3 Foods to Avoid with Hypothyroidism

3 foods to avoid with hypothyroidism

Your thyroid gland makes two hormones: thyroxine (also called T4) and triiodothyronine (also called T3). Together, these hormones regulate all your body’s growth and metabolism and also your body’s temperature. Your metabolism determines how quickly your body burns energy and how quickly metabolic reactions in your body happen. It affects lots of things, including how much you weigh, your memory, your mood and how much you sleep. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of these thyroid hormones. This slows down metabolism, leading to symptoms including tiredness and weight gain.

Certain foods should be avoided for those with hypothyroidism or Hasimoto’s as they can interfere with thyroid function and contribute to your symptoms particularly foods containing goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances found in foods that can interfere with the function of your thyroid gland and may decrease thyroid function especially if you are iodine deficient.

Below are 3 foods to avoid for those with Hypothyroidism:

1. Soy

High in isoflavones which are goitrogenic and so can impact thyroidfunction. Soy based foods include soybean oil, soy milk, soy burgers, tofu and other processed soy foods Fermented soy however, is safe to eat, as the fermentation process reduces the goitrogenic activity of the isoflavones. These are found in foods such as miso, natto, tempeh and traditionally brewed soy sauce.

2. Gluten

A potential goitrogen and can also trigger autoimmune responses (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) in people who are sensitive. Food sources include wheat, rye and barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, semolina, bulgur, and is hidden in most processed foods so worth checking those labels.

3. Some Raw Vegetables

There are many other foods that also contain goitrogens including many healthy vegetables and fruit such as spinach, strawberries, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnips, kale, cabbage, rutabaga, and mustard. The good news is that cooking inactivates the goitrogenic effect in these foods therefore, if eaten raw these vegetables could interfere with thyroid function. However, lightly steaming them is safe and will give us the myriad of health benefits that these vegetables can offer.

There appears to be a link between hypothyroidism and food allergy/intolerance as well as the development of autoimmune Hashimoto Thyroiditis. If you suffer from any digestive discomfort, bloating or other symptoms after meals or eating particular foods it is important to investigate possible reactions to foods with your health professional.

If you want to learn more, our podcast with Olivia Beck “Why Am I So Tired All The Time?” is available now.


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Olivia Beck.jpg

Olivia Beck is a Certified Nutritional Therapist with a well established Clinic in Limerick City. She works with clients on a one to one basis, doing private testing and working on individualised diet and lifestyle plans. Her area of interest is in Thyroid Conditions and she runs an online Thyroid Weight Loss Plan and has 2 recipes ebooklets, for Underactive Thyroid and Autoimmune Conditions such as Hashimoto’s. Olivia used to Lecturer in Nutritional Therapy and frequently participates in local and national health discussions on the radio & via several media channels. She provides workplace wellbeing talks to corporate clients and is currently doing her Master’s Degree in Advanced Nutrition.


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