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Thyroid Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

By Alexa Sooter

October 1, 2021

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Your Diet Really Matters… Here’s What You Should & Shouldn’t Eat To Support Your Thyroid

Thyroid Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

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If you’re reading this, you or someone you know probably deals with thyroid issues. And you’re not alone.

Thyroid conditions are among the most common ailments in America. Plus, they are 8 times as likely to appear in women as in men.

The first line of treatment for thyroid conditions is usually a prescription medication. And, for some people, this is enough to control the condition.

Many people, however, find that the drugs don’t work. Or, over time, the drugs become less effective.

Many people don’t know where to turn when their medications don’t work. Simply letting the condition run wild isn’t an option.

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Thankfully, there are some dietary changes you can make that might help… in addition to the steps your doctor suggests. 

Many of these changes are more about the impact food has on your body, rather than the food itself. And while each change carries with it some suggested foods, you might find that you react differently than expected when you try them.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a food diary. Even simple entries can help you track the effect these changes have on your thyroid.

Thyroid Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

Try An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

When your thyroid acts up, it causes inflammation throughout your entire body. Your hormones don’t want to cooperate, and this manifests as swelling and inflammation. If this struggle sounds familiar, you might want to look into an anti-inflammatory diet.

Everyone reacts to food differently… but there are a few foods that seem to cause wide-spread inflammation. Two biggest culprits are gluten and sugar. 

Thyroid problems can mess with your gut health. When this happens, you stop processing your food as effectively as you used to.

And when you add gluten into a mix, the reactions can be severe. Some people report upset stomachs, bloating, gas, pain, and even frequent (and unpleasant) trips to the bathroom.

Sugar is a general inflammatory. Your body rushes to react when you consume sugar and, especially if your blood sugar is out of balance, this reaction can flare up your thyroid issues.

So not only do you end up suffering from inflammation, but you get brain fog and low energy to go with it.

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If you choose to cut either gluten or sugar – or both – do so by focusing on one food at a time. Use your food journal to track any changes you feel as you eliminate either ingredient from your diet. 

When cutting gluten, make sure you do your research. “Glutinous rice” (AKA white rice) doesn’t actually contain gluten – glutinous just means it’s sticky. But sushi rice and most soy sauce do contain gluten

If you decide to cut sugar first, don’t turn to artificial sweeteners as an alternative. Many of them have their own side effects. And, in some people, they can even lead to migraines. That’s not going to improve anyone’s health.

Anti-inflammatory diets also highlight the problems with highly processed foods. Many of them contain ingredients – both natural and artificial – that can lead to bloating, inflammation, and aggravated symptoms. 

So instead of reaching for a pre-packaged dinner, try some salmon instead. The fatty acids and high protein will help reduce inflammation… while the veggies you have on the side will pack in all the fiber you need.

Thyroid Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

Go Heavy On The Fiber

I’ve already touched on how your thyroid affects your gut health. And that, unfortunately, is not always something you can control.

But fiber can at least give you a slight advantage over the issue.

Fiber is one of your best gut health defense options. It keeps things moving along, which lets your body focus on processing the food you take in. And, as an added bonus, gut regularity may also decrease your risk for certain types of cancer

Supplements are a great way to boost your fiber intake. Whether it’s in pill form or through a powder like Metamucil, fiber supplements are a great way to boost your fiber intake while you’re working on your eating habits.

But if you want to incorporate more fiber through the food in your diet, there are a few options that really pack it in. Avocados, for example, offer a ton of fiber as well as healthy fats and loads of potassium.

Berries and applies are another all-natural source of fiber that you can easily add to just about any meal. And certain grains, like brown rice, offer a lot of fiber without driving up your blood sugar.

Thyroid Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

Iodine & Selenium Support Thyroid Health 

If you’re scratching your head at this one, you’re definitely not alone. Most Americans don’t get enough iodine, despite our frequent use of iodized salt in the kitchen.

And this can be bad news if your thyroid acts up.

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Iodine helps balance thyroid functions. When you run low, your hormones get out of whack. And that’s only going to make any thyroid issues that much harder to deal with. 

Selenium is just as important and even easier to run low on. This trace element helps your thyroid process hormones. Without it, your thyroid would be in serious trouble. 

Supplements may be your best bet if you want to make sure you get enough iodine and selenium. Though both are naturally occurring in a number of foods, supplements will ensure that you get the right dosage… no matter what’s on the menu.

If you want to bolster your supplement with your food choices, however, there are some very easy ways to up your intake.

Eggs, for example, contain both selenium and iodine. They’re an incredibly versatile food that is not only easy to work into most meal plans, but also relatively inexpensive. 

Chicken will also provide a healthy dose of selenium, while cod and shrimp can give you your iodine fix. Beef and Brazil nuts are also solid choices to deliver a shot of selenium into your diet.. but they’re usually a little more pricey than eggs, chicken, or cod.

Thyroid Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

The Takeaway

Living with thyroid problems is never easy. There are days when it will leave you exhausted and frustrated.

But there is hope. And you can take back your control.

As with all dietary changes, start small. Make one change at a time and track its impact for a month or two before you add a second change.

This will keep you from burning out, yes. But it will also help you track the actual effect your alterations have.

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And, as always, inform your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet. Adding foods like soy or grapefruit might affect how your medications work.

Working with your doctor will avoid many negative interactions. And that will help keep you on the path to controlling your thyroid condition.

 

healthy thyroid diet

One Pleasant Surprise Of Being On The Thyroid Diet…

Is how much weight you can lose naturally, almost without trying… (almost!)

That’s because a lot of the foods on the thyroid diet also happen to be great for your gut!

And the foods you’re supposed to avoid (like sugar, gluten, and other inflammatory foods)… 

Secretly do some of the worst damage to your gut possible.

These inflammatory foods kill the good bacteria – the kind that keep your metabolism running efficiently… and let the weight-gaining bacteria take over.

If you’re even slightly worried about your thyroid health… 

Then your gut health should be top of mind. 

The good news is that there are some super simple changes you can make to your diet (I promise it’s not just “eat lots of salad”)…

That can boost your thyroid, nurture the good bacteria, and make weight loss easy. 

Click here to learn more… and don’t worry, these actually taste GOOD.

Alexa Sooter

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