Things to Know About Thyroid Disease and Your Diet
Goitrogenic Foods Can Slow Down Your Thyroid
Goitrogens are substances—occurring naturally in certain foods—that can cause your thyroid gland to enlarge. This enlarged gland is called goiter. Goitrogenic foods can also function like an antithyroid drug and actually slow down your thyroid and make it underactive, known as hypothyroidism.
Coconut Oil Is Not a Thyroid Treatment
You may hear coconut oil recommended for thyroid patients, and while it can be a healthful option, it's not a cure-all or treatment for thyroid disease and does not substitute for thyroid hormone replacement medication in any situation.
Soy May Be a Problem
Soy acts as a goitrogen and can inhibit your ability to absorb thyroid hormone medication. A general guideline is to avoid overconsuming soy, especially processed and high-phytoestrogen forms of soy, like soy shakes, soy powders, soy milk, and soy supplements.
Coffee Interferes With Your Thyroid Medication
You should not drink coffee, including decaffeinated coffee, until at least an hour after you've taken your thyroid hormone replacement medication. Otherwise, the coffee can affect absorption and make your thyroid medication less effective.
Iodine Can Be a Friend or Foe to Thyroid Patients
In some areas of the world, iodized salt is an essential way to prevent iodine deficiency, cretinism, and mental retardation due to iodine deficiency in pregnant women. You need enough iodine for the thyroid to function properly.
You may have heard that to raise metabolism, you should eat "mini-meals" and "graze" all day on smaller meals. But this may be exactly the wrong thing to do for thyroid patients who are trying to lose weight.