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4 Foods to Avoid if You Have Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition that can cause a number of symptoms, such as tiredness, weight gain, and depression. While there are conventional therapies for hypothyroidism, there are certain natural remedies and lifestyle modifications you can do to support your thyroid health, one of the most important of which is changing your diet. If you have been recently diagnosed with the condition, or know of a family history of hypothyroidism, here are four foods you should avoid including in your diet.


When looking at ways to change your diet to help you manage hypothyroidism, looking at dietary changes that can make a positive impact on your thyroid function is vital. Soy products, such as tofu and soy milk, contain goitrogens, which are compounds that can interfere with thyroid function. Goitrogens can inhibit the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine, which is essential for the production of thyroid hormone. Therefore, if you have hypothyroidism, it is best to avoid soy products or consume them in moderation. It’s also important that you discuss the potential impact of soy on your thyroid function with your healthcare practitioner. They can provide recommendations based on your unique health status and needs.

Cruciferous Vegetables

While on the topic of goitrogens, most people do not realise that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, can also be a source of these compounds. Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called glucosinolates which are converted into goitrogens during digestion. So, while eating these vegetables is generally considered healthy and beneficial for your overall health, excessive consumption may negatively impact your thyroid function. It’s important to note that cooking these vegetables can reduce their goitrogenic properties to some extent, as can the process of fermentation, so there are still ways you can work them into your diet.


Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat and while sensitivity to gluten isn’t as common as many people expect, some people with hypothyroidism may be sensitive to gluten, which can trigger inflammation in the body. This inflammation can further disrupt thyroid function. If you suspect that gluten may be a problem for you, try eliminating it from your diet for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve before looking at other natural treatments for hypothyroidism. 

Excessive Caffeine

Caffeine can interfere with thyroid function by inhibiting the absorption of thyroid hormone. If you have hypothyroidism, it’s best to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200-300 mg per day (about 2-3 cups of coffee). Be mindful of other sources of caffeine, such as tea, soda, and chocolate, and before you go online to search for the best natural treatment for hypothyroidism, try cutting out as many sources of caffeine as you can.

While avoiding these foods shouldn’t be considered a natural treatment for hypothyroidism or a cure for hypothyroidism, making these changes can support your overall thyroid health and may help alleviate some of the symptoms of the condition. However, you choose to manage the condition, be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will suit your lifestyle and health needs. 

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