Hypothyroidism causes metabolic problems, which is why diet is so important in treatment. To improve metabolism, you need to increase your intake of iodine and thyroid hormone supplements. Read about how the hypothyroidism diet should be composed. If you have hypothyroidism, try our sample menu.
Basics of diet for hypothyroidism
If you gain weight quickly, have pale and dry skin, problems with concentration, you often feel cold and heavy, see an endocrinologist and have your thyroid hormone levels checked. These symptoms indicate hypothyroidism (a dysfunction of small gland at the level of the larynx). Treatment of this condition consists in increasing the iodine intake and supplementing with thyroid hormones.
Diet in hypothyroidism should be high in iodine
This element is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. It takes part in the production of thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which in a multidirectional way affect the growth and development of whole organism, as well as its metabolism.
The body needs about 160 mcg of iodine daily (180-200 mcg if you are pregnant or nursing). It should be provided with food or by inhalation. The best sources of it are undoubtedly sea fish and seafood.
It is the only natural reliable source of iodine in food because the content of iodine in vegetables, fruits, grain and dairy products varies greatly depending on the place of cultivation or breeding. When the soil is low in iodine, plants growing on it will also contain little of it. In turn, the iodine content in milk and dairy products depends on its presence in the feed that the cows are fed.
In order to provide this deficient component in many countries, table salt is iodized, it is added to finished products, supplemented with iodine-containing preparations and animal feed is iodized.
Some types of mineral waters can also be the source of iodine, so check the label if the mineral water contains significant amount of iodine and include it in your daily diet.
Diet in hypothyroidism
1st Breakfast – multigrain muesli, a few nuts, mandarin pieces, natural yoghurt, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to drink
II Breakfast – a slice of whole wheat bread with tuna paste, seasonal vegetable salad, mineral water
Snack – kiwi, mandarin
Lunch – pumpkin cream soup, veal stewed in vegetables, buckwheat, green beans from water
Dinner – Greek-style fish, a slice of whole grain bread, mineral water
1st breakfast: natural yoghurt (150 g), 2 sandwiches with lean meat, tomato and lettuce, tea or coffee without sugar
2nd Breakfast – 2 sandwiches with sirloin and cheese, pepper and cucumber, banana
Lunch: grilled chicken breast, potatoes, carrots with peas, and celery salad
Dinner – fruit yogurt (1.5% fat), 2 sandwiches with lean meat, broccoli salad, apple
Nutritional value energy 1406 kcal, protein 93 g, fat 43 g, carbohydrates 180 g
Diet in hypothyroidism prohibited products
Some foods contain goitrogens that can restrict the absorption of iodine from foods. Those are for example:
- brussels sprouts
This mainly applies to raw vegetables. Cooking reduces the content of these harmful substances by more than 30%. People who have developed simple goitre or have been found to be deficient in iodine should significantly reduce their consumption of these vegetables, as well as peanuts and mustard seeds (they are also rich in goitrogenic substances).
Protein is essential in an hypothyroidism diet
Protein should account for 15% of all calories you eat. Such a level in the diet guarantees a high metabolic rate. In addition, the protein stimulates the production of growth hormone responsible for fat burning. The basis of the hypothyroidism diet is to increase the daily supply of protein to the level of 80-100 g. With this amount, however, you must remember to drink at least 1.5 liters of mineral water (for example for kidney protection).