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Foods that are best to avoid

This isn't exactly a list of things that you MUST NOT eat, but some things that you might choose to steer clear of, or to limit quantities and frequencies of consumption, and believe it or not, we're even gonna give you the reasons so that you can choose for yourself if it's something that you'd prefer to adjust.

The ingestion of foods known as goitrogens block iodine utilization or conversion of thyroid hormone or hormone receptors (it varies with the particular food and it's natural chemical content) and such foods should be avoided (or at least limited).

But if you, like me, love some of these things there are steps that you can take to make them keep your body happy, you'll read about that a bit farther down the page.

Goitrogens include:

broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cassava root (found in tapioca), cauliflower, lima beans, maize (corn), millet, mustard, peanuts, pearl millet, pine nuts, rapeseed, sweet potatoes, soy, soybeans, turnips

Unsaturated fats such as flax, soybean, safflower, corn and canola (contains rapeseed) also should be avoided. Cooking usually inactivates the goitrogens but remember, too, the longer you cook vegies the more you reduce their nutritional value.

All forms of non-fermented soy (soy sauce is fermented) is known to suppress thyroid function. If you have been diagnosed with Hypothyroid disease or have a pre-disposition for the disease it's probably a good idea not to consume any soy products, including food "supplemented" with soy isoflavones ( such as some instant oatmeals, diet shakes and bars, any tofu product). That would include anything with 'textured vegetable protein' another descriptive term used for soy products.

Other foods to avoid or limit:

Avoid foods high in cysteine - red meat and eggs 

Avoid chlorine and fluoride (present in water, black & green teas, and some foods) They are chemically related to iodine and they can block iodine receptors. Drink plenty of filtered water. This is especially important if you are suffering from any fluid retention. 

Avoid all foods high in thiourea
(these also reduce thyroid function):
brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, peaches, peanuts, pears, rutabaga, spinach, strawberries, and turnips.

There aren't many fruits on the no no list. But there is something else to keep in mind with fruits, and any foods or drinks that have fructose or high fructose corn syrup. The fructose messes up hormone conversion at the cellular level. What this means is that your body has a much tougher time converting the T4 storage hormone to the active hormone, T3. 

Don't get all frustrated. I love brussels sprouts, and I love soda, and I love strawberries, pears and peaches. I don't want to give them up, but I have cut way back on them. And I've done something else to help. I multi-dose my thyroid so when I'm going to have a 'bad' food I have it maybe an hour before a scheduled thyroid dose...  so that whatever hormone in my system gets messed up is replaced with my next dose.

Some folks develop allergies to some foods. There are some things that are toward the top of the list for likely culprits, things like flour, sugar, rice - actually they seem to be mostly carb type foods. They don't affect everybody badly.. but for some they are really nasty. If you're noticing that your body is not behaving as it should it might not be a bad idea to keep a food diary and seeing if there is a pattern with certain foods causing less than desirable reactions. You can then decide whether to limit those foods, find a counter balance for them or delete them from your food choices.

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Bottom Line

There are no hard and fast rules. As with so many aspects of thyroid care it's all so very very individual. The best way that I've found to deal with it all is to learn the basics and then see what affects me and what doesn't, then decide what I want to compromise on and what I can do without. Nope, it's not pleasant. But the way that I look at it is that if we can learn what we need to do to allow our bodies to work to the best of their ability and to regain our quality of life isn't it worth making some adjustments?

You can check out the recipes section to see some of the stuff that we like along with some of the compromises that I've come up with to replace the things that my body wasn't so happy about anymore.

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