Inside: Understand the correlation between food and thyroid disorder. List of foods that hurts your thyroid. Plus tips to start avoiding these foods.
Thyroid disorders are increasing at a rapid rate and often they are accompanied by frustrating symptoms. The most common symptoms being fatigue, brain fog, constipation, weight issues, hair issues.
The only form of treatment available, at this point in time, is giving levothyroxine medication. But often that medication is not able to resolve the above symptoms and females continue to suffer dreadfully for a long time.
Often thyroid patients will have a question that can any foods be hurting their thyroid.
Most of the physicians do not have an answer to this question, but we do have literature supporting at this point of time that does point that there is some correlation with food and thyroid disorder.
Foods Hurting Your Thyroid
There are certain foods that can harm your thyroid and it’s best to avoid them. The reason being these foods are pro-inflammatory and causes an inflammatory reaction in your body when they’re consumed.
The underlying causes of thyroid disorders are inflammation so unless we remove food which is causing inflammation your thyroid will not heal.
Actually we have seen that people who consume these regular pro-inflammatory foods will see a worsening of the thyroid situation. So it’s very important to learn about these foods especially if you have a thyroid disorder and avoid them.
Gluten is one of the foods which has been associated with a lot of chronic medical issues. Especially with a thyroid disorder, gluten can be very harmful and can lead to the destruction of the thyroid.
There are some studies that associate gluten with Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune thyroid disorder. What gluten does is it causes an inflammatory reaction in your body and this inflammation ultimately starts destroying your thyroid gland.
Once this inflammation has destroyed your thyroid gland to a large extent then people will start experiencing symptoms of low thyroid. And that’s the time the blood test will become positive and you’ll be diagnosed with a thyroid disorder.
There are several research studies that have shown an association of thyroid disorders and celiac disease (severe gluten allergy).
In fact, there have been a couple of research studies that have shown that once people give up gluten there’s a significant improvement in the symptoms of the patients as well as their thyroid blood test improve significantly. So it is very important to try to illuminate gluten from your diet.
Now the problem is that most of the over-the-counter things will have gluten mixed in it. So you have to be very very careful in reading the labels of over-the-counter products and make sure that there is no gluten listed as an ingredient in it.
There are certain gluten-free grains that you can use which have other benefits also. Gluten-free grains are rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, sorghum.
Another most common mistake that a lot of people make when trying to be gluten-free is that they do not eliminate gluten completely from the diet. So it is important to not just reduce the amount of gluten in your diet but you will have to completely eliminate gluten from your diet.
You can start by doing three weeks of gluten elimination and at the end of three weeks, you can see how your body feels.
Dairy is also one of the most common food which people with Hashimoto’s have issues with.
Traditionally dairy was considered to be healthy but in the modern world, dairy is processed in such a way that it actually starts hurting your own body.
It has been seen by consuming a regular amount of dairy the inflammatory markers in people’s blood go high. And again as we know inflammation is underlying causes of thyroid disorder so anything which increases inflammation is harmful to people with a thyroid disorder.
It is best to use dairy alternatives. Now the most common myth that I see is that dairy is the only source of calcium and those people continue to consume it on a regular basis.
But what people do not know is that there are other good food sources of calcium that you can consume on a daily basis to meet your calcium requirements.
Foods that are high in calcium are dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and watercress, nuts(almonds), seeds(chia seeds), pulses. Sardines and salmons.
Dairy-free alternatives are easily available and are becoming more and more affordable like coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, flax milk.
3. Processed Meat
The meat industry has grown rapidly in the last decade, the majority of the growth has been around more and more processing of this meat.
Processed meat has been associated with increased inflammation in people’s bodies, and at one point WHO categorized processed meat as a carcinogen.
For thyroid patients, there was a research study done that showed that people who consumed a regular amount of processed meat had a higher amount of thyroid antibodies. And once people eliminated processed meat from their diet thyroid antibodies improved.
So it is very important to eliminate processed meat from your diet completely. That doesn’t mean that you have to become a vegetarian, as you can still consume fish, seafood, or chicken on a regular basis.
Most people are allergic to soy these days. It has been seen that people who consume regular soy have higher incidence of thyroid disorders.
The major reason for this issue is that the soy these days is highly processed and that causes people to react. Also are there are some concerns about phytoestrogens in soy which can be harmful especially for females who have a thyroid disorder.
This has not yet been established completely, but at this point in time, we do know that soy is inflammatory for thyroid patients and should be avoided completely.
5. Sugary Foods
Sugar is one of the most inflammatory food that we can consume. It plays an important role in destroying the thyroid gland and ultimately leading to hypothyroidism. It has been shown that sugar increases the inflammatory markers in thyroid patients.
So it is very important to reduce and completely eliminate sugar from a thyroid patient’s diet.
The first step towards eliminating sugar from your diet would be removing added sugar in your regular diet.
And then after that, it would be a good idea to reduce other sugar-containing additives such as honey, agave, and artificial sweeteners.
You can continue to have a small amount of Stevia or Monk fruit as the sweeteners in your regular diet. Also, fruits that are low in sugar also perfectly fine like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries are.
6. Fried Fatty Food
Fried fatty food is again one of the worst foods that you can consume for your thyroid. Fried fatty food causes fat to degenerate and converts it into transfat. This trans fat has been associated with several research studies with various chronic diseases like thyroid disorder, heart disorder, diabetes, etc.
So the important concept to remember is while cooking you would not like to fry your food in any kind of oil or butter.
The best way to cook is either steaming your vegetables or sautéing your food and then after that, you can add either olive oil or Ghee on top.
So these are the top six foods that you need to avoid if you have a thyroid disorder. Most of these foods are pro-inflammatory and that means that they increase inflammation in your body.
Now with the new research studies, we know that the underlying cause of the disorder is inflammation. This inflammation causes the destruction of your thyroid gland and that’s the reason people ultimately develop low thyroid issues.
By eliminating these six foods you will reduce the amount of inflammation in your body and that will improve the symptoms that you’re experiencing because of thyroid disorder.
Most of the time after eliminating these fools, people will see improved energy, improved mental clarity, and most often they will also start losing weight.
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