HealthMetabolic and Endocrine

Food to Eat When You Have Hypothyroidism

People who have hypothyroidism make less thyroid hormone. This means they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest.

Generally, there’s no hypothyroidism diet. 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, adequate dietary iodine is essential for normal thyroid function.

In developed countries, thyroid disease from iodine deficiency has been nearly eliminated by iodine additives in salt and food. Eating a balanced diet makes taking supplemental iodine unnecessary. In fact, too much iodine can cause hyperthyroidism in some people.

Other supplements such as soy, taken in large amounts, may have an impact on thyroid hormone production but won’t cause hypothyroidism in people who are not also iodine deficient.

Avoiding dietary extremes will ensure thyroid health. If you have concerns, talk with your doctor about taking a multivitamin with minerals.
If you have hypothyroidism, take thyroid hormone replacement medication as directed by your doctor — generally with an empty stomach. It’s also important to note that too much dietary fiber can impair the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication

How Does Hypothyroidism Affect Your Metabolism?

The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body will burn at rest.
People who have hypothyroidism make less thyroid hormone. This means they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest.
Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave you tired, increase your blood cholesterol levels and make it harder for you to lose weight

If you find it difficult to maintain your weight with hypothyroidism, try doing moderate- or high-intensity cardio. This includes exercises like fast-paced walking, running, hiking and rowing.
Research shows that moderate- to high-intensity aerobic exercise may help boost your thyroid hormone levels. In turn, this may help speed up your metabolism
People with hypothyroidism might also benefit from increasing their protein intake. Research shows that higher-protein diets help increase the speed of your metabolism (source)

Foods that can control hypothyroidism:

Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables

Blueberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and other foods rich in antioxidants can improve overall health and benefit the thyroid gland. Eating foods high in B vitamins, like whole grains, may also help.(source)(source)

Omega-3s in Fish

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines make this food an excellent choice for lunch or dinner.

Unmanaged hypothyroidism can increase the risk of heart disease as a result of higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol.

Omega-3s are known to decrease inflammation, help with immunity, and lower the risk for heart disease,

Fish is also a good source of the nutrient selenium, which is most concentrated in the thyroid and helps decrease inflammation.

Whole Grains 

Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Whole-grain foods such as cereal, bread, pasta, and rice are high in nutrients in addition to fiber, which can help with bowel regularity

Some people with hypothyroidism choose to avoid whole-grains altogether, but if you do choose to eat them, the recommendation is to take your thyroid medication several hours before or after eating foods rich in dietary fiber


Seaweed has a high concentration of iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. Iodine is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormone,

Seaweed, packaged as nori, wakame, and dulse, can be used in sushi, soups, and salads. Another plus: Seaweed offers nutritional benefits of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
It is possible to have too much iodine, which can worsen thyroid disease. However, according to the American Thyroid Association, the likelihood of this is greater if you’re taking supplements that contain iodine. Be sure to talk with your physician before increasing your iodine intake.


An inexpensive and versatile food, beans are a great source for sustained energy, which can be helpful if hypothyroidism leaves you feeling drained.

Beans contain protein, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and loads of vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can be beneficial if you suffer from constipation, a common side effect of hypothyroidism.

If you’re new to beans, there are many varieties to try, all of which can be used as the base for entrées, as side dishes, and to enhance soups, salads, and stews.

Just be sure not to overdo it — guidelines recommend that adults get 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day, but excess fiber can interfere with your hypothyroidism treatment. (source)

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are packed with another nutrient that helps regulate thyroid hormones: selenium. In one 2003 study by researchers in France, women who consumed higher amounts of selenium were less likely to develop goiters and thyroid tissue damage than those who didn’t.

Plus, it may also help stave off long-term thyroid damage in people with thyroid-related problems like Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease, according to a 2013 review in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.
Just one kernel contains 96 micrograms, which is almost double the daily recommended intake of 55 micrograms. And remember, the max upper limit of selenium is 400 micrograms a day, so don’t go overboard.

Too much selenium can cause “garlic breath,” hair loss, discolored nails, and even heart failure


Much of the iodine in the average American diet comes from dairy products, according to a 2008 study by researchers from the Food and Drug Administration. But our consumption of dairy has been on the decline for decades:

During the years between 1970 and 2012, there’s been a 60-gallon drop, largely because we’re drinking milk less often, say the researchers.
By drinking 1 cup of low-fat milk, you’ll consume about one-third of your daily iodine needs. Another good idea: Opt for a glass that’s been fortified with vitamin D.

One 2013 study found that people with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) were more likely to be deficient in D than their healthier counterparts.

Chicken and beef

Zinc is another key nutrient for your thyroid—your body needs it to churn out TH. Take in too little zinc, and it can lead to hypothyroidism.

But get this: If you develop hypothyroidism, you can also become deficient in zinc, since your thyroid hormones help absorb the mineral.

