The thyroid is a gland which is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones. These hormones are essential for the regulation of body metabolism. If the thyroid hormone levels are not in the normal range various signs and symptoms may occur. The thyroid gland uses the iodine from the diet to produce the thyroid hormones. Over activity of thyroid glands can result in excessive production of thyroid hormones. This is called as hyperthyroidism. If under activity of the thyroid gland occurs it can result in hypothyroidism.
The important causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves’ disease, Toxic nodules, excessive intake of iodine, and certain medications. The important symptoms of hyperthyroidism are anxiety, tremors, rapid heartbeat, sleep difficulties, weight loss, bulging eyes, scant or irregular period, enlargement of thyroid gland etc. If you have hyperthyroidism, it is necessary to avoid certain food items.
1. Iodine Rich Foods
Iodine increases the activity of the thyroid gland hence it is necessary to avoid foods containing iodine, if you are suffering from hyperthyroidism.
• You should avoid seaweeds, kelp and other sea foods which are rich in iodine.
• You should avoid taking iodized salt as this salt contains excess iodine in them.
It is necessary to avoid stimulants like coffee, sugar or other caffeinated or stimulating food and drink as they intensify the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
• Replace caffeinated drinks with water or healthy fruit juices.
3. Whole Milk
Consumption of whole milk is not good for hyperthyroidism. So try to avoid whole milk.
• Consume skimmed milk which are healthy and easy to digest.
4. Enriched Flour
This flour contains fewer nutrients than the whole grains and is difficult to get digested. This is a high glycemic food and may disrupt your sugar and hormone level in the blood. Consuming foods with lower glycemic index can restore the healthy hormone levels in the body including thyroid hormone.
• Replace the enriched pasta, bread, snacks, cereals with 100 % whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa, air- popped popcorn, whole wheat breads etc.
5. Added Sugars
Added sugars like cane sugar, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup etc add calories and sweetness of the food and cause blood sugar spikes. These sugars have few nutritional benefits. Hear palpitation seen in people with hyperthyroidism can be controlled by improving the blood sugar levels.
• Avoid food and beverages like soft drinks, pancake syrups, Jam/jelly, cookies, cakes, pastries candy, fat-free frozen yoghurt etc.
6. Red Meat
Red meat has high levels of cholesterol or saturated fat. This can cause heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Reducing red meat intake can reduce the symptom of hyperthyroidism. Red meat can cause inflammations in people.
• Include more lean proteins such as cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and beans and avoid red meat to reduce inflammation caused by hyperthyroidism.
• Avoid processed, fried, sauce –topped meats which have additional fat in them.
7. Avoid Allergic Foods
Graves’ disease is a cause for hyperthyroidism. This is an autoimmune disease and food allergies can trigger the symptoms of Graves’ disease. Hence it is necessary to avoid foods that are causing allergies to you. Find out which are the foods that trigger allergic reactions in you and avoid them.
• Allergies from food include lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, peanut allergies, wheat allergies, allergic reaction caused by food additives etc.
8. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Hydrogenated vegetable oil is used in many commercially prepared food items. These are the sources of Trans fat and they damage the good cholesterol level and worsen the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
• Avoid eating crackers, cookies, doughnuts, margarine, pie crusts, onion rings which are commercially prepared.
9. Dairy Products
Different type of foods affects people with hyperthyroidism in different ways. In some people hyperthyroidism causes lactose intolerance or the inability to digest milk or milk products.
• Avoid dairy products if you experience indigestion, bloating or fatigue after consuming milk, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt etc.
Alcohol can disrupt the energy level and worsen the sleep problems associated with hyperthyroidism. Taking alcohol increases the risk of osteoporosis in people with hyperthyroidism.
• Limit or avoid wine, beer, cocktails and other alcoholic beverages.
