Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – also called Hashimoto’s disease – is one of the most common thyroid disorders in the world and can greatly affect quality of life, even if it’s treated with medication. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is when the thyroid gland is chronically inflamed and slows or stops the production of essential hormones, which can lead to:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
In addition to standard medication, research shows that diet and lifestyle changes may drastically improve symptoms.
Best Diet for Someone with Hashimoto’s Disease
There’s no specific diet that’s proven to treat Hashimoto’s disease, but there are several diets that have evidence of having helped people with Hashimoto’s. The following diets can help those with Hashimoto’s, including but not limited to:
- Gluten-free or grain-free diet. Many people with Hashimoto’s experience food sensitivities, especially to gluten. Unless they also have celiac disease, there’s no current research to support a gluten-free diet for all people with Hashimoto’s.
- Sugar-free diet. If you have Hashimoto’s, eating too much sugar can increase inflammation, provoke autoimmune thyroid flares, throw blood sugar out of balance, create dysfunction in gut health and gut bacteria, and create hormone deficiencies and excesses.
- Paleo diet. The paleo diet attempts to mimic the eating patterns of our early ancestors with an emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods. The Autoimmune Paleo Diet aims to decrease foods that cause inflammation and damage to the gut.
- Dairy-free diet. Dairy is one of the most problematic foods for people with Hashimoto’s, and eliminating it can help reduce bloating, diarrhea, and acid reflux.
- Low Glycemic Index Diet. A low glycemic index diet is based on an index that measures how each food affects your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar imbalances are common in people with Hashimoto’s and some research indicates that people with this condition are more prone to spikes in blood sugar followed by reactive hypoglycemia after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal. A low glycemic index diet can help keep your blood sugar levels in balance.
Best Foods to Eat for Hashimoto’s Disease
For those with Hashimoto’s disease, a nutrient-dense diet may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and improve your overall health. Try to focus on the following foods:
- Fruits. Berries, pears, apples, peaches, citrus fruit, pineapple, bananas, etc.
- Non-starchy vegetables. Zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, peppers, broccoli, arugula, mushrooms, etc.
- Starchy vegetables. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, acorn, and butternut squash, etc.
- Healthy fats. Avocados, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, full-fat yogurt, etc.
- Animal protein. Salmon, eggs, cod, turkey, shrimp, etc.
- Gluten-free grains. Brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice pasta, etc.
- Seeds, nuts, and nut butters. Cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, natural peanut butter, almond butter, etc.
- Beans and lentils. Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc.
- Dairy and non-dairy substitutes (fortified with calcium and/or vitamin D). Coconut milk, coconut yogurt, almond milk, cashew milk, full-fat unsweetened yogurt, goat cheese, etc.
- Spices, herbs, and condiments. Turmeric, basil, rosemary, paprika, saffron, black pepper, salsa, tahini, honey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.
- Beverages. Water, unsweetened tea, sparkling water, etc.
It’s important to note that some people with Hashimoto’s disease avoid a few of the foods listed above, such as grains and dairy. Experiment with different foods and find out which ones work best for you.
Worst Foods for Hashimoto’s
Eliminating or restricting the following foods can help reduce Hashimoto’s symptoms and improve your overall health:
- Added sugars and sweets. Soda, energy drinks, cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, sugary cereals, table sugar, etc.
- Fast food and fried foods. French fries, hot dogs, fried chicken, etc.
- Refined grains. White pasta, white bread, white flour tortillas, bagels, etc.
- Highly processed foods and meats. Frozen dinners, margarine, microwave dinners, bacon, sausage, salami, etc.
- Gluten-containing grains and foods. Wheat, barley, rye, crackers, bread, etc.
Learn More About Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diet from Baptist Health
If you have questions about which diets are best for you, find a Baptist Health Endocrinologist near you to learn more about Hashimoto’s diet plans.
Next Steps and Useful Resources:
What Triggers Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Flare Ups?
Health Risk Assessment: Being health aware isn’t just about eating well or staying active.
Acupuncture vs Dry Needling
What’s The Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism?