Foods To Avoid With Hashimoto’s Disease and a Hashimoto’s Disease Diet Plan

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If you’re living with Hashimoto’s — an autoimmune disease that involves the body essentially attacking the thyroid — then you know how important it is to make choices that help you feel good every day. Trying to deal with symptoms such as weight gain, chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, and more, can feel overwhelming and, on some days, defeating. So, it’s crucial to be aware of your daily behaviors, including what you’re choosing to eat. Some foods can aggravate symptoms and cause more thyroid problems, while other foods can be an important healing component of your Hashimoto’s diet plan. 

Foods To Avoid In Your Hashimoto’s Disease Diet

The 5 foods listed below should raise a red flag to anyone with Hashimoto’s. Here’s why you should avoid or limit your consumption of them as part of your Hashimoto’s diet.

1. Cruciferous Vegetables – Avoid Them Raw

If you have Hashimoto’s, think twice about eating these raw. This group of vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, contain glucosinolates (substances known as goitrogens that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones). More specifically, these glucosinolates are blocking iodine, which is essential in making those hormones. Small amounts of raw goitrogenic veggies have not been found to aggravate the autoimmune thyroid, so don’t eat them raw. However,  and eating these cruciferous vegetables cooked is a much safer option. 

2. Canola Oil – Avoid Completely 

Speaking of goitrogens, canola oil is another that should be avoided. Although it’s considered a good alternative oil for cooking at high heat, it’s also highly processed and refined. Try avocado oil or coconut oil and beware of processed foods that may contain canola oil, like salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine and others. Read the labels and specifically the ingredients label!

3. Soy- Avoid Completely 

Yet another goitrogen that can be detrimental to Hashimoto’s patients. Unlike with cruciferous vegetables where cooking them eliminates the concern, soy contains the goitrogens even after cooking. For some, consuming soy can cause a thyroid crash, leaving you feeling drained and exhausted the day after eating it.

4. Avoid Excessive Amounts of Omega 6 Foods

Our bodies require both omega-3 (reduce inflammation) and omega-6 (promote inflammation) fats, but it’s important to strike a balance and most of us are consuming way too many omega-6 fats. This can be problematic for most people, but even worse for those with Hashimoto’s, who already have some level of inflammation. Vegetable oils, for example, have a high content of omega-6 fats. Opt for olive and sunflower oils, or flaxseed oil, known for its omega-3 content. For those who enjoy meat, organic, grass-fed beef has fewer omega 6 fats than corn-fed beef.

5. Gluten – Remove as Much as Possible  

Gluten increases intestinal permeability, which can lead to what is called “leaky gut.” If you have Hashimoto’s, you more than likely have some degree of gluten intolerance. Removing gluten from your diet helps reduce inflammation and increases the absorption of many nutrients. If you have leaky gut already, explore repairing it with the addition of collagen peptides into your diet, as collagen can help repair your intestinal lining

 

Foods To Include In Your Hashimoto’s Disease Diet

Another important part of your Hashimoto’s diet is adding in nutrients and food sources that are necessary for proper thyroid function and can provide healing relief. First we focus on making sure to add in gut-healing foods which can benefit the immune system and overall health. Then we add in other foods that include specific nutrients that provide thyroid benefits. Here is my list of foods to add into your Hashimoto’s diet plan.

