10 Foods to Avoid if You have Thyroid Problem

10 Foods to Avoid if You have Thyroid Problem 10 Foods to Avoid if You have Thyroid Problem

Are you suffering from thyroid and wondering which thyroid foods to avoid? Food plays a crucial role in being healthy and managing the thyroid. While some foods can improve the condition, others can worsen symptoms or interfere with medications. Therefore, it is essential to eat the right food if you suffer from thyroid. 

The following blog discusses the role of diet and the foods to avoid for thyroid patients. Furthermore, the blog also includes foods that are good for the thyroid. Continue reading to find out.

What is Thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland which is located at the throat of the human body and is the size of a butterfly. It releases thyroid hormones which balance the metabolism. When the secretion of thyroid hormones is imbalanced, it is bound to create many problems in the human body. 

The thyroid is mainly of two types:

  1. Hypothyroid: This takes place when the thyroid gland is not active. The hormones (T3 and T4) are not released as per the body's requirements. By implementing thyroid foods to avoid one can regulate thyroid hormone production in effective ways.
    Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroid include weight gain, feeling lethargic, swelling of the face and eyes, constipation, irregular periods, etc.
  2. Hyperthyroid: In this, the thyroid gland becomes super active. The hormones (T3 and T4) are produced excessively and dissolved in the blood. Common symptoms of hyperthyroid include weak muscles, excessive appetite, excessive bleeding, irritability, etc.

Types of Thyroid Hormones

The thyroid gland produces hormones that are responsible for controlling the body metabolism. This hormone are as follows: 

  1. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH): TSH is secreted by the pituitary gland that regulates the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine are two thyroid hormones stimulated by TSH's action on the thyroid gland.
  2. Thyroxine (T4): Also known as tetraiodothyronine, is the inactive form of the thyroid hormone. It is also the most abundant thyroid hormone that serves as a precursor to the T3 hormone. T4 is converted into T3 across various body tissues, such as the liver, kidney, and other organs.
  3. Triiodothyronine (T3): T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormone. This hormone regulates cell metabolism, protein synthesis, body temperature, energy production, and consumption.

Function of the Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is an endocrine organ that actively participates in the systemic processes of the body. The primary purpose of the thyroid gland is to regulate the many functions of the human body. These functions include:

  1. Breathing 
  2. Heart rate
  3. Body weight 
  4. Menstrual cycle
  5. Muscle strength 
  6. Cholesterol levels
  7. Body temperatures
  8. Metabolic rate 
  9. Digestive functions 
  10. Brain development
  11. Bone maintenance 

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Role of Diet in Thyroid

Diet is sure to play a crucial role not just in thyroid patients but also in the lives of those people without any medical problems. A healthy diet is a way to a healthy life. However, one must be extra careful when suffering from thyroids and be well aware of thyroid foods to avoid.

One of the biggest points to be considered by thyroid patients is that they should consume foods that balance the absorption of thyroids hormone. The right diet enables you to understand what foods to avoid when you have thyroid problems. The right diet is essential because : 

  1. Certain foods interfere with the production and synthesis of the thyroid hormone, which can be fatal for the body.
  2. If a person is not careful about which foods to avoid in the thyroid, it can cause reactions and worsen symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  3. Some foods can interfere with the absorption of thyroid replacement medicines. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of the food to avoid for thyroid patients.
Adopting a nutritious diet allows you to maintain a check on your thyroid levels and ensures that you are feeling good about your body. There are no gut and immunity problems, no constipation, etc. Therefore, as a thyroid patient, you must know what food to eat and what food to avoid in the thyroid.

Thyroid Foods to Avoid

Adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating right is one of the best ways to control your thyroid and work actively towards maintaining good health and metabolism.

Depending on the type of thyroid a person suffers from, relevant changes must be made in their diet. The following is a list of how to avoid thyroid by food. So, let's get started. 

Cruciferous vegetables

Although many vegetables are healthy, thyroid foods to avoid or vegetables that thyroid patients must avoid are the ones that are high in Goitrogen (substances that disturb the production of the thyroid hormone and promote thyroid tissue growth).

The consumption of these vegetables causes interference with the production of thyroid hormone. Even though these vegetables can be rich in fibre, they may prevent thyroid hormone synthesis, which can result in hypothyroidism. 

