important minerals and antioxidants for your body.
Dairy products also contain iodine. However, you should know if you are lactose intolerant or need to avoid dairy before you include it in your thyroid diet.
What to avoid: Goitrogens are substances that interfere with iodine intake and hence cause fluctuations in the secretion of thyroid of hormones. These foods can be included in small amounts in your thyroid diet. However, a diet plan for a thyroid patient should not include excess of these items.
Examples of some foods containing Goitrogens are cauliflower, cabbages, spinaches, or radishes in their raw forms.
Role of Fat in diet plan for thyroid patient
You need to focus on a thyroid diet plan that helps in maintaining or restoring hormonal balance of your body. Good fats like MUFA and PUFA are good for your body. A thyroid diet plan must avoid excess of foods containing saturated and Trans fats.
Foods to Include: Foods with Good fats like natural ghee, butter, coconut oil can be a part of your thyroid diet. Coconut oil helps in stimulating the production of thyroid hormone.
What to avoid: Avoid too much sugar as it produces cortical which can affect the pituitary gland. Stay away from processed foods and fast foods.
Thyroid diet during Hypothyroidism
What is Hypothyroidism?
It is a thyroid disorder where the thyroid glands fail to secrete enough hormones to regulate normal process of the body. The thyroid gland is under-active in this condition. This lowers the rate of metabolism and leads to weight gain, excessive sweating, fatigue, memory and concentration issues, depression etc.
People find it difficult to lose weight in hypothyroidism. There are different irregularities and abnormalities. However, it is not the end of the world. An appropriate thyroid diet during hypothyroidism will help the thyroid gland recover well and supplement the treatment processes too.
Let’s look at food items that should be a part of your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism.
What should constituent your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism?
Your underactive thyroid diet must serve these important requirements that help you fight with thyroid disorder:
- Antioxidants rich foods like whole grains, tomatoes etc
- Selenium in food like sunflower, nuts etc.
- Tyrosine in food like meats, diary etc
Thyroid Diet in Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where there is over production of thyroid hormones resulting in significant changes in the body like weight loss, fatigue, sweating and fluctuations in the heart rate.
Though medication is the foremost method of treatment, you can certainly support it by defining a balanced thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism condition.
What should constituent your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism?
In order to find the appropriate thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism, you can check the following essential nutritional requirements
- Reducing the amount of iodine as it increases the functioning of the already over active thyroid gland
- Vitamin B and C helps in increasing the immunity of the body as well as helps in digestive problems
- Nutrients and supplements to overcome the loss of it because of hyperthyroidism
- intake of antioxidants
Thyroid diet in Thyroid Storm
A Thyroid storm is a condition where there is a sudden excess of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream. This leads to an extremely elevated metabolism which displays symptoms of hyperthyroidism at their worst. Thyroid storm is a dangerous condition which requires immediate intensive medical help.
The management and prognosis of a thyroid storm includes taking a good diet. Since thyroid storm is an extreme state of hyperthyroidism, patients can take precautions covered under the ‘Diet for Hyperthyroidism’ section above.
Thyroid storm patients can avoid certain foods and include more amounts of certain foods in their diet. It is similar to the diet for hyperthyroidism. The Food List has been covered in detail in the section ‘Thyroid Diet Food List’ below.
Thyroid Diet in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
Papillary thyroid carcinoma is treated by surgical removal of thyroid gland followed by a radioactive iodine therapy. During this treatment process, patients have to follow a very low iodine diet.
Iodine is an important component found in many food items. A low iodine diet means you need to consume less than 50 mgs of iodine per day. You should avoid the following items from your Thyroid diet in papillary thyroid carcinoma.
- Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, milk, butter etc.
- Reduce consumption of Iodized salts
- Seaweed and sea vegetables are rich in iodine
- Packaged breads and baked goods
- The skins of potatoes
- Fish and seafood, and other sea products like seaweed and kelp
- Soybeans and other soy products, lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and other types of beans
- Egg yolks (the whites are fine to eat)
Thyroid Diet Food List
The list of foods to include in your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism is:
- Berries: You can include strawberries, blueberries in your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism, which acts as effective antioxidants.
- Salmon: Salmon again contains vitamin D as well as omega 3.
- Yogurt: Hyperthyroidism results in weak bones and in order to tackle this problem; you can include yogurt in your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism
Honey, Olive oil, and whole wheat are other items that can be a part of your thyroid diet for hyperthyroidism
What to avoid in your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism
You should be careful to not to include the following items in your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism.
- Vegetable Oil, fatty acids and red meat Unhealthy fat in processed or fired foods, red meat etc can cause inflammation
- Caffeine and alcohol: They can interfere with your thyroid function as well as the treatment. Your body should always stay hydrated.
