Foods to eat and avoid during hypothyroidism

01 October 2019 | Blog

Seema Singh, Chief Clinical Nutritionist and Head of Department, Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj shares her views on foods to eat and avoid during hypothyroidism

Though no specific diet for hypothyroidism is suggested but It’s highly recommended to ensure that you maintain healthy diet and lifestyle.

Maintain right weight: It’s important to eat the right variety of foods in the correct proportions. For example, choose low fat, low calorie spread rather than butter or ordinary margarines, avoid high salt intake and cut down on hidden fats & sugars (cakes, biscuits, chocolate).

Have a calcium rich diet and maintain normal vitamin D levels.

Increase dietary fiber: Dietary fiber helps improve digestion. Eating whole-grain foods and a variety of vegetables and fruits ensures that you have an ample supply of dietary fiber.

Watch certain food consumption timings along with thyroid medication is helpful for the better absorption of medicine

Calcium-Some calcium rich foods and supplements interfere with levothyroxine absorption so A gap of 4 hours between the two is recommended.

Soya interferes with thyroxine absorption, therefore If you wish to take soya, there should be as long a time interval as possible between eating the soya and taking the thyroxine.

Watch your iodine intake-Some forms of hypothyroidism are caused by a lack of enough iodine. In such cases, using iodized salt or iodine-enriched foods.  But eating too much iodine can have the opposite effect and suppress thyroid gland activity.

Avoid taking Iron supplements along with thyroid medication

High-fiber foods: Although a high-fiber diet is usually recommended, too much fiber eaten right after taking thyroid medicines may interfere with their absorption. Wait two hours before you eat a high-fiber meal (one with more than about 15 grams of fiber).

Cruciferous vegetables: They are rich in fiber, like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts, may inhibit thyroid medication absorption. Reducing the amounts of such produce in the morning right after taking your medication may help.

Foods to eat: Nutrient-rich foods that improve your health may also benefit your thyroid gland. Certain compounds and supplements may help as well. These include:

A diet rich in Antioxidants (fruits and vegetables) like Blueberries, tomatoes, bell peppers can improve overall health and benefit the thyroid gland. Eating foods high in B vitamins, like whole grains, may also help.


Eating selenium-rich foods, such as sunflower seeds or Brazil nuts, can be beneficial for proper thyroid functions.

Tyrosine, this amino acid is used by the thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4. Good sources of tyrosine are meats, dairy, and legumes.

Zinc is another important micronutrient in thyroid function Reports are there on subclinical hypothyroidism because of zinc deficiency. The recommended intake of zinc is 15mg/day.

To conclude, have a healthy diet while keeping in mind the better absorption of thyroid medication. It would be ideal to have 30 min to one-hour gap between thyroid medication and meals.



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