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Hypothyroidism Diet – Requirements and Tips

Are you or any of your family members suffering from a medical condition called as hypothyroidism? Well, if any of you or your known people is suffering from this health concern, then it is imperative to grab a comprehensive understanding of what it is all about.

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the body, at the base of the neck.  It is a large endocrine gland and is responsible for monitoring and controlling the body’s basal metabolism.  Just like any other organ or part of the body, it can malfunction or get sick – this leads to an overactive or under-active thyroid.  An underactive thyroid causes a condition called hypothyroidism.  Hypothyroidism causes the metabolism to become sluggish leading to obesity and other health issues. Even though there are medications to correct this problem, monitoring what one eats will play an important role in the wellbeing of a person. This is where the diet for hypothyroidism comes into picture.

Dietary Guidelines for Hypothyroidism:

Regardless of whether one is vegetarian or a meat eater, there are no specific food plans for hypothyroidism.  What one has to keep in mind is to stay off eating too many refined or processed foods and those that have too much sugar.  People should include a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits in their diet along with lean proteins, beans, nuts, legumes and whole grains.

Snacking on dried fruits like apricots, dates and prunes is recommended. Raw seeds are essential as well as they offer good fats and trace amounts of minerals needed by the body.  Switch to cooking with olive or coconut oil to get healthy fats.

The diet for hypothyroidism suggests that one should eat more than 3 meals a day and spread them out to ensure that the body is getting fueled well – it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep energy levels stable.

Fiber should be an important part of the diet for everyone, especially those with low thyroid levels.  Too much of fiber can also interfere with the proper functioning of the medication. Iodine is very important for the thyroid, so make sure to eat foods high in iodine like seafood and seaweed.  Use limited amounts of iodized salt.

The debate is still ongoing about whether soy based foods are generally good for people with specific health conditions. There is no information to indicate otherwise and limited amounts are recommended.  Soy may inhibit the body’s ability to absorb synthetic thyroid medications – as with any foods, let there be a 3 to 4 hour gap between medications and soy to be safe.

Raw, cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli have goitrogens which can affect how thyroid hormones are regulated.  However, cooking deactivates these elements and patients can reap the antioxidant and other benefits from these vegetables.

One other factor that plays an important role in a person’s overall wellbeing is exercise. Regular exercise and being outdoors will help a person feel better.

Before going on any diet or exercise regimen, it is important to consult one’s physician. Your physician will be able to suggest the best diet for hypothyroidismbased on your health conditions. They will run tests and find out what the readings are and prescribe medications if needed, to correct the problem.  Along with the help of a registered dietician or nutritionist, a doctor can help anyone with thyroid problems get back on the road to recovery.  It is also important to go in for occasional tests to ensure that the thyroid levels are being monitored.  Medications will have to be adjusted accordingly. Speak to your doctor today!

 

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