  1. Probiotics: When trying to heal Hashimoto’s, it’s important to increase or rebalance gut flora (the good bacteria)  Probiotics are good bacteria that can help you maintain your digestive system and boost immune health. You can take probiotics as a supplement, but there are natural food sources of probiotics that provide important benefits to your gut and Hashimoto’s. Yogurt is a great source of natural probiotics. Just be sure to consume a natural kind, one without too much or any sugar (many yogurt brands include 4 ½ teaspoons of sugar per 6-ounce container!).
  2. Fermented foods: Fermented foods promote the good bacteria in our guts and help to eliminate bad bacteria. Fermented foods are helpful in aiding digestion, helping essential nutrients to be absorbed into our bloodstream and provide healing benefits to the thyroid and entire body. Include sauerkraut, kimchee, and other pickled veggies into your Hashimoto’s diet.
  3. Collagen: Our bodies natural collagen helps to maintain gut health, which is tied to immune health. However, since our bodies naturally lose collagen as we age, I recommend making sure you add in collagen into your diet to help reduce gut inflammation, aid in digestion and help to repair the intestinal lining. Eat more foods with collagen in it such as bone broth, fish skin, chicken skin or taking daily collagen peptides can also help improve your gut health.
  4. Foods High in Selenium: Selenium is a trace mineral needed for converting thyroid hormones and which helps reduce inflammation. The thyroid hormone T4 is an inactive form of the hormone which needs to be changed into the active form of the thyroid hormone T3. In order for this change from inactive to active (T4 to T3) to occur, selenium is needed. Without proper selenium intake in diet and nutrition, the conversion of T4 to T3 cannot take place, thus slowing the function of the thyroid, which controls energy metabolism. Selenium is essential in this process so it is important to have an adequate intake of selenium in our diets in order to properly support our thyroid. Brazil nuts are one of my favorite sources because one nut supplies you with a days worth of selenium. Other sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, oysters, sunflower seeds and crimini mushrooms.
  5. Foods High in Zinc: Just like selenium, zinc is necessary for conversion of the thyroid hormones from inactive to active. When zinc intake is low, not only is hormone production diminished, but the absorption of the zinc being ingested is also inhibited. Additionally, zinc is necessary for the production of the hormone TSH, which produces T3 and T4.  Individuals who eat solely a plant-based diet are more likely to have a zinc deficiency. This is because whole grains and legumes contain high amounts of a chemical called phytates which block the ability of zinc to function, thus further impacting the production of hormones by the thyroid. Maintaining a diet high in zinc is essential for proper thyroid function. Good sources of zinc include chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin, spinach and kefir.
  6. Foods High in Iodine: Iodine is a trace mineral that is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones in the body. The thyroid cells are the only cells that are able to absorb and utilize iodine, making iodine an important nutrient necessary for the conversion of T4 to T3. Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the leading cause of issues with the thyroid, including hypothyroidism, thyroid enlargement and goiter. However, there is current research that shows that excessive intake of iodine can have negative effects on the thyroid. Since table salt is typically fortified with iodine, it is found that many people with high added-salt diets may have thyroid issues due to excessive iodine intake. Thus, maintaining a correct intake of iodine is necessary for the proper production and function of thyroid hormones.  Keep in mind that the recommended daily amount of iodine is 150mcgs. Additionally, it is recommended that you consume no more than 2300 mg per day of sodium (under 1300mg if you are a heart patient.) Make sure to include some of the following foods that are chock full of iodine: table salt, sea vegetables (kelp, seaweed, arame, kombu), cranberries, yogurt, navy beans and strawberries.
  7. Foods High in Vitamin B12: B12 is an essential vitamin that is necessary for nerve signaling and function of the brain and spinal cord. According to one study, there is a high prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. Since autoimmune diseases result in the body attacking itself, the digestive tract is affected. Specifically, inflammation in the digestive tract can affect absorption of Vitamin B12, often leading to a deficiency. Even people who have adequate intakes of B12 can experience a deficiency due to this altered absorption. To get enough Vitamin B12, eat cottage cheese, grass-fed beef, nutritional yeast, salmon, eggs, fortified cereals, low-fat milk and cheeses and sardines.

Understanding how your Hashimoto diet impacts your thyroid function can be of great benefit to help your thyroid function optimally. It is equally important to avoid foods that can aggravate Hashimoto’s, and to make sure you add in foods that can ensure proper thyroid function. As part of this Hashimoto’s diet, you will feel better, have more energy and achieve overall wellness.

 

Read some of our inspiring stories about Hashimoto’s:

I Was Shocked at How This Powerful Practice Helped Heal My Hashimoto’s

Living with Hashimoto’s? MS? Lupus? 3 Reasons to Give Up Gluten Now

My First Step to Healing My Hashimoto’s Came from the Most Unexpected Place

Everyone Thought I Was a Hypochondriac. It Was Actually an Autoimmune Disease Called Hashimoto’s.

 

Did you know that adding Daily Turmeric Tonic to your recipe can help to reduce pain?

