Dieting with Obstacles - Dieting with Hypothyroid

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01-07-2009, 02:28 PM
Anyone have any suggestions about this? There are so many healthy fruits and veggies that I'm suppose to avoid because they make hypothyroid worse. This makes any kind of dieting so much harder. Is there anything I can do so I can eat them in moderation at least? Like supplementing something? I know steaming them will inactivate the goiterogen chemicals but steaming strawberries, grapes, or leafy greens is not a good idea. :p

01-07-2009, 03:54 PM
I've been hypothyroid for over 40 years and eat grapes and strawberries almost daily and greens, too. I have no problems for adverse effects from them. What is to be avoided, accorrding to my endo and nutritionist, is anything in the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.) eaten raw and soy. You should also not have calcium or citrus for a few hours after you take your meds or they keep your body from fully using them. As you can see, I have been able to lose weight.

01-07-2009, 04:03 PM
I was told not to eat hardly any leafy greens, except things like dandellion and arugela. I probably spelled those wrong, but anyway. No lettuce, kale, spinach, etc. Carrots were also on the list. Course this was also from the same doc (homepathic) that wanted me to stop eating any and all grains. Yah right. I read that most hypo people don't do well on low carb diets. Anyway, this helps me feel better. One reason I haven't started eating better is because I was worried about making my thyroid condition worse. Now I just have to start taking my meds. :p I thought for months that I wasn't hypo, since the meds didn't do a thing. *shrugs*

01-07-2009, 10:28 PM
Blessed, I am also hypo, and my doctor (and what I've read) indicate information similar to Quilter's. The homeopathic doctor has added some things that I personally haven't found to be necessary, although your mileage may differ. I lose better on a lower carb diet, although I do love carbs and am not eating a lower carb diet right now. I'm sure you will find the right path. Good luck!

01-10-2009, 11:09 PM
I was diagnosed about a year ago as hypothyroid and am on levothyroxine. I have never been told to avoid any foods. What is the reasoning behind it? I would like to learn as much as I can about it since I am pretty newly diagnosed.

01-11-2009, 01:22 PM
A good website is Tons of information although some is a little over the top. The reasons to avoid those foods I listed are is what I said in that post - they keep your meds from working. They also further inhibit your body's production of thyroid. You should also take your meds on an empty stomach 1 hour before eating.

BlessedBe, most hypothyroids do better with a few complex carbs but more protien.

01-12-2009, 12:41 AM
I too have hypothyroidism and was never told to avoid anything either. I was however told to not eat for an hour after taking my meds. It has taken me a LONG time to get to the proper strength of medicine, I guess I was sensitive to it, however, I expected to have this help me loose some weight. I exercise normally five to seven times a week, however have not been super good at monitoring my food intake. I feel discouraged that I work my hiney off and nothing happens. Yes, I do know I need to worry about the food intake as well!

01-12-2009, 05:54 PM
This one site I go to says that some people work with taking their meds before bed. I might have to try that, as I don't have time in the morning to wait an hour before eating.

01-12-2009, 08:41 PM
I take mine in the morning and wait the hour. I hate it when I wake up really late and have to wait to eat. I wonder if I should worry about the forbidden foods though if my TSH levels are good? What do you think BlessedBe?

01-13-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm not the best person to ask. :P I don't believe in the TSH test. It's not a very accurate indicator. I'll do for you what someone did for me. Try going to It's run by people that have dealt with hypothyroid and other conditions like it for years. They could answer your questions better than I could.

QuilterInVA - What are some good sources of protein that don't include powders? I know I NEED more protein in my diet period, but aside from adding more meats what are some other good options? I have some all-natural PB that I LOVE. It only has five ingredients and I know what they all are. :p Could I maybe add like a tablespoon of protein powder to yogurt?

01-17-2009, 03:48 AM
:?:I know steaming them will inactivate the goiterogen chemicals but steaming strawberries, grapes, or leafy greens is not a good idea. :p
:?: Where did you hear this information? I never heard of steaming them to inactivate the goitergens. I would like to find out so I could eat them because I like these veggies. I never was told about the fruits also. Can you tell me where to look up this info please. Thank you:dizzy:

Also I take my hypothryroid meds because I get severe depression without them and was told by a pyschitist that it was necessary to stay on them to help my depression.

01-17-2009, 12:01 PM
I'm borderline hypothyroid (my thyroid test results a smidgen from the point at which most doctors, including my own, will consider medication). So I get all the fun associated with hypothyroid, and not much to do about it.

