Hypothyroidism Diet

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help control cell repair, growth, and metabolism. Consequently, people with hypothyroidism may experience tiredness, hair loss, and weight gain, among many other symptoms.

Although there are many claims about the hypothyroidism diet, in general, there is no ‘one’ hypothyroidism diet that can cure the issue. However, it is important to know that nutrients play a huge role in thyroid function.

Adequate dietary iodine is necessary for normal thyroid function. According to one study, exposure to excess iodine or a deficiency in iodine may lead to thyroid issues. If you’re getting too little, make sure you’re using iodized salt in your foods. You must talk to your provider about testing your iodine level. Having a balanced diet makes taking iodine supplements unnecessary.

If you have hypothyroidism, take your thyroid hormone replacement medication as directed by your physician — generally on an empty stomach. Note that excess dietary fiber can impair the absorption of thyroid replacement medication. Having certain foods and medications at the same time as your thyroid supplements, such as walnuts and iron supplements, can have the same effect.

Foods for hypothyroidism

Along with taking your thyroid medication, you can help improve thyroid function by eating a well-balanced diet. The right nutrients and medication can help restore thyroid function and minimize your symptoms.

Plant-based foods

Eating plenty of plant-rich foods that contain amino acids like B-complex vitamins, minerals like selenium, and tyrosine, in foods such as leafy greens, nuts, whole grains and seeds, and zinc-rich legumes like beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas can support your thyroid health.

A plant-based diet is also low-calorie and thus can help in successful weight loss. It’s important to note that people with hypothyroidism should limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage to 5 ounces a day as these foods can block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine.


Omega 3’s found in fish help with inflammation and building immunity. Since tuna is rich in selenium, iodine, and tyrosine, it can be highly beneficial for those with a thyroid disorder. Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that can help convert T4 into T3.

Other foods to include in your diet:

  • Brazil nuts
  • brown rice
  • chicken
  • crab
  • eggs
  • fortified cereals
  • legumes
  • oatmeal
  • oysters
  • pumpkin seeds
  • shrimp
  • turkey

People with hypothyroidism should eat a diet that is based on vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. These are not only low in calories but also very filling.

Foods to avoid and why

Certain nutrients can interfere with thyroid function. While it’s not essential to totally avoid having foods rich in these nutrients, restricting them may help a person manage their hypothyroidism better.

Soy foods

Plant estrogens, also known as phytoestrogens, such as soy, soy milk, tofu, may hinder the activity of enzymes that help in the production of thyroid hormones. Soy may also block iodine uptake and interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication.


Vegetables containing goitrogens such as brussels sprouts, Russian kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and fruits like peaches, pears, and strawberries should be consumed in moderation as these compounds may affect the thyroid function if consumed in large amounts.

Processed foods

Limiting the intake of processed foods like fries, hot dogs, donuts, cakes, cookies, soda, and added sugars can help improve symptoms, manage weight, and boost overall health.

Untreated hypothyroidism can reduce metabolism cause fatigue and hair fall, among other symptoms. Certain foods and nutrients can help or hinder the thyroid’s function. Overall, it is important to aim for a balanced diet that supports the absorption of thyroid medication and helps with weight management. Working with a doctor or registered dietitian is essential to determine what’s best for your bodily needs. Book an appointment with DrNewMed to get a thyroid-friendly diet that supports your overall health and well-being.