And when that happens, you may also experience side effects like severe alopecia, an autoimmune condition that attacks hair follicles and makes it fall out in clumps, according to one 2013 report.
You probably get enough zinc already (most people in the U.S. do), but if you have a poor diet or a GI disorder that interferes with your ability to absorb zinc, you might be at risk for a deficiency

Meats are a good source: One 3-ounce serving of beef chuck roast contains 7 milligrams; a 3-ounce beef patty contains 3 milligrams, and a 3-ounce serving of dark chicken meat contains 2.4 milligrams.


Since iodine is found in soils and seawater, fish are another good source of this nutrient. In fact, researchers have long known that people who live in remote, mountainous regions with no access to the sea are at risk for goiters.

One 3-ounce serving of baked cod contains about 99 micrograms of iodine — or 66% of your daily recommended intake.

Canned tuna is another good option: a 3-ounce serving runs about 17 micrograms or 11% of your daily iodine quota.


Unless a food is fortified with iodine, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require manufacturers to list it on their products.

That’s just one of the reasons why it’s hard to know how much of this nutrient is in certain foods. But as a general rule, shellfish like lobster and shrimp are good sources of iodine

In fact, just 3 ounces of shrimp (about 4 or 5 pieces) contains more than 20% of your recommended intake. shellfish can also be a good source of zinc, too.

Three ounces of Alaskan crab and lobster contain 6.5 and 3.4 milligrams of zinc, respectively.


a large egg contains about 16% of the iodine and 20% of the selenium you need for the day, making them a thyroid super-food.

If you haven’t been instructed otherwise by your doctor, eat the whole egg —much of that iodine and selenium is located in the yolk,


The best diet for your thyroid requires more than just iodine, selenium, and vitamin D,

And—perhaps unsurprisingly—foods that are high in antioxidants are also good for your thyroid.

One 2008 study by researchers from Turkey suggests that people with hypothyroidism have higher levels of harmful free radicals than those without the condition.
Berries are chockfull of antioxidants, according to a 2010 study in Nutrition Journal.

The researchers examined more than 3,000 foods and found that wild strawberries, blackberries, goji berries, and cranberries ranked especially high.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

It’s very easy to gain weight with hypothyroidism due to a slow metabolism.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Get plenty of rest:

Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping less than this is linked with fat gain, especially around the belly area

Practice mindful eating:

Paying attention to what you’re eating, why you’re eating and how fast you’re eating can help you develop a better relationship with food. Studies also show that it can help you lose weight

Try yoga or meditation:

Yoga and meditation can help you de-stress and improve your overall health. Research also shows that they are effective at helping you maintain a healthy weight

Try a low to moderate carb diet:

Eating a low to moderate amount of carbs is very effective for maintaining a healthy weight. However, avoid trying a ketogenic diet, as eating too few carbs may lower your thyroid hormone level (Source).

Sample Diet For Hypothyroid

Breakfast: Gluten-free bread with eggs.
Lunch: Chicken salad with 2–3 Brazil nuts.
Dinner: Stir-fried chicken and vegetables served with rice.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with 1/4 cup (31 grams) of berries.
Lunch: Grilled salmon salad.
Dinner: Fish baked with lemon, thyme, and black pepper served with a side of steamed vegetables.

Breakfast: Gluten-free bread with eggs.
Lunch: Leftovers from dinner.
Dinner: Shrimp skewers served with a quinoa salad.

Indian Sample Diet For Hypothyroid

Early Morning – 1 glass warm water with lemon + your thyroid medicines
Breakfast: 1 Cup Oats upma OR 2 egg white omelet with lots of capsicum OR Vermicilly upama with veggies -1 bowlMid-Morning: 1 medium-sized Orange / Green or red Apple / 1 cup Grapefruit / 1 cup watermelon

Lunch: 1 cup Salad (excluding cruciferous vegetables)+ 1 Cup brown rice / broken wheat daliya / 2 small phulka ( fatless )+ Vegetable 1 Cup+ 1 Cup Dal+ 1 cup curd or 50 gms Fish (not fried) or 50 gms chicken
Post Lunch: 1 glass buttermilk / 1 cup green tea + 15 mins walk

Evening snack: 1 cup green tea + 2 – 3 walnuts or brazil nutsLate evening: 1 cup vegetable soup (not strained)
Dinner: 1 cup Salad (excluding cruciferous vegetables)+ 2 fatless bajra or jowari roti or 2 thalipeeth ( Mix Flour roti )+ 1 Cup cooked bottle gourd / ridge gourd / carrot vegetable+ 1 cup curd

Post Dinner: 1 cup warm water with lemon + 15 mins walking

For more related articles click below:

How Thyroid Effects on Pregnancy and Conceiving

Diabetic Food Alternatives & Foods to be Avoided

What Are Harmful Effects Of Soft Drinks On Human Body ?

Things That Can Happen During Pregnancy

How to Minimize Risk from Sanitary Pads

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Doctor by profession and blogger by passion

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