- Carbohydrates and added sugar Food items like white bread, white flour, soft drinks can interfere with blood sugar and metabolism.
- Iodine rich products Avoid Goitrogens like cabbages, broccoli in their raw form in your thyroid diet in hyperthyroidism.
Avoid food substances you are allergic to. They tend to trigger Graves’ disease which causes hyperthyroidism.
List of Food items for your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism
The list of foods to include in your underactive thyroid diet is:
- Seaweed or Sea vegetables: Being rich in iodine, seaweed in thyroid diet during hypothyroidism helps in avoiding any form of discrepancies in the functioning of the thyroid gland. You can include seaweed and sea vegetables once a week in your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism
- Fish: Being rich in proteins and provides omega 3 fatty acids, it helps in maintaining a proper hormonal balance, reduces risks of heart failure, decreases any form of inflammation.
- Whole grains: Cereal, breads, rice, and other whole grains are important constituents of your underactive thyroid diet. Sudden and irregular bowel movements are common features of hypothyroidism. Nutrients present in whole grains can provide the much needed fiber in your thyroid diet.
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
People suffering from hypothyroidism are often worried about weight gain. Hence, the inclusion of low carried food items in your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism is crucial.
You should avoid eating excess of cabbage family vegetables (Brassica or cruciferous vegetables) like broccoli, cabbage, turnip, cauliflower etc in their raw form.
- Dairy Products: Some studies suggest that Hashimoto’s disease, which is a cause of hypothyroidism, may be a result of inadequate vitamin D in your diet. Milk can be an important constituent of your thyroid diet for hypothyroidism. You can also have yogurts in your thyroid diet.
Sprouted Seeds, Nuts, and the bone broth found in chicken and beef are other items that can be included in your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism.
Coconut oil too not only helps the digestive system but the antioxidant nature again decreases any form of inflammation of the thyroid gland.
What to avoid in your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism
Some food items that you should avoid including in your underactive thyroid diet are:
- Soy: It contains phytoestrogen which can be a risk for hypothyroidism.
- Raw Vegetables like cabbage and broccoli hinder the process of secretion of thyroid hormones. You can rather have them cooked and consume.
- Gluten: Avoid gluten in your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism. You can rather shift to whole grain foods that are high in fiber.
- Avoid Processed or fast food.
Fibers are sometimes not recommended for your thyroid diet during hypothyroidism as they can hinder with thyroid hormones.
Always be sure to consult a doctor or make sure there is a gap of several hours between your medications and intake of fibrous food in your underactive thyroid diet.
Underactive Thyroid diet
Having an underactive thyroid is a condition where the thyroid does not secrete sufficient thyroid hormones. This condition generally leads to hypothyroidism.
There can be various reasons for an underactive thyroid – it could be because of issues with the secretions of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus gland. That’s because the hormones released by these glands are the ones that stimulate the thyroid gland to release its thyroid hormones.
An underactive thyroid diet, therefore, is simply the diet for thyroid patients during hypothyroidism. The underactive thyroid diet has been covered in detail under the section for hypothyroidism and Thyroid Diet Food List.
Thyroid Diet in Goiter
Thyroid patients should be careful about their thyroid diet in goiter.
A thyroid diet in goiter should include fruits or fruit juices of oranges, grapes, apple, pineapples etc. You may include whole grains, nuts and seeds, and properly cooked vegetables. If you are not lactose intolerant or have not been advised to avoid dairy, you should include milk and milk products in a thyroid diet for goiter.
Iodine-rich foods like seaweed, watercress, dairy, iodized salt, garlic, onions, etc should be highly eaten in a thyroid diet for goiter. Cabbage is also good in a thyroid diet for goiter but only if it is properly cooked. At the same time, you should avoid excess of cabbage because it may contain thiocynate which may worsen thyroid issues if eaten in excess.
Thyroid diet in Thyroiditis
Thyroiditis is simply defined as an inflammation of the thyroid gland. The diet in thyroiditis, especially Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, should include a balanced diet focusing on unsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates from whole grains, nuts, cooked vegetables, proteins, essential vitamins and minerals.
Foods to include in Thyroid diet in thyroiditis should be cooked vegetables like cucumbers, tomatos, onions, garlic, cabbage, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, spinach, broccoli, beetroots, watercress, seaweed etc. You should also eat a lot of fruits, lean meat, coconut, and include ground spices like cumin, ginger, garlic, cilantro, parsley etc.
For a thyroiditis diet, exclude processed foods like cookies, chips, candies etc. Refined sugar should completely be avoided. Dairy, Gluten containing as well as gluten free grains, soy and soy products, and alcohol are to be avoided as well. Consult your doctor and a nutritionist before starting a thyroiditis diet.
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