Do you really know which foods to avoid with hypothyroidism?
Well, few people get this right.
Because most people (and experts) look at food in completely the wrong way.
It’s easy to get caught up in the details and miss the bigger and more important picture.
This is why so many experts recommend foods that are believed to be healthy for your thyroid while ignoring the overwhelming evidence showing how dangerous they really are.
You see… foods in general have a huge impact on your thyroid health.
And they can affect any part of your thyroid hormone pathway…
…from your thyroid gland all the way down to your thyroid hormone cell receptors and even the mitochondria of your cells.
I talk more about your thyroid hormone pathway and how you can overcome your hypothyroidism by fixing it in this post about “How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails”.
Today, however, we’re going to be looking at 7 foods that directly suppress your thyroid gland.
And they all suppress your thyroid gland in one of two ways:
- They block the production of thyroid hormone inside your thyroid gland.
- They block the release of thyroid hormone from your thyroid gland into your bloodstream.
The important point to remember is this…
You still need to avoid foods that directly suppress your thyroid gland regardless of any benefit you feel they might provide.
Otherwise, it will be like trying to fix a small leak only to flood your entire house.
It doesn’t make sense to solve one problem only to create an even bigger problem in the process.
And this is especially true for this first food to avoid with hypothyroidism.
Flaxseed is a commonly recommended and used dietary supplement today.
It’s most often used for constipation (a common hypothyroid symptom) and touted for many other supposed health benefits.
But what you might not realize is that flaxseed contains very large amounts of lignans and phytoestrogens, making it one of the most estrogenic foods around.
Chemical studies of phytoestrogens and related compounds in dietary supplements: flax and chaparral. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7892296 “Flaxseed contains high levels of phytoestrogens.”
This is a big problem for your thyroid as estrogens directly inhibit the proteolytic enzymes that allow your thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone.
So, while it might help your bowels become more regular, you’re still doing a major disservice to your thyroid.
And if you think all those omega fatty acids are helping, then you’re in for treat with this next food too.
2. Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) occur naturally in large amounts in many commonly used oils such as:
- Flaxseed Oil
- Canola Oil
- Fish Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Corn Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Seed Oils
- And more…
While these polyunsaturated fats are known to suppress thyroid function at all levels of your thyroid hormone pathway, their direct effects on your thyroid gland are similar to that of estrogen. As Dr. Raymond Peat describes…
“studies have found that polyunsaturated fats inhibit the proteolytic enzymes involved in the digestion of food, in the removal of clots, in the formation of thyroid hormone, and many other essential physiological processes.”
We often recommend certain fruits for their thyroid protective effects.
In fact, in the 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol, I show you one of the most important fruits we use to boost thyroid function.
You can download this daily protocol here.
However, it’s important to note that not all fruits are created equal.
And grapefruit is a perfect example as it contains very high amounts of estrogenic flavonoids that interfere with your liver’s ability to detoxify estrogen.
Inhibition of 17 beta-estradiol metabolism by grapefruit juice in ovariectomized women. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7715468 “This study demonstrates that grapefruit juice may alter the metabolic degradation of estrogens, and increase the bioavailable amounts of 17 beta-estradiol and its metabolite estrone”
Many have been led to believe that grapefruit or grapefruit juice is a healthy alternative to other citrus fruits, which is a common mistake.
4. Over-Eating Muscle Meats
While adequate protein is essential for healthy thyroid function, the type of protein can make all the difference.
Muscle meats, for example, tend to be rich in certain thyroid suppressive amino acids such as cysteine.
And research shows that over-eating these amino acids can block the production of thyroid hormone inside your thyroid gland.
Thyroid peroxidase activity is inhibited by amino acids http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10719389 “some amino acids (cysteine, tryptophan and methionine, 50 microM each) also inhibited the TPO iodide oxidation reaction completely”
But this isn’t to say that you should avoid muscle meats, as a lack of protein is far more thyroid suppressive than an overabundance.
The goal is to balance the muscle meats you eat with other sources of thyroid-supportive protein such as broth or collagen protein which contains little to none of these thyroid-suppressive amino acids.
You can learn more about the collagen protein powder we use with our clients by clicking here.
While soy is still often touted as a health food by many, more people are becoming aware of its dangerous effects.
Soy contains very large amounts of isoflavones and phytoestrogens, making it another highly estrogenic food that directly suppresses the thyroid gland.
And in doing so, it can directly block the release of thyroid hormone into your bloodstream.
[The effects on the thyroid gland of soybeans administered experimentally in healthy subjects]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1868922 “These findings suggested that excessive soybean ingestion for a certain duration might suppress thyroid function and cause goiters in healthy people, especially elderly subjects.”
As you can see from this study… estrogen’s effects on blocking the thyroid gland is one of the most common causes of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) today.
6. All Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are commonly over-consumed today and can also be extremely thyroid suppressive.
Some common examples of cruciferous vegetables include:
- Brussel Sprouts
And it’s their goitrogens and plant toxins that are well known for their suppressive effects on your thyroid gland, which occur in two ways.
- They contain Isothiocyanates and Thiocyanates which make it more difficult for your thyroid gland to absorb the iodine it needs to produce thyroid hormone.
- They contain Oxazolidines and Thioureas which directly block the production of thyroid hormone by your thyroid gland.
(Note: This is covered in much more detail in the following post on “3 Reasons Broccoli May Be Dangerous To Your Thyroid”.)
While most people do cook these vegetables, it’s oftentimes not adequate to make them safe.
Alcohol is another thyroid suppressive food that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
While it’s consumed in many forms, and can provide some antioxidant benefits, it also doesn’t take much to raise estrogen levels and suppress your thyroid gland.
All forms of alcohol are quite estrogenic including:
Alcohol contributes to estrogen dominance and suppresses your thyroid gland in multiple ways:
- Contains phytoestrogens.
- Promotes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen through aromatization.
- Decreases progesterone production while increasing prolactin.
You can find more specific detailed information on how alcohol affects your thyroid in the following post on “What Happens to Your Thyroid After Drinking Alcohol?”
So, there you have it. Those are seven commonly used foods to avoid with hypothyroidism.
While avoiding these foods as much as possible is always recommended (except meats, which do need to be balanced with other appropriate protein sources)…
…avoiding all the thyroid suppressive foods out there is only one part of the solution.
Another big part of the solution is to instead focus on foods that help boost thyroid function while balancing them properly in your diet for optimal thyroid function.
And in the 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol, we’ll show you the exact detailed protocol and the three simple foods that can help give your thyroid the boost it needs.
It’s a simple protocol used by each and every one of our clients and it can help you to start feeling calm, clear, and full of energy.
If you’re not already using it, then you should get started today and see the difference it can make.