The Hypothyroidism Diet – Fact or Fiction?
I recently read an article by an endocrinologist with the Mayo Clinic (Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.) who wrote 'generally' there is "no hypothyroidism diet". He then went on to say:
Although claims about hypothyroidism diets abound, there's no evidence that eating or avoiding certain foods will improve thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism. *
However, he then went on to say that certain foods can “impair the absorption of the synthetic thyroid hormone” and that these foods should be avoided whilst taking these specific thyroid medications in order to prevent such interactions.
In other words, at the very least, there are dietary considerations for those suffering from hypothyroidism; especially those taking synthetic forms of the thyroid hormone.
Step 1 For Your Hypothyroidism Diet
What Not to Eat – Steer Clear of Goitrogens
Foods to avoid are those typically known as Goitrogens, many of which are members of the brassica family. These are known to suppress thyroid function by inhibiting the metabolism of iodine which is used by the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormone known as T4. Since hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland then those with hypothyroidism really want to do all that they can to maximize there output of T4 rather than reducing it because of their diet.
Here are a few examples of foods to avoid:
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Kale and Spinach
- Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts
- Turnips and Radishes
- Peaches and Strawberries
- Walnuts and Peanuts
- Soy-Based Foods
So what about other forms of hypothyroidism treatment?
There are those that claim that it is not only possible to treat hypothyroidism naturally but that diet plays an essential role in helping your body to heal naturally and for your thyroid gland to resume its normal function. As well as host of thyroid diet books on the market at the moment ( Click here to view a selection of the top selling books on Amazon ) there are two key products that are worth a mention, since they both offer a natural solution that is based upon a Hypothyroidism Diet.
The Hypothyroidism Solution – is a product from Naturopath Duncan Capicchiano, in which he combines science and research with his “unique holistic skills” through which he has been able to guide his patients back to long term health, without the need for 'potentially harmful drugs'. His approach relies upon a combination of nutrition and gentle exercise in which he highlights which foods to eat and the minerals, vitamins and natural herbs that, when taken on a daily basis, will help to support your thyroid function.
The Natural Thyroid Diet – is a product from Louise O'Connor, who is also a Naturopath and Wellness Coach, based upon her in depth knowledge of thyroid health and long established treatment guide used to treat clients in her private practice. As the name suggest, it focuses upon supporting the thyroid, 'achieving lasting weight-loss' and supercharging your metabolism by means of eliminating thyroid damaging foods, toxic food ingredients and nutrient deficiencies from your diet and identifying other areas of stress and toxicity to restore energy and health to your body.
Step 2 For Your Hypothyroidism Diet
What Foods to Eat – the Best Herbs and Supplements
One of the key elements in the production of T4 is iodine and therefore, a depletion of iodine can greatly affect the natural thyroid function. Foods that contain iodine are eggs, meat, fish and other seafood, parsley, potatoes and oatmeal. An excellent source of iodine is the seaweed Bladder wrack, which is also rich in other minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc and also helps to remove heavy metals like cadmium and lead, which interfere with the production of T3 (triiodothyronine) from T4. The fact that is most commonly overlooked, however, is that the other halogens (chlorine, fluorine and bromine) have very similar chemical properties to iodine and often combine with the amino acid tyrosine to create a hybrid T4 molecule that is unusable. Unfortunately, as a result of today's water purification process our household drinking water has unacceptable levels of these elements, especially chlorine and fluorine. The solution to this is to drink distilled or reverse osmosis water, which remove all of these harmful chemicals.
A healthy hypothyroid diet should include natural foods, whole grains, plenty of fruit and vegetables along with a good supply of sea food and other lean protein. It is best to cut back on meats that are high in fat but bear in mind that not all meat is bad for you. In reality it is the consumption of bad fats that is the problem, especially trans fats and hydrogenated oils (like those found in fried food).
These foods are rich in tyrosine which is known to help ease some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
- lean meat and fish
- chicken and turkey breast
- low-fat milk and yogurt
- avocado and bananas
- beans and lentils
- pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
Vitamins and supplements are an important part of any diet and if you do not currently take one a good multivitamin will almost certainly help to boost your immune system, helping to control the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Vitamin A and D deficiencies, in particular, are known to contribute towards thyroid dysfunction. Selenium is also a key nutrient to include in a hypothyroidism diet and can be found in Brazil nuts.
A key factor in any kind of diet but especially in a hypothyroidism diet is to eat little and often. It is known to be better for the stimulation of insulin which will help to balance your metabolism thus helping with weight loss. Don't forget to increase the amount of exercise that you do daily too.