Most of what I've read for thyroid diets, recommend a lower carb diet. And I'm reading more and more of the theory that grains or gluten might be implicated in many autoimmune diseases including thyroid conditions. I'm trying to eliminate grains as a test, but it's so hard because I was raised on bread and pasta being an integral part of the diet. It's rather hard to find an alternative.

I do have much fewer fibro symptoms on a lower carb diet. This Christmas at my folks, I went on a carb-bender on the homemade candies and cookies my mom, sisters, and aunt made (I swear, no street corner drug pusher could be more persuasive than my mom and aunt). Perhaps coincidentally, but I think not, the impetigo type rash that is part of my autoimmune issues came back (after my symptoms had been so mild for months, that my doctors said I might have gone into remission).

Whether it was the sugar or the gluten, I'm struggling to get back to the diet I feel best at (a lower carb exchange plan, with only two fruit exchanges, and only one or two starch servings for the day, which I try to get from vegetable sources rather than grains).

Iodine-rich foods (seaweed and some fish) can be helpful for hypothyroid, but the line between enough and too much is hard to determine. Too much of some seaweeds can actually cause hyperthyroid (though you'd have to eat a LOT of seaweed or be taking an iodine supplement).

01-17-2009, 12:15 PM
Hi Kaplods. I have hypothyroidism (along with Fibro/CFS/OsteoArthritis also so I can relate to what you're going through).

I was on Synthroid but I stayed heavy. What my saving grace was that my Gyno asked me what mg I took and I told her and she told me to tell my Doctor to up the miligrams and HE DID.

Talk to your Gyno and see if she can help get you on meds. They help me a little with energy...not a whole lot because of the Chronic Fatigue but to me I'll take it...something is better than nothing at all.

Good Luck to You and keep telling your Doctor and your Gyno how dry your skin is, your hair falling out, how tired you are.


**You might want to tell the Doctor that you'd like to try Synthroid just as a 'Trial'...he may work with you if he sees how desperate you've become.


02-08-2009, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the info. I am 39 and have been on synthroid since I was 7 years old. In 32 years I have never been told to avoid anything. I have a lot of weight to lose and think I may try full bars to cut down on my eating and hopefully with the weight loss I will have energy to move. I take 250 mgs of synthroid a day. It seems as each time I go to the doctor all he does is up the dosage level. They do not make synthroid in 250mg, so I have to take 2 pills.

02-11-2009, 07:29 AM
Hi...I have been taking synthroid for 25 years. I have really only been told to avoid calcium supplements (vitamins and the calcium from antacids) and extra doses of fiber within four hours of taking my synthroid. Of course, to take it on an empty stomach. (one hour before breakfast). So, I take my vitamins at lunch or dinner.

I don't seem to have a problem with my hypothyroid meds - so I don't worry about other foods.

02-24-2009, 04:28 PM
I have been on thyroid meds for a few years now but more than likely needed them long before. I was buying 50 and cutting it in half and found I was losing some in the cutting. New doc ordered 25 and am doing better. I also took prednisone for a year or so and that added too much weight. if not on the thyroid would probably be much heavier. I eat cabbage and kale and all the greens but cook them! Don't forget the meds have us lose bone and the greens help add it.(bone) I also eat sardines and take my calcium with vit. 'd'. (necessary for us all unless we live in the south and use the beach a lot. We can lose the weight. It may be slower. I have good books on thyroid that help. Do go to the website recommended. (Mary Shoman's books) Good luck. It is healthier to not be heavy and exercise helps me get there.

02-24-2009, 09:50 PM
Hi, I'm new here. Had my thyroid removed in '02 and it's been a roller coaster at times.

I'd also recommend the thyroid website and I found Mary Shomon's books to be very helpful. I don't agree with her on everything however her attitude about empowerment is the most important part of the message.

I've found that a low-carb diet plus exercise works best for me. While I'm not insulin resistant, I am quite sensitive to sugar and refined foods.

When you're feeling lethargic and depressed it's very hard to get motivated, I thoroughly understand. If you can, start with a basic stretching regimen. A basic yoga video helped me because I had to focus on something and really, I know that our bodies want to work well for us, sometimes it just needs a gentle nudge.

About the foods, cabbage and soy protein can inhibit our body's thyroid hormones as well as Levoxyl, Synthroid, Armour, et al. I've not read or heard about the fruits you mentioned being a problem at all. They sound like high GI fruits/ vegetables, but they aren't goitregens.

