Thyroid Diet Chart - What to Eat and What to Avoid

Thyroid Diet Chart - What to Eat and What to Avoid

The thyroid gland releases thyroid hormones into the blood. When the thyroid gland does not work properly, then you might develop either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid hormones are more than normal levels in your body, whereas in hypothyroidism there are low levels of thyroid hormones in the body.

Both these conditions can affect the normal functioning of various functions of the body. You can incorporate few changes in your diet to get your thyroid hormone levels to normal. 

There are no specific foods or supplements that are approved for treating thyroid disorders. Eating well for thyroid disease is the key. There are also not many guidelines to follow as there is no specific ‘thyroid diet.’

The most important rule for all diets in common are balanced, calorie-controlled foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and legumes. As the thyroid can affect your weight, eating a calorie-controlled meal and exercise can control your thyroid levels.

Diet for Hypothyroidism 

In hypothyroidism, people might gain weight, have an interrupted menstrual cycle, can have chronic constipation, dry skin, muscle fatigue and depression. Plan your diet to lose weight by consulting a nutritionist for an effective overall diet plan for hypothyroidism and other issues too. 

Foods to eat in Hypothyroidism

Here are a few lists of food items to manage your hypothyroidism and improve your overall health.

1. Iodized Salt: Hypothyroidism causes an iodine deficiency in the body leading to thyroid disorder. Lack of iodine in your body could be the cause of your hypothyroidism. Flavour your food with some iodized salt to restore your iodine levels for balancing your overall diet.

2. Brazil or Hazel nuts: Brazil or Hazel nuts are rich sources of selenium that can help in the converting the inactive thyroid hormones to its active form thus improving the function of the thyroid gland.

3. Bone Broth: Hypothyroidism causes the bones to weaken. Bone broth is the clear and protein-rich liquid which is prepared by simmering meaty joints and bones in water. It strengthens your bones as it has amino acids and collagen which manages the weight, thus managing hypothyroidism.

4. Fish and shellfish: Fatty fish contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium that helps in controlling the cholesterol levels and helps in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Eat fishes like salmon, tuna, sardine, etc. and grill them.

5. Olive Oil: Olive oil is rich in healthy fats and should be used to prepare meals for hypothyroid diet. It lowers the LDL cholesterol keeping your heart healthy. Also, meals prepared in olive oil can keep you full for long thus reducing your appetite too.

6. Dairy: Low-fat dairy products such as Greek yoghurt, cheese and low-fat milk are good for your body while trying to manage hypothyroidism. It boosts iodine production in short and long term.

7. Eggs: Eggs each day are excellent for breakfast in hypothyroidism people. Eggs are a rich source of protein and also contain fat-soluble vitamins. They boost the iodine levels in the body. You feel full for a longer time and would avoid reaching out for unhealthy or junk foods.

Diet Chart for Thyroid 

Meal timings

Diet / Meal plan

Early Morning (7.00 – 7.30 am)

1-2 cups of water

Breakfast (7.30 – 8.30 am)

1-2 eggs, a glass of milk, or salmon, and toast

Brunch (10.00 – 10.30 am)

Handful of brazil nuts with a cup of green tea

Lunch (12.30 – 1.00 pm)

Grilled fish with vegetables topped in olive oil

Snack (4.00 pm)

Roasted hazel nuts

Dinner (7.30 – 8.00 pm)

Grilled vegetables garnished with olive oil

Diet for hyperthyroidism

A diet for hyperthyroidism can be harmed due to the presence of excessive iodine and few other elements such as selenium, calcium, zinc, etc. Hyperthyroidism can lead to extreme weight loss.

Foods to eat in Hyperthyroidism

Following is a list of food items one can eat to manage hyperthyroidism. It is very important to combine this list with a balanced nutrition diet given by qualified nutritionists or doctors.

1. Fruits: Fruits are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins and natural sugars. The fruit breaks down easily in our body providing energy and nutrients. One should eat fruits every 2-3 hours. Most of the fruits contain large amounts of antioxidants that help to purify the blood flow.

2. Soy Chunks: Soy chunks are a great and rich source of proteins and also have various vitamins and minerals. They are fibrous and light on the stomach, and are excellent for building muscle mass. Soy chunks help to build your appetite.

3. Vegetables: Eating fibre-rich vegetables is easier for our body to breakdown as it helps to provide your body with minerals and vitamins. Eating vegetables is great for hyperthyroidism as in this the person feels hunger often due to increased metabolism and eats more frequently by preventing carbohydrate retention and keeping you full throughout the day.

4. Chicken: Lean chicken pieces are a great source of protein and are also a good source of fibre. Chicken ensures you have a good appetite while building muscle mass.

5. Rosemary: The antioxidants in herbs such as rosemary help to relieve a lot of symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to manage this condition. Rosemary also helps to increase your appetite and is good for the heart and relaxing your body.

6. Fish: Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of fibre. It breaks down easily in our body and is low in calories keeping our heart healthy. Fish is also good for building muscle mass.

7. Basil: Basil is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a great source of minerals and vitamins too. It helps in managing the hyperthyroidism symptoms.

8. Millets: Millets are an excellent source of dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins. They have goitrogenic properties that can be effective against hyperthyroidism and its symptoms.

9. Brown Rice: Brown rice is a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. It has goitrogenic properties that help in fighting and preventing hyperthyroidism.

10. Green Tea: Drinking a cup of green tea every day can help to fight hyperthyroidism and its symptoms. The fluoride that is present in green tea has anti-thyroid properties which helps to fight against the overproduction of thyroid enzymes and thus helps in balancing the hormones of the gland.

A sample diet chart for hyperthyroid person:

Meal timings

Diet / Meal plan

Early Morning (7.00 – 7.30 am)

1-2 cups of water

Breakfast (7.30 – 8.30 am)

1-2 eggs, fruits and green leafy vegetables

Brunch (10.00 – 10.30 am)

Handful of almonds or salad

Lunch (12.30 – 1.00 pm)

Grilled fish or vegetables topped in olive oil

Snack (4.00 pm)

Fruit salad or cup of green tea

Dinner (7.30 – 8.00 pm)

Basil crusted grilled chicken or vegetables garnished with olive oil


Foods to avoid in Hyperthyroidism

Here are few foods that one should avoid if you have hyperthyroidism.

1. Iodized Salt: In hyperthyroidism, excess iodine is harmful as it already produces excessive iodine. Hyperthyroidism creates an iodine overload as the body already produces enough iodine. Overload can cause further dangerous thyroid complications.

2. Shellfish: Shellfish such as crab and lobsters are fully packed with iodine and zinc. These minerals can be harmful if you have hyperthyroidism. 

3. Processed Meat: One should avoid processed meats if having hyperthyroidism. It is very hard to break down and digest as it has elements causing an enzyme imbalance that can further worsen hyperthyroidism.

4. Fried and salty food: Anything fried or salty food items is bad for those with hyperthyroidism. Most of the market chips have an excess of sodium and virtually have no other nutritional value. They are an unhealthy snack and can impair enzyme production making it more dangerous for these people.

5. Dairy: Dairy products are rich in calcium and are supposed to be good for the body. But for hyperthyroid people, calcium can be very dangerous and can impair thyroid health. So it is best to avoid consuming dairy products in people with hyperthyroidism.



Dr. Minal Mendonca

She is Medical Writing and Medico Marketing, IJCP Group


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