 

Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

References:

  1. Duntas LH. The Role of Iodine and Selenium in Autoimmune Hypothyroidism. (2015) US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26361258
  2. Jabbar, A, et al. “Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Common in Primary Hypothyroidism.” JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 58.5 (2008): 258–61. Web. 23 Aug. 2016.
  3. Dharmasena, A. (2014). Selenium supplementation in thyroid associated ophthalmopathy: an update. International Journal of Ophthalmology, 7(2), 365–375. http://doi.org/10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2014.02.31
  4. Iodine. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. (2018). National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/#h8

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59 thoughts on “Foods To Avoid With Hashimoto’s Disease and a Hashimoto’s Disease Diet Plan

  1. Susan

    If fluoride is bad for the thyroid, (& no one has proven it to fight cavities) why is the government poisoning the population with it? Could this be a major contributing factor in the USA obesity problem?

    Reply
  2. Karyl 9mort

    thank you for putting things strait and uncomplicated. my daughter wants to take suplements i have moved and have added exercise and eat my needs. found almond milk has soy. but i use emerald’s pans on a induction nuwave cook top does not react to food’s, It helps. now have to cut out bacteria. wash veggies is not enough. i love and appreciate this site. my daughter gave this sight to me. I’ve got sugar out of ice cream and out of strawberry rhubarb pie. you cook to let natural juices and sugars sweeten. you only need 3 teaspoons of sugar in ice cream not 1 and 1/2 cups.

    Reply
  3. Sharon Karn

    I just found out that signs of thyroid disease can be seen in children. When I studied it I see many of the problems I had as a child that came before I was an adult and had thyroid disease. This should be known by parents who have thyroid disease in their family.

    I am confused about what to eat and not to eat due to different web sites give a different list. It would be nice if everyone could agree.
    Thank you for your web site

    Reply
  4. Debbie

    Hi! Hey does anyone else have a hot! Heating sensation in their gut and back. My scalp is also red loosing hair and feels like something is biting my back. Left side only below the shoulder blade near my spine. Crap! I hate this! I watch what I eat nothing helps! Any suggestions? I’m tired of this, oh ya 20 lbs of weight gain all in my middle.yuk!

    Reply
  5. Eileen

    I was recently diagnosed and since that day, I’ve been on the Paleo Autoimmune “Diet.” In quotations because it’s a lifestyle change, a permanent one for me, not a quick fix. So far, I’ve been feeling better. If you do make dietary changes, try to pay close attention to how you’re feeling after everything you eat. I’m amazed at how much my body tells me.
    As for supplements, I would ask your physician. I was told to discontinue all the supplements I had been taking and replace some of them with products from Pure Encapsulations. I’m on selenium, kelp, trace minerals, methyl balance, vitamin D and few others. Again, ask your physician, as we all have individual needs.
    That said, I’d first and foremost, cut out sugar unless it’s from fruit, but don’t overdo the fruit. I noticed a difference in my energy level right away.
    As for a cookbook, I bought and use The Autoimmune Paleo Diet Cookbook by: Mickey Trescott
    Side note: recipes are heavy on the coconut, but I’ve since switched from using coconut oil to Avocado oil. It’s a good starter book, as the author tells her story and really lays out the what to and what not to eat, clearly. I hope this helps.

    Reply
  6. Karen

    I’m finding all of this very confusing. Why can’t they easily determine iodine levels and try dieting before jumping to synthroid that will kill you thyroid and make you not be able to eat healthy foods?????

    Reply
  7. Helen

    Could I get a list to what vitamins I should be taking. I’ve been gluten free and almost dairy free, and have had to have my Synthroid reduced twice now. But I feel at a loss as to what vitamins I should be taking.
    Also, do you have a cook book I could bye? I ordered the one online but I don’t have a laptop to have with me in the kitchen.
    Thanks 😊

    Reply
  8. Kay

    “Small amounts of raw goitrogenic veggies have not been found to aggravate the autoimmune thyroid, so don’t eat them raw. ”
    So to understand, even though small amounts of raw goitrogenic has little to no effect on thyroid, we should still eat them only when cooked? There are 2 negatives in that sentence, just trying to be sure on what you are saying.

