Medically reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Nutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India
It is difficult to manage a healthy diet when suffering from Hyperthyroidism, which refers to an overactive thyroid gland.
Eat a lot of antioxidant berries, Omega 3 rich fish and avoid foods that are processed, contain unhealthy fats, and have large amounts of iodine.
Hyperthyroidism is a serious disorder that can have an impact on the body’s general functioning. Keeping that in mind, precautions must be taken when concerning a healthy diet for an overactive thyroid. This thyroid disorder causes symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, increased metabolism, and an irregular heartbeat
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Since the hormones secreted by the thyroid gland are so crucial in proper growth and development, as well as to provide energy, it is important to work out a well-balanced diet for thyroid disorders.
While maintaining a balanced diet, patients with an overactive thyroid should know not only what foods to add but also the ones to avoid, so as to not worsen the existing condition.
Stay away from:
- Red, processed meats
- Baked goods like cakes and cookies
- Fried food
- High dairy content food
Avoid these if you have hyperthyroidism
1. Slow the Iodine
Iodine is a mineral found mainly in salt and other foods. It regulates the activity of the thyroid hormones.
As such, it is best to avoid taking in excess iodine if you have an overactive thyroid. Experts advise consuming a low iodine diet.
Definitely avoid eating seafood and other iodine-rich foods such as:
- Egg yolks
- Milk products
- Iodized salt
2. Can the Caffeine
Caffeine has been known to mess with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and does not interact suitably with medications treating thyroid disorders as well.
As much as you may need it to stay awake, avoid drinking coffee, especially black coffee. Soft drinks and black tea should also not be a part of your daily diet. Drink a lot of fruit and vegetable juices instead to keep yourself hydrated.
3. Say No to Nitrate
Certain processed foods contain nitrates, a chemical substance that is used to prolong shelf life.
Nitrates increase iodine absorption activity of the thyroid, and therefore, it is better to avoid:
- Processed meat like bacon, salami, pepperoni, and sausage have a high content of nitrate, and should, therefore, be avoided.
- Nitrate may also occur naturally in some vegetables like celery, lettuce, beets, cabbage, and turnips, which may also be avoided.
If you need help, book yourself a consultation with a Possible expert and work out a tailor-made nutrition plan
4. Watch The Sugar
A malfunctioning thyroid causes a change in metabolism rates and blood glucose level, which in turn may lead to diabetes. To prevent such changes, choose foods that are low in glycemic levels instead.
Avoid food like:
- Processed grains and juices.
- Carbs like potatoes, white rice, and white bread
5. Lower Gluten Intake
Gluten contains gliadin, which mimics an enzyme found in the thyroid. Since gliadin is a foreign substance in the body, it engages the reaction of the immune system, which leads to adverse effects on the thyroid gland.
Doctors always suggest that low gluten or even a gluten-free diet is the way to go. This includes avoiding:
6. Bye Soy
Soy falls under the category of goitrogens, which are foods that increase the risk of goiter and affect the functioning of the thyroid.
Though there is no direct connection between soy and hyperthyroidism, because of its classification, it is safer to avoid soy-based food.
Most soy ingredients are used in Asian cuisine. Try to avoid foodstuff like:
- Soy milk
- Soy sauce
- Soy flour
7. Herbal Supplements
Some herbal supplements are used to improve metabolism or to cause weight loss.
However, those with an overactive thyroid should avoid such supplements since they will have additive effects and also may contain high levels of iodine.
Avoid herbal supplements with the following herbs:
- Myrrh, which increases thyroxine production.
- Garcinia, which promotes weight loss.
- Cola nut, used in energy drinks, and affects the nervous system.
Add these to your diet
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, trans fats and saturated fats worsen the condition of hyperthyroidism by causing inflammation.
They recommend eating more whole and natural foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts like walnuts, flax seeds and white meat.
1] Why is it recommended to eat more berries if you have hyperthyroidism?
Experts recommend one serving of berries daily for hyperthyroidism patients because berries have great antioxidant abilities and help build up the immune system.
They provide a great jolt of energy, and this is especially useful since hyperthyroidism is known to cause fatigue.
2] Why are goitrogens supposed to be avoided during hyperthyroidism?
Goitrogens prevent the absorption of iodine by the thyroid. When treating hyperthyroidism, the plan is to reduce iodine absorption. However, this may sometimes lead to hypothyroidism or iodine deficiency. As such, it is better to avoid goitrogens or at least take them in very limited amounts.
3] Seafood is an important part of my diet. What alternatives can I use if I have hyperthyroidism?
Having Hyperthyroidism doesn’t mean you have to give up seafood completely! Certain kinds of fish, like salmon, tuna, halibut, and mackerel are actually very healthy to eat, even with hyperthyroidism.
They are a wonderful source of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, essential for a nutritional diet.
4] What kind of effect does hyperthyroidism have on vitamin and mineral levels in the body?
Hyperthyroidism may lead to a decrease in essential vitamin and minerals in the body, including zinc, calcium, selenium and vitamin D.
It is recommended to eat foods rich in various minerals and vitamins, and which have good antioxidant properties.
5] What else can I do to keep my thyroid disorder in check?
You do not have to be dependent on only medicines and food to manage hyperthyroidism.
Exercise regularly.Keep yourself hydrated with water and/or fruit and vegetable juices.Avoid eating out and drinking alcohol.Take vitamin D and calcium supplements.