Thyroid Diet : Best & Worst Foods For Thyroid, Meal Plan (Printable)
Among the most frequent questions I get from overweight people are Do you think I have a thyroid problem? Or many times we listen from overweight people that they gained weight because of the thyroid. Yes, the change is thyroid level in your body leads to weight gain, but this is a myth and misconception amongst a lot of people that, if they have increased thyroid levels they cannot lose weight. The thyroid hormone imbalance is not incurable. If you eat right, exercise well and rest properly then you can fight this disorder. A lot of people have common belief that the person who has thyroid and looks overweight should eat less and exercise more. This post is the eye opener for all of them. It includes detailed information about thyroid gland and hormone along with nutritional strategies which will help you bring back balance in the body. Today’s post is regarding thyroid diet for weight loss, you will get insight regarding what to eat, when and how much to overcome the thyroid disorder.
About Thyroid Gland, TSH, T3 and T4 :
The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism and the way your body utilizes carbs, fat, and protein for growth, development, and energy in the body. It helps in temperature regulation. It is located below Adam’s apple wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). The thyroid uses iodine to produce vital hormones. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone produced by the gland. A small portion of the T4 released from the gland is converted to triiodothyronine (T3), which is the most active hormone. The function of the thyroid gland is regulated by a feedback mechanism involving the brain. When T4 levels are low, the hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone known as thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) that causes the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to release more T4.
Thyroid Diet Chart :
Keeping nutritional strategies in mind I have prepared a diet chart for Thyroid patients. Follow this diet and you will start experiencing changes in your energy levels and entire body. If you are taking any medication for thyroid, be regular with it. You can take supplements for vitamin B12 if you are a vegetarian like me. Also, keep your vitamin D levels maintained by sitting or standing in the morning sun for 15 to 20 mins regularly. These vitamins are very crucial to regulate thyroid hormone. Include these 21 Best Thyroid Diet Foods, they work wonders on your body.
Here is an informative video on thyroid diet from Divya Sharma.
Types of Thyroid Dysfunction :
Hypothyroidism refers to an insufficient release of thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are poor concentration, fatigue, constipation, fluid retention, depression, excessive menstrual bleeding, weight gain etc. Hyperthyroidism is exactly opposite of hypothyroidism. Excessive release of thyroid hormone causes symptoms like tremors, nervousness, fast heart rate, fatigue, increased bowel movements, increased sweating, Unintentional weight loss etc (1).
Lack of proper nutrition, proper exercise, sleep, increased stress, recovery and rest plays a huge role in the disturbing thyroid. This influences every other hormone in the body because everything in our body is interlinked. Tyrosine is the protein that iodine bonds with to make thyroid hormone. So without adequate intake of protein and right ratios of essential and nonessential amino acids, the metabolic rate will not rise. That is why it is very important to have a balanced diet to deal with hypo or hyperthyroidism (2).
Read More: 11 Thyroid Symptoms in Men
Thyroid and Women :
Hypothyroidism is more common in women because of the big hormonal events that they go through mainly pregnancy and menopause. During pregnancy, the hormonal balance in our body shifts and our thyroid works very hard to support and provide our fetus with thyroid hormone. So post-pregnancy, if you have taken care to eat right and exercise and rest well, the thyroid gland will bounce back to its normal functioning. Similarly, during menopause, if you take care of yourself well then later thyroid malfunction can be avoided.
Read More: Yoga For Thyroid
Thyroid Diet Nutritional Strategies :
1. Improve Iodine Intake:
Thanks to our Indian government to iodise our salt. This has reduced the cases of goitre ( another form of thyroid malfunction ). A lot of our natural foods that we avoid eating because we think we are fat are actually rich in iodine. Some of them are bananas, carrots, strawberries, milk and whole grains. If you are pregnant, lactating or nearing menopause you need it more than ever. So please give up your soup, salad and get back to eating Rice, Bhakris, Rotis etc. Accompany it with your regular vegetable curry, dal or Kadhi which will complete your amino acid profile.
2. Eat Dairy Products :
Phenylalanine, an amino acid required to make tyrosine is only present in good and complete sources of protein like Cheese, paneer, whey protein, milk, curd etc.
3. Eat Whole Grains:
If you are a vegetarian you may need to use high-quality proteins supplements like whey protein. As weight loss victims, we are asked to avoid eating good protein sources. Cheese and paneer are said fattening and if we are allowed Dals, it is without rice and roti which makes it incomplete and useless to your body.
4. Avoid Crash Diets:
In crash diets, we are allowed little food and restricted calories which slows down our thyroid to match metabolism to a low-calorie diet. So, if you have a thyroid problem, you will need to eat more by consuming more wholesome meals. Support your thyroid with essential amino acid, good quality carbs(unprocessed), iodine and vitamin B, C and E.
5. Quit Processed Foods:
The nutrient to calorie ratio is at the crux of increasing calorie intake. All processed foods, no matter how sugar-free and fat-free they claim are rich in salt. Eating too much salt upsets the fine balance of sodium and potassium in your cells and makes it impossible for the thyroid to absorb iodine. Just have good old homemade and wholesome food.
Read More: 51 effective tips for weight loss
6. Cook your Protein Well :
Some protein-rich foods like peanuts, cauliflower and tofu interfere with iodine absorption but only when it is eaten raw. If peanuts are roasted and cauliflower is cooked well then it reduces the antagonist properties against iodine.
7. Exercise Regularly :
Without exercising there are rare chances of losing weight. Even if you lose weight there are very fewer chances that you will not gain it again. It is very important to increase lean body mass. Increase in muscle mass and the decrease in fats is only possible by a proper workout. Total 1 hour of full-fledged workout every day along with a wholesome diet will surely improve your thyroid functioning.
8. Rest is Best :
Resting is the best way of destressing. No matter how stressful was our entire day if we have had a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep during the night we feel fresh and prepared for the upcoming day. Many of us may have experienced this. Our body undergoes repair work of wear and tear caused the entire day. So it is very necessary to take proper rest.
Make these simple changes in your lifestyle and diet and write to me about your experiences.