    Reply
  9. Jen

    Hi all. My Hashimotos has been relatively “controlled” in the past with diet and exercise. Recently however, ive changed my endocrinologist due to the expense I incurred with a bio-identical hormone doctor (the best, but very pricey). Long story short, my thyroid is no longer absorbing the Nature Thyroid that I take. We’ve tripled the amount and nothing. My joints are killing me as my numbers rise. Anyone have supplements you’ve used for joint pain? I’m a runner and this season all I’ve been able to do is look at the trails…I’m scared I won’t be able to stay fit now. Any advice would be wonderful.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    I’ve been dealing with hashimoto’s most of my life. However, most of that time I was told that it was all in my head. It wasn’t ’till 1985 that a Dr in training listened, and finally diagnosed me as having a goiter. He stated me on synthroid. During the next 30 years I developed diabetes, HBP, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, hair loss, unrelenting weight gain, and other things. Four years ago, I switched to armour thyroid and started to feel better, like the fibromyalgia was gone. The other symptoms continued, and lately the fibro came back along with arthritis/bone spurs in my shoulders. I all this time,NOT ONE PERSON SAID ONE WORD ABOUT DIET. Over 50 years I’ve been married to an Italian, which means , pasta, pasta, and more pasta, pizza, bread , and most of the nightshade vegetables. It’s going to be hard, but rewarding. I started the regimen a week ago and have already lost 10 pounds. All I need now is to know specifically if popcorn, cream cheese, and a few other foods are verboten. It’s difficult because every site gives different choices. Some say no dairy, except butter, etc.

    Reply
  11. Mary

    Hi Mary ,
    The night shade family includes peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes.
    Some people may have a reaction to them and others have none . You need to eliminate them and reintroduce them one at a time to see if you are reacting to a specific one or all of them .

    Reply
  12. Mary

    Jackie, Try not to get overwhelmed with the diet restrictions. Try eliminating gluten or dairy first and then move on to dairy. When doing an elimination diet – you need to give it a minimum of 3 weeks so be patient. Breakfast could be GF oats or GF toast with mashed avocado or almond butter. I have Hashimoto’s and eat eggs and they don’t bother me, but it can be individualized. Its a good idea to eliminate one thing at a time to see if there are any changes in the way you feel. As for the vegetables – the cruciferous vegetables which contain goitrogens should be cooked but you can still eat them. You still have a large number of choices. Good luck .

    Reply
  13. Mary

    Cheryl, Food can make a big difference in many health issues. Many patients with Hashimoto’s may have issues with absorption with may be contributing to your tinnitus. Cleaning up your diet and creating a healthy gut will help improve any of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s. Good luck

    Reply
  14. Cheryl Healey

    I have had Hashimotos for a long time. Never knew I was making it worse with my diet. I have tinnitus and vertigo.

    Reply
  15. Jackie

    I just found out that I have Hashimotos. After reading about diets,I am told to stay away from dairy,gluten,some vegetables,no eggs,no nuts and seeds. With all these restrictions,what am I supposed to eat,esp. for breakfast?? This is so depressing and overwelming.

    Reply
  16. lea-ann mc morton

    I have a double problem–my immune system completely blocked synthroid and levothyroxine –from my body using them cause all kinds of trouble—-tinnitus –vertig0–glands hard and firm–but my thyroid is hardly working–hashinmoto–no. very high–even when taking the meds no.kept rising –now tyring de
    ssicated meds –what happens if my boby rejects them—now having hashimotos sysyems—????–what can be done –under dr.care–but he is surprised at the rejection

    Reply
  17. Debra

    I’m finding conflicting information on eating potatoes. Please help. Like baked potatoes? Or just better to do sweet potato? However I’d like to know if need to avoid 100% like when in a restaurant…

    Reply
    1. Recipe Team

      Thanks for the question-many of our collagen customers have autoimmune diseases like hashimotos. However we recommend you follow up with your medical care practitioner with any further questions.

      Reply
  18. Andrea Smith9

    Thank you for the info about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. My family Dr. Nor my endocrinologist DIDN’T even bring it up. When I brought it up I was treated like a hypochondriac. What wrong with seeing a rheumatoidologist to check it out. I mean taking synthroid hasn’t helped at all. My Dr.s and family think I’m crazy but what is so wrong with changing my diet to try to feel better. Singed,
    Frustrated as hell

    Reply
  19. Joanne lasnier

    Hashimoto’s
    Gluten intolerance
    Corn intolerance
    Nightshade vegetable intolerance
    Whole grain intolerance
    Severe eczema
    Appreciate your info greatly!

    Reply
  20. Mary

    Hey Crystal,
    Yes, sauerkraut is fermented but that process breaks down the goitrogens. You can eat the sauerkraut but not the raw cabbage.

    Reply
  21. Crystal

    Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which is to be avoided. However, the article recommends “Eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut…” which is cabbage.