Hypothyroidism is the disorder of the thyroid gland, wherein the thyroid gland is not able to secrete enough thyroid hormones. The main cause of this disease is the iodine deficiency in the body. Hypothyroidism is seen in people of all age groups. In children this can cause cretinism. As the thyroid gland plays an important role in regulating the body metabolism, the low levels of thyroid hormones can weaken the body. The major symptoms include gaining excessive weight, cold intolerance, goiter, depression, constipation, fatigue, female infertility, dry skin, puffy face and body, joint and muscle pain etc. A good healthy lifestyle with adequate nutrition can help to control the symptoms of hypothyroidism. It is important that you avoid the foods that may cause the symptoms to flare up.
The following are the foods that you need to avoid when you are suffering from hypothyroid disease.
1. Avoid Goitrogenic Foods
It would be ideal for you to stop cooking and eating goitrogenic foods to prevent hypothyroidism. Some of the most common goitrogenic foods are:
• Mustard and mustard greens
• Cabbage and Cauliflower
• Cassava root
• Canola Oil
• Bamboo shoots
2. Avoid Tobacco And Alcohol
If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, then it is very important for you to seek doctor’s advice on consuming alcohol.
• It is better to avoid smoking when you are suffering from hypothyroidism as it tends to decrease the production of thyroid hormones.
• Doctors also suggest that you should completely cut down or take in moderation caffeinated drinks and alcohol depending upon the amount of hypothyroidism.
3. Iodine Rich Foods
It would be ideal for you to avoid iodine rich foods when you suffer from hypothyroidism unless your doctor suggests you to go for iodine foods and supplements.
• Iodine foods and supplements must only be taken by you if you suffer from hypothyroidism due to lack of iodine in your body.
• This is a rare phenomenon as eating too much of the iodine will result in hypothyroidism.
4. Avoid Soy Foods And Products
Soy is a very popular food in the food market and soybean oil is used to make a lot of precooked and processed foods these days.
• It is ideal for you to avoid processed foods and premade foods prepared in soy oil as it has the tendency to affect the production of thyroid hormones in your body.
• It is also advisable for you to avoid chocolates and energy bars as it contains soy lecithin and will prevent production of thyroid hormones.
• Also do not include soy sauce in your daily food intake.
5. Gluten Foods
Gluten foods and products will tend to trigger autoimmune responses in sensitive people and hence will hinder in the production of thyroid hormones in the body.
• It is ideal for you to reduce the consumption or even stop consuming veggies like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts to reduce the impact of hypothyroidism in your body.
• It is better to avoid all the processed foods as it contains gluten in some form or the other.
• Some of the gluten rich foods like barley, wheat and rye also needs to be taken in moderation or should be avoided.
6. Artificial Sweeteners
• The artificial sweetener contains aspartame which can cause autoimmune disorders in people and hence should be avoided by hypothyroid patients.
• It is known to cause thyroid inflammation and will also start the production of thyroid autoantibody.
• It is better to completely avoid artificial sweeteners to increase the production of thyroid hormones in your body.
7. Avoid Starchy Foods
It is important for you to avoid foods that are rich in starches and refined sugars as they tend to increase your weight and will also prevent the production of thyroid hormones to some extent. You will not be able to lose weight even if you are doing some exercise routines.
• White bread
• Cakes and pastries
• Refined sugar
• Baked potatoes
8. Other Important Foods To Avoid
The following list of foods is a sure no–no if you are suffering from hypothyroidism. These foods must be completely avoided so that you do not increase the hypothyroidism and also is best to prevent the recurrence of hypothyroidism symptoms.
• Mustard greens and mustard
9. Avoid Junk Foods
It is better to avoid all junk and fully processed foods as they tend to easily add more weight in the human body and will also reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Some of the foods to avoid are:
• White flour foods like breads, buns and cakes
• Calorie rich foods like cheese, butter, ice creams and red meat
10. Fruits To Avoid
It is important for you to avoid certain fruits in our diet or take them in moderation, in order to improve the production of thyroid hormones in your body.
Are you worried about being overweight due to thyroid problems? Do you feel that you want to know about the foods that you need to avoid when you are suffering from hyper or hypothyroidism? Then, you need to just go through the above mentioned foods that you need to avoid to increase or decrease the production of thyroid hormones in your body.