I'm not a morning person and hate it if I wake up late but can't get in time to take my Armour and at least some coffee. So I set an alarm for about an hour before I must get up. It goes off, I roll over, take my pills with my Nalgene of water and go right back to sleep. Some people feel that taking their thy meds at night keeps them awake. I found this was the case for me. As with everything, YMMV.

The most important thing is to get your levels balanced because your health depends on it. I've had thyroid problems for over 17 years and have gone through some lousy endocrinologists, but have also known some great medical professionals. You are your own best friend and you know your body best. Always listen. Always respect yourself.

02-25-2009, 11:51 AM
I have been on my meds for about a year. I take 125, but I haven't seen any loss really in weight. I have deffinately noticed more energy. I'm also on antidepressants, so I've been trying to get out of the funk. My doctor also didn't mention anything about what not eat. Thanks for the information.

02-25-2009, 12:10 PM
I've been on hypothyroid meds since I was a teenager (in fact I only have a small portion of my thyroid left after surgery). Like Beemer and Jeepgirllinda, I've never been told to not eat certain foods. A low carb diet is not really practical for me because I'm also a vegetarian. I like to take my meds before bed because it keeps me from eating in the evening and is easier to remember. Don't give up hope. You can lose weight even if you are hypothyroid!

04-06-2009, 01:00 PM
So, I started on synthroid when I was around 16 years old, and my levels balanced out at 150mcg. I have never been told not to eat certain foods, or that a low carb diet was the way to go, or to take my pill an hour before eating (I take my pills just before or just after eating breakfast; I was just told to take them at around the same time every day). In fact, the only thing I was specifically told not to do while on this medication was take cold medication. In conclusion, this is all very surprising to me!

04-30-2009, 02:38 PM
I had Grave's Disease, had my thyroid removed at 19, and didn't become hypo until I was 29 and pregnant with my 2nd child, so I have been on Synthroid for 22 years. I have never been told anything about food restrictions except to re-arrange them around certain medications. And that woman on the thyroid. about site is an idiot. She gives out too much misinformation and information contradictory to actual science and research, it isn't even funny. Just like anything else, you need to plan and do what works for you. Taking your thyroid medications at night avoids most of the problems people have with it(like nausea) and avoids all of the food issues, and many of the other medication issues. My 3 medication problems were spacing out synthroid, lipitor and vitamins with iron. Vitamins in the morning, lipitor between 6 and 8 pm, and synthroid at bedtime 10:30 to 11:00.

05-13-2009, 09:03 AM
What is to be avoided, accorrding to my endo and nutritionist, is anything in the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.) eaten raw and soy.

Seriously? I did not know this. I eat A LOT of broccoli & cabbage. Cabbage, as crazy as it sounds, has always been a comfort food of mine. Cooked cabbage, cole slaw..

What is it about these foods that makes them bad for hypothyroidism? :?:

05-13-2009, 09:13 AM
Here is an interesting article about why some foods affect hypothyroidism:

05-14-2009, 12:27 PM
Seriously? I did not know this. I eat A LOT of broccoli & cabbage. Cabbage, as crazy as it sounds, has always been a comfort food of mine. Cooked cabbage, cole slaw..

You can eat them cooked, as I'd imagine you probably do with cabbage ; ) The big deal is not ingesting raw "goitrogenic" foods soon after or just before you take your thyroid meds.

05-30-2009, 10:47 PM
I was diagnosed in December. At first nothing made me feel better. But now after several months of testing they have me at 150 on Synthroid, and it does feel a little better. At least my hair is no longer falling out as bad as it was. My doctor never told me about what to eat or not to eat, concerning my thyroid that is. And she said to wait 30 minutes to eat. Not an hour. I hope it continues to work. Thank you for providing those websites, i do have a lot of questions about this.

06-02-2009, 01:02 AM

They have properties referred to as "goitrogenics" meaning they can further inhibit the thyroid from functioning.

One thought here though: I NEVER had a goiter. Therefore, I eat these foods and they don't seem to bother me. I eat raw broccoli, not everyday, sometimes not even every week. But I do buy them in bulk so when they are in the house I am eating them on a regular basis.

I am not sure if they affect people who are not prone to goiters the same way they do for those who presently have or have had a goiter.

06-23-2009, 01:04 PM
I am also hypothyroid and everything I've read says not to eat cruciferous vegetables raw but I eat them all the time cooked. They are some of the best anti-cancer foods around.
I do watch my soy consumption and try to limit them to a few servings a week--usually in the form of tofu or soymilk.

I don't eat dairy (except for yogurt) or wheat because I feel much better if I don't. (Some people think hypothyroid is connected to wheat allergies.)