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Diet for hypothyroidism

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Things to avoid

As said before, hypothyroidism is treated through hormone replacement therapy. However, there are certain food items that hamper the absorption of synthetic thyroid hormone. It is therefore advised to avoid certain food items, supplements and medications during the course of medication.

Moreover, in order to avoid potential interactions, these should be consumed several hours before or after medication. 

Food items:
  • Dietary fibers
  • Walnuts
  • Soybean flour
  • Cottonseed meal
Medications:
  • Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium
  • Drugs like sucralfate used for the treatment of ulcers
  • Cholestyramine and colestipol used for lowering cholesterol levels
Supplements:
  • Calcium supplements
  • Iron supplements
  • Multi vitamin capsules containing iron supplements
It is also advised to avoid food items that hamper the functionality of the thyroid gland like:
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Linseed
  • Pine nuts
  • Millet
  • Cassava
  • Mustard greens
Apart from these the patient should also avoid the following things:
  • Refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar
  • Red meats and more lean meats
  • Cold-water fish, or beans
  • Trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as onion rings, donuts, processed foods, cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries and margarine
  • Alcohol and tobacco

A person suffering from hypothyroidism should eat lots and lots of natural foods, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and seafood and other lean protein.

Some important points to remember:

Selenium: The hypothyroid diet should definitely include Selenium. This trace mineral is an antioxidant and is effective in converting the thyroid hormone T4 present in the body into its active form, T3. A good source of selenium is Brazil nuts. It is also found in lean meats.

Antioxidant foods: The patient should consume food items rich in antioxidants like fruits such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes and vegetables such as squash and bell pepper.

Cooking oil: Healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil should be used.

Fiber: The diet should include whole grains, also known as complex carbohydrates instead ofrefined grains like white flour or sugar. Whole grains keep the blood sugar level stable.

More Meals: The ideal diet for hypothyroidism is made out of five or six mini meals across the entire day instead of three larger meals. The mini meals help in balancing the slow rate of metabolism. However, it should be kept in mind that each of these mini meals should be around 300 calories each.

Next page: Causes of hypothyroidsm

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 16, 2012