According to studies, these vegetables prevent the thyroid from absorbing iodine, which is essential for proper functioning. The goitrogen-high vegetables are Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Cauliflower, etc.

The only way for thyroid patients to have these vegetables is by cooking them properly as it lowers the goitrogen levels.

Fatty or fried meals

It is a simple, known fact that fatty and fried meals are harmful not just to thyroid patients but also to healthy people. Foods that have been extensively fried consist of a good amount of fats that prevent the body from adequately absorbing the thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Also, the fats present in fried foods can compromise or hamper the thyroid's capacity to make the hormone thyroxine.

Consumption of fatty or fried meals will result in digestion problems and lead to excessive weight gain in hypothyroidism. Food to avoid for thyroid patients includes mayonnaise, margarine, butter, etc.

Foods with soy

One of the most common thyroid foods to avoid is soy. It is known to affect thyroid functions in the body severely. The same goitrogen chemicals that are present in vegetables are also present in soy.

Additionally, soy products also contain phytoestrogens (plant-based compounds that are similar in their composition to the hormones in the human body), which severely interfere with the functioning of the thyroid glands.

Soy is one of the essential foods to avoid during thyroid. The soy foods that thyroid patients must avoid include soya sauce, soya chunks, tofu, and other food containing soy proteins.


Most people who are suffering from thyroid have a problem with gluten. Thyroid foods to avoid for those suffering from thyroid issues is never to consume anything with gluten.

Most manufactured foods contain gluten as it is used as a stabiliser or a thickening agent. Patients who have celiac disease are also intolerant to gluten food. 

The most common symptoms of gluten foods among thyroid patients are brain fog, joint pain, weariness, digestive issues, etc. Therefore, thyroid patients should avoid gluten foods like rye, wheat, and barley.


All foods and beverages containing caffeine, like coffee, chocolates, tea, and sodas, can be highly harmful to your body if you suffer from thyroid and are on top of the list when it comes to. Consuming caffeine rich beverages can make you feel uneasy, irritable, and apprehensive and cause a rapid heartbeat. 

Excess iodine food

Since hyperthyroidism produces a lot of iodine in the body, it is essential that, as a thyroid patient, you are not consuming iodine-rich foods. Iodine content is significantly high in seafood. 

As per the National Institute of Health, the iodine content in a teaspoon of iodised salt is 304 micrograms (mcg). However, the iodine intake advised by the National Institutes of Health is at most 150 mcg.  

Thyroid foods to avoid include iodine-rich foods such as seafood and seafood additives like fish, seaweed, prawns, crabs, lobster, sushi, carrageen, agar-agar, and algae.  Additional iodine-rich meals include milk, cheese, egg yolks, ionised water with salt, and specific food colours.


Alcohol can majorly disturb your thyroid system. It affects your body's ability to produce the thyroid hormone and can cause autoimmune diseases. If you suffer from thyroid, you must restrict yourself from alcohol consumption.

Refined sugar

Other thyroid foods to avoid are any food items with refined sugar. Refined sugar is the worst for not just your thyroid but also for your overall health.

Consumption of refined sugar leads to an increase in sugar levels. This increase causes the body to release insulin which can cause weight gain and many other problems.

A wide variety of processed foods is available in the market, such as candies, cookies, biscuits, cakes, etc. Many flavoured yoghurts and cereal breakfasts are also rich in refined sugar. 

If you are wondering how to avoid thyroid by food, you must immediately stop the consumption of sweetened beverages, sweets, and packaged snacks. You can replace them with healthy food options such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.


Herbs such as lemon balm and bugleweed are the main herbs that interact with thyroid hormones and pharmaceuticals.

The consumption of these herbs can reduce the full functioning of the metabolism. It can also cause complete elimination in the production of the thyroid hormone. Therefore, it must be avoided by thyroid patients.

Processed Foods

Processed foods can contain high levels of sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which can disrupt thyroid function.

Processed foods such as breakfast cereals, chips and crackers, cookies and pastries, frozen dinners and pizzas, canned soups and vegetables, soft drinks and energy drinks, packaged snacks and candy, and fast food items should be avoided by patients with thyroid.

