Which Foods Should Be Avoided by Those Hypothyroid Patients?

Hypothyroid patients should avoid certain foods to prevent worsening of your condition since their thyroid already is functioning improperly. Get details!

Hypothyroidism is a condition that is caused by the thyroid gland failing, which results in less of the hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine entering the system. These hormones aid in the intake of nutrients and function of the metabolism, which will directly affect the function of your body. So it's vital to find out foods to be avoided by hypothyroid patients to treat this condition. 

Why Hypothyroid Patients Need to Avoid Some Kinds of Food

When the thyroid is not functioning properly it can be difficult to keep a balance in the body. It is common for people to suffer from symptoms like weight gain, depression, constipation, dry skin and hair, puffy eyes or menstrual issues when they develop hypothyroidism. Consuming certain foods can make these symptoms worse because your body will have to strain in order to break down the chemicals they are composed of. In certain cases, your metabolism will no longer be able to filter out dangerous materials due to the lack of thyroid hormones in your system which can cause discomfort and illness.

In addition to aggravating your system there are some foods that can go as far as to make your thyroid condition worse. Foods that are excessively potent or require a lot of energy to absorb their ingredients can cause your thyroid to slow, which is quite dangerous for someone that already has a weak or damaged thyroid gland. If you consume these foods regularly you may find that you start losing the ability to absorb nutrients properly which can also lead to dangerous health risks throughout your body.

Some foods do not necessarily do harm to the thyroid, but they can cause you to develop other issues throughout your body because they are not being properly filtered by your inactive thyroid gland. Those who are already susceptible to digestive issues should be especially conscious of these kinds of foods because they are significantly more likely to develop a reaction that could be harmful.

Foods to Be Avoided by Hypothyroid Patients

Millet. Patients with hypothyroidism should avoid millet, which may be contained in cruciferous vegetables. Millet interferes with your body's iodine uptake, which is already damaged due to your thyroid condition. Eating foods that contain these ingredients can worsen your thyroid condition and increase the negative effects your hypothyroidism is having on your body. In addition to their millet content, raw cruciferous vegetables should be avoided by those with hypothyroidism because they can interfere with the production of your thyroid hormones.

Cruciferous vegetables. Many cruciferous vegetables are also considered goitrogens, which should be avoided with those who are suffering from hypothyroidism. These foods can cause severe discomfort when your body attempts to break them down. In some cases these effects can be avoided if the foods are cooked because they goitrogens can be broken down, but this may cause the foods to lose some of their nutritional value. Foods containing high levels of goitrogens include flax, soybean, canola or safflower oils, broccoli, peanuts, pine nuts, rapeseed, sweet potatoes, lima beans, cauliflower, tapioca, potatoes, soybeans, turnips or mustard.

Fermented soy. Foods that contain fermented soy are also quite dangerous for those who suffer from hypothyroidism. These foods include tempeh or soy sauce that is quite common in Asian cuisine. These foods are difficult to break down in your system, and are also known to suppress thyroid hormones in the body. Fermented soy also contains a great deal of phytic acid which will interrupt your body's ability to absorb nutrients, which will worsen the side effects that typically are associated with hypothyroidism.

Unfermented soy is also dangerous for those who are suffering from thyroid issues. This form of soy contains a great deal of isoflavones and genistein which can cause the consumer to develop autoimmune thyroid disease. Studies have shown that babies who consume soy based formula are more likely to develop thyroid issues later in life as well.

Foods rich in gluten may also increase your symptoms of hypothyroid disease. Those who are already suffering from this condition are also more likely to develop celiac disease, which will further restrict their diet. Limiting or eliminating products which are wheat or barley based from your diet can help you eliminate your symptoms and make you more comfortable overall when dealing with a thyroid condition.

Foods that impact iodine intake. Any foods that impact your iodine uptake need to be avoided when you are dealing with hypothyroidism. One of the most common offenders in this category is coffee. Not only does this beverage impact your iodine levels, but it is a heavy stimulant that can inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones while simultaneously increasing your metabolism, which can put your system in a strange imbalance.

Foods with high levels of chemicals. Foods which contain high levels of chemicals which are difficult to break down can also harm your thyroid. These include foods high in cysteine like red meat or eggs, chlorine or fluoride which may be present in tap water or tea, or foods that contain thiourea such as peaches, rutabaga, spinach, strawberries or pears.

Table 1: Foods to be avoided by hypothyroid patients

Types of Foods


Foods containing millet

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, rapini, turnips, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Fermented or Unfermented Soy

Tempeh, miso, tofu, soy sauce, soy baby formula.

Foods which impact iodine uptake


Gluten based foods

Wheat and barley based products

Foods containing goitrogens

Soybean, corn, canola, safflower, flax or canola oils, broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, cabbage, tapioca, mustard, peanuts, pine nuts, rapeseed, turnips, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

Foods high in cysteine

Eggs and red meat

Chlorine or fluoride

Tap water, black or green tea

Foods high in thiourea

Pears, strawberries, spinach, preaches, kale, or rutabaga



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