With 1–5 out of every 100 people being affected by an over or under-active thyroid, it is becoming increasingly important that we take measures to manage the condition. While medication is a must, there are some things you can do at home to supplement your treatment. And this includes slashing some foods from your diet. Here’s what you need to avoid if you’re suffering from hypo or hyperthyroidism.
1. Soy And Soy Products
It is commonly believed that soy protein is bad for you, especially if you are on medication for thyroid issues. Soy is said to interfere with the absorption of the thyroid hormone, thus rendering the medication ineffective. Although there are contradictory conclusions from various studies about the effect of soy on thyroid, it’s best to moderate your intake. However, if you also have an iodine deficiency along with a subclinical hypothyroidism, it’s wise to completely avoid soy products, as it could increase your risk of developing hypothyroidism.
2. Milk And Milk Products
Whole milk is rich in calcium, which could hinder the absorption of synthetic thyroid hormone. Also, dairy products like cheese and butter contain trans fat that could prevent your thyroid from recovering. Additionally, calcium supplements are also best avoided.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soy, beans, and mustard greens, can lower the thyroid activity. If you suffer from hypothyroidism, consuming these vegetables – also known as goitrogenic foods – might worsen the condition and cause goitre, which is the enlargement and impairment of the thyroid gland. If you need to eat them, make sure they are properly cooked, as cooking reduces their thyroid-lowering activity. Also, ensure that you don’t consume them in more than one meal a day.
4. Refined Sugar And Wheat
Your thyroid gland doesn’t agree with sugar. Be it in the form of sweet-treats or cookies, refined sugar is best left out of your plates. To satisfy your sweet tooth, opt for fruits, dried fruits, or natural alternatives like honey. Additionally, cut out refined wheat or flour from your diet and go for whole grains instead.
Sea vegetables like kelp are high in iodine. While iodine is essential for thyroid function, excessive intake can cause more harm than good. Limit your iodine consumption, especially if you are suffering from hypothyroidism. However, some experts believe that the iodine obtained from fatty fish, unlike sea vegetables, is generally safe.
To supplement your treatment with the right nutrition, also make sure to include lots of whole-grain vegetables, lean meat, nuts, fatty fish, and fruits. And remember to say no to alcohol and tobacco. Also, make sure you get at least 7–8 hours of sleep and exercise regularly, as your lifestyle also plays a major role in regulating your thyroid.