Foods to Eat in Thyroid

If you are looking for the right way to manage your thyroid health like a pro, then you must know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid in thyroid. Now that you know what food we have to avoid in the thyroid, let's look at the foods we must eat to keep the thyroid in check. 

A healthy diet is necessary to ensure your thyroid stays under control. Believe it or not, the right diet has the potential to cure your thyroid by up to 50%. Some foods that must be consumed regularly by thyroid patients include:

  1. Greek yoghurt: One of the best foods for thyroid glands, most dairy products, especially yoghurt, contain nutrients. It helps the body maintain its iodine needs and ensures the smooth functioning of the thyroid glands.
  2. Seeds and nuts: A wide variety of nutritious nuts are available. These nuts include almonds, cashews, sunflowers, pumpkin seeds, etc. These seeds have been known to be highly beneficial for thyroid patients.
  3. Beans or legumes: Beans and legumes are other beneficial food items for those suffering from thyroid. Rich in zinc and fibre, these foods help the digestive system and prevent constipation.
  4. Green tea: Famous globally as a metabolism booster, green tea is a great supplement for those suffering from thyroid. It consists of an antioxidant known as catechins, which allows the fat cells to release fat and helps burn extra fat.
  5. Apples and berries: Apples and berries are loaded with antioxidants and are highly beneficial for the good health of your thyroid organs. They help stimulate thyroid hormone production and help them function smoothly. 
  6. Avocado: Avocado is a wonderful food, and that too for all the right reasons. It maintains hormonal balance for proper thyroid functioning and is high in antioxidants, good fats, fibre, potassium, and micronutrients.

Lifestyle Changes for Thyroid Patients

There is no denying that by making lifestyle changes, a person is taking the right steps towards regulating their thyroid and their entire life. Besides thyroid foods to avoid, some other essential lifestyle changes hold the potential to show positive results for thyroid patients are: 

  1. Regulate your sleep cycle and get rid of irregular sleeping habits and insomnia: To maintain a timely and regular sleep cycle is essential for many essential body functions, including the thyroid.
    People suffering from sleep-related problems must take the required medication and take active steps towards getting a good night's sleep.
  2. Practice stress management: In today's time and age, stress has become a constant part of human life, paving the way for many other ailments and health issues.
    With the right use of stress management, practising yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques, one can promote not just good thyroid health but also ensure overall well-being.
  3. Start eating healthy and on time: A person's everyday diet and food significantly control their thyroid and hormone production. With the right knowledge regarding thyroid foods to avoid, a person can take wide steps towards controlling and managing their thyroid levels.
  4. Exercise regularly: Regular exercises and physical activities are excellent for the body, including the thyroid glands.
    From stimulating thyroid hormone production to enhancing metabolism, improving insulin sensitivity, reducing stress, and much more, exercise ensures the well-being of the thyroid and a person's full health.
  5. Try herbal remedies: Several herbal remedies have been known to do wonders for a person's thyroid function and health. However, these remedies must be taken under the consultation of a health provider.
    Some of the best herbal remedies for thyroid management are Lemon balm, Bugleweed, Ashwagandha, Bladderwrack, etc.


The thyroid is one of the essential glands of the human body. A person must know that thyroid can cause serious complications if not treated correctly. Apart from the proper medication, a person's diet plays a crucial role in maintaining their thyroid levels. Knowing the thyroid foods to avoid and eat can help control your thyroid and find your way to a better quality of life.

HexaHealth is one of the best and most reliable apps for all your medical needs and requirements. As medical experts, we are committed to connecting you with the best doctors, hospitals, and medical teams all across the country. By connecting you with experts in diverse fields, we ensure that your medical treatments and procedures remain smooth from the beginning to the end. To discover more about foods to avoid during thyroid, contact our expert at Hexahealth today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the thyroid foods to avoid?

What foods we have to avoid in thyroid is essential to know, as this simple way is sure to regularise the many functions in your body. Thyroid foods to avoid include: 

  1. Manufactured and packaged foods
  2. Foods that contain sweeteners and soy
  3. Gluten
  4. Fatty or fried meals
  5. Cruciferous vegetables
  6. Refined sugar
  7. Caffeine
  8. Herbs

What are the top foods to avoid for thyroid patients?

