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Hypothyroidism and the Food4Osteoporosis Eating Plan

I was recently asked how the Food4Osteoporosis Eating Plan should be modified for people with hypothyroidism. Since this condition is not uncommon I thought others might have the same question so here are my thoughts.

Fortunately the Eating Plan doesn't require any significant modifications for hypothyroidism. With hypothyroidism there is a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and the Eating plan is an overall heart healthy diet that emphasizes healthy fats, lots of vegetables and limiting refined sugar - all of which are important to heart health and decreasing the chances of diabetes.

The following are some additional recommendations or things to be aware of:

  • My recipes generally call for sea salt or kosher salt that does not contain iodine so you may want to use iodized salt instead.
  • Eat soy in moderation. Soy probably is not an issue if you are not iodine deficient and the little soy in my Eating Plan is definitely moderate.
  • Be sure your vitamin D is adequate. See my blogs on Vitamin D if you want more information on Vitamin D. Vitamin D Blog 
  • I personally eat 2 Brazil nuts every day for the selenium, which is important to thyroid function.
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage release a compound called goitrin, which can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. This is probably only a concern for  people with an iodine deficiency. Heating cruciferous vegetables prevents much or all of this effect. So this is probably not an issue unless you are eating lots of raw cruciferous vegetables and are also iodine deficient.
  • Millet may suppress thyroid function so avoid frequent consumption.
  • If you are taking a calcium supplement (I only recommend if you can NOT get adequate calcium from the diet), calcium can interfere with the absorption of some thyroid meds so take at least 4 hours apart.
  • It is also a good idea to take coffee one hour apart from thyroid medication.

If you do have hypothyroidism you will want to consult with your health care provider about your unique needs.

Photo used with permission from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Photo taken by Maribeth Evezich, MS, RD, CDN

posted on 3/18/2018