Foods That Men With Hypothyroidism Should Avoid
The thyroid gland plays a key role in the regulation of energy, moods and metabolism. It is also responsible for the production and release of sex hormones in the body that affect fertility in men.
Hypothyroidism (or an under-active thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain crucial hormones. And there are certain foods to avoid with hypothyroidism, which we will detail below.
How The Thyroid Works
The gland releases TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), T3 and T4 hormones. TSH is responsible for the regulation of T3 and T4. Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid gland begins to release thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), into the blood. These are the two hormones necessary for the cells in our body to work normally.
When you have hypothyroidism, you feel nervous, anxious or irritable, have difficulty sleeping, are always feeling tired and start gaining weight. While more women are affected by hypothyroidism, men also are victims of this disease.
Signs Of Hypothyroidism
- Low sperm count
- Loss of muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss and trouble growing beards
- Lower testosterone levels and reduced sex drive
- Chronic constipation
- Muscle cramps
- Weight gain
Dealing With Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder that has been studied very closely over the years and you can actually manage it by eating clean and having the right natural supplements through food.
There are certain foods to avoid with hypothyroidism, as they can make the condition worse. Here’s a look at foods for hypothyroidism, how to avoid hypothyroidism naturally, foods to avoid with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, and nuts to avoid with hypothyroidism.
Foods to avoid with hypothyroidism
Soy contains a compound called isoflavones and there has been a lot of concern over its effects on the thyroid gland. Some studies suggest isoflavones increase the risk of hypothyroidism.
Other studies indicate that consumption of soy may interferer with the body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication. Soy foods are best avoided, or check with your doctor. You need to be careful here, because soy and soy derivatives and products are found in a wide range of foods, including sauces and condiments.
Read your food labels carefully before purchasing products and try to stay away from bottled sauces and seasonings.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
Sadly, if aloo-gobhi is your favourite dish, and you have hypothyroidism, you will need to take it off the menu. While all kinds of cruciferous veggies - cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage - are rich in fibre and other nutrients, they may interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, especially if you are deficient in iodine.
You should limit or avoid kale, turnips and bok choy too. If you cannot avoid these vegetables entirely, be sure to cook them well and consume small portions.
Gluten seems to be a problem for many people these days and it is best avoided if you have hypothyroidism. Studies show that hypothyroidism and celiac disease tend to crop up together in patients and that a gluten-free diet can help combat some of the negative effects of hypothyroidism.
If you are dining out or in a situation where gluten cannot be avoided, opt for whole-grain varieties of bread and pasta, as these contain more fibre and nutrients.
While millets are gluten-free, they may suppress thyroid function even amongst people who have adequate iodine intake (iodine is essential for proper thyroid function.) If you have a tendency to rely on ragi, bajra and foxtail millet, you might want to consider using other grains for your roti or porridge.
It has been seen that walnuts interfere with thyroid hormone absorption, so you should avoid them if you are on medication for thyroid.
6. Fatty foods
Fats, especially trans fats, are bad on several levels, but in the case of hypothyroidism patients, they can interfere with the ability to absorb medication as well as hinder the production of the thyroid hormone.
Stay away from fatty foods like butter, red meat, and deep-fried foods like pakodas, chips and fried crispy chicken, tempting as they may be.
7. Sugary foods
One of the main effects of hypothyroidism is that your metabolism slows down, making it more difficult to lose weight. Eating refined sugar will cause weight gain since it contains empty calories. Reduce your intake of sugar or better yet, cut it out completely.
8. Processed foods
They contain a lot of sodium, something hypothyroidism patients need to limit.
Caffeine has been found to block absorption of thyroid hormone replacement.
While alcohol affects both thyroid hormone levels and the thyroid gland’s ability to produce enough hormones.
Foods For Hypothyroidism
Men need at least 200 mcg of selenium in their diet for the thyroid gland to function normally. The gland is characterised by having a high concentration of selenoproteins as it has the highest amount of selenium per gram of tissue.
Therefore maintaining optimal levels of this nutrient is key for thyroid healing. Get selenium naturally through eggs, fish, spinach, bananas, cashews, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, beans, dals, oatmeal, milk and yogurt. These are foods that are easily available and will give you enough selenium every day.
Ashwagandha is a miracle herb that helps in reducing inflammation, cortisol levels and helps in balancing T4 levels. Have a cup of warm milk with 2 grams of Ashwagandha powder before sleeping for at least 8 weeks as prescribed by your doctor or nutritionist to see results.
3. L-Tyrosine (500 mg daily)
L-Tyrosine helps the body relax and sleep better which is very important in the healing of hypothyroidism in men. It helps in combating fatigue, improving alertness and boosts neurotransmitter function.
Get your supply of Tyrosine naturally from bananas, cheese, chicken, fish, soya milk, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