If you want to know how to avoid thyroid by food, you must immediately eliminate the following food from your diet. The foods to avoid for thyroid patients are:

  1. Soy products
  2. Fried foods
  3. Refined sugar
  4. Alcohol
  5. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc.

How does food affect the thyroid function in the body?

The type of food a person eats has a huge role in the absorption of the thyroid hormone in their bodies. A moderate and well-balanced diet not only regulates thyroid problems in the body but also takes care of many other functions. Therefore, patients must be aware of the thyroid foods to avoid and eat.

Why is it important for thyroid patients to avoid certain foods?

Certain foods can seriously disturb the smooth functioning of the thyroid hormone. This, in turn, can cause many problems in the body. These problems can be related to the body's metabolic rate, heart, muscle, digestive functions, bone density, brain development, etc.

Can avoiding certain foods help in managing thyroid symptoms?

A person can easily manage their thyroid and its many symptoms by avoiding certain types of food. Food to avoid for thyroid patients includes gluten, caffeine, and extra iodine. All these foods and more have been known to play havoc with the absorption of the thyroid hormone in the body.

What are some of the most common foods that are known to negatively affect thyroid function?

Here is a list of foods to avoid during thyroid that can negatively affect thyroid function. These are:

  1. Artificial sweeteners
  2. Processed vegetable oils
  3. Fried and high-fat foods
  4. Caffeine
  5. Alcohol, etc.

Are there any specific nutrients that thyroid patients should avoid in their diet?

The thyroid gland is responsible for the management and well-being of many organs in the human body. And one of the best ways to take care of the thyroid glands is by consuming a healthy diet.

However, it is essential to know that certain foods and nutrients can do more damage than good to your body when you have a thyroid problem. These nutrients include iodine, zinc, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium.

Can cruciferous vegetables negatively impact thyroid function?

When discussing cruciferous vegetables, we talk about vegetables high in Goitrogen. These vegetables interfere with the production of thyroid hormones and can cause hypothyroidism. The vegetables that must be included in your thyroid diet are cabbage, spinach, broccoli, etc.

Is it safe for thyroid patients to secure soy-based products?

Soy can cause severe thyroid allergy. It consists of a component called Isoflavone that can harm the health of your thyroid. Soy food that needs to be avoided includes soy milk, chunks, tofu, etc.

Should thyroid patients avoid gluten in their diets?

Yes, another food to avoid by thyroid patients is gluten. The presence of gluten in the diet of those suffering from thyroids can have many negative effects, such as brain fog, joint pain, weariness, etc. The gluten foods that should be avoided are wheat, barley, rye, etc.

Is it advisable for thyroid patients to avoid processed and high-fat foods?

High-fat foods are not just bad for people with thyroid but also generally. They result in excessive body fat that affects the thyroid's capacity to make hormones and leads to weight gain. Processed and high-fat thyroid foods to avoid include butter, mayonnaise, etc.

Can caffeine intake negatively affect thyroid function in patients?

Yes! All products with caffeine can negatively affect thyroids' function in patients. If you suffer from thyroid, you must avoid coffee, sodas, chocolates, etc. Their consumption can make you feel irritable and uneasy.

Is it necessary for thyroid patients to avoid all types of sugar in their diet?

Yes, refined sugar can create a lot of damage to the human body. Most processed foods in the market are rich in refined sugar, making them a bad food option for those suffering from thyroid.

Are there any fruits that thyroid patients should avoid?

It is advisable to avoid fruits that interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. Fruits that constitute the thyroid foods to avoid include pear, canned fruit juices, etc.

Can alcohol consumption affect thyroid function in patients?

Yes, alcohol consumption can affect thyroid function in patients. It affects the body's ability to produce the thyroid hormone and can cause autoimmune diseases.

Can a balanced and healthy diet improve thyroid function in patients?

Thyroids are one of the most essential glands in the human body. When the thyroid glands produce more or fewer hormones than required, there are bound to be problems. However, with the right medication, exercise, and diet, this problem can be significantly solved.
Updated on : Saturday, 08 April 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES
12 years experience


Sangeeta Sharma

BSc. Biochemistry I MSc. Biochemistry (Oxford College Bangalore)
6 years experience

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