    Reply
  22. Nancy

    Hi I have very high levels of tpo antibodies and thyroid levels.. is consuming overnight soaked almonds everyday is harmful ?

    Reply
  23. Kristine

    I have heard some people say to go completely grain free, others gluten free, and some say sprouted flour or ancient grains are okay. What is you take on it?

    Reply
  24. Trish Melton

    My Dr said the foods not to eat are.. Dairy Sugary Flour. This works I feel better an the weight melts away..

    Reply
  25. Mary Opfer

    Hi Tiana,
    Eating chicken that is soy free, grass fed and organic is the best choice when eating chicken or meat of any kind. Remember, we eat what the chicken ate. As a Hash patient avoiding soy is a good idea.
    Good luck and keep up with eating “clean”.

    Hope this helps, Mary

    Reply
  26. Tiana Phillips

    What is your opinion on eating chicken that has been fed some soy and corn, organic or not? My NP is supporting me dealing with my hashis thyroiditis with diet and a thyroid support supplement.
    I am being very strict with my diet, but eat a lot of chicken, so this is important to me

    Reply
  27. Mary Opfer

    Kerri,
    There is no specific meats to avoid if you have Hashimoto’s. If you eat meat try to eat grass fed organic beef it contains higher amounts of omega 3’s and is less inflammatory. If you choose not to eat meet must be sure to get enough fatty acids in your diet and B vitamins.

    Reply
  28. Carrie

    Thank you so much for sharing this article. I learned a ton of good information recently diagnosed with Hashimoto hypothyroidism and not knowing much about this disease this article has helped clear up some confusion and gave me some great ideas on what to do and what to avoid.

    Reply
  29. Bren

    This is so helpful, so pleased to have come across your article. I’ve had Hashimoto for 10 years and some weeks are really brutal with the extra fatigue you carry, even with drinking your meds. So glad to learn the types of foods you really do need to avoid. Any extra tips you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated, God Bless you! I hate Hashimoto:( It really sucks and unless you are experiencing this you won’t be able to understand it.

    Reply
  30. Brenda

    This is so helpful, so pleased to have come across your article. I’ve had Hashimoto for 10 years and some weeks are really brutal with the extra fatigue you carry, even with drinking your meds. So glad to learn the types of foods you really do need to avoid. Any extra tips you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated, God Bless you! I hate Hashimoto:( It really sucks and unless you are experiencing this you won’t be able to understand it.

    Reply
  31. Barbara Miller

    Thank you so much for this article on what to eat and what to avoid with a Hashimotos Desease.. The guidelines have cleared up doubts regarding my diet. God bless you abundantly.

    Reply
  32. Shaon Bendix

    I have had hoshimotos disease for about 10 year’s. I had to initially threaten my doctor to get him to get more testing done. I was told I was crazy basically. Finally the threat of an attorney, that’s how sick I was, the testing began. I was diagnosed right away. I have since been also diagnosed with RA and fibromialga. I was pleased to find your article. I knew of a few of the items I needed to stay away from, but way I’m glad to get the total list. Thanks. It’s been a struggled with work, weight, and just life. But it beats the alternative.

    Reply
  33. Toni

    I’m drinking Collagen+C pomegranate, 4,000 mg liquid and Amino Sculpt antisging type 1, Collagen Petides, are this good.

    Reply
  34. Frankie

    “Small amounts of raw goitrogenic veggies have not been found to aggravate the autoimmune thyroid, so don’t eat them raw.” This statement is confusing to me: Are you saying that EVEN small amts are aggravating so don’t eat them raw or are you saying that small amts are okay?

    Reply
  35. Lisa

    Very helpful! Thanks! I knew about the raw cruciferous but not about the soy or canola. I was a serious vegan for 17 years and finally went back to eating fish and chicken because i became so highly allergic to soy. I still had these stomach-abdominal cramps that would go on for 2-3 days! I went gluten-free and that helped but didn’t totally fix it. Through elimination it turned out to be chicken egg allergy. I now eat organic duck eggs/non GM0/No soy feed. Only get stomach cramps now when it’s really hot. A couple of magnesium citrate and I’m good to go. Yes, and all symptoms confirmed by various testing. IgG, IgE, etc.

    Reply
  36. Donna

    Need menu for what to eat breakfast lunch dinner so hard to chop and dice Food especially when u do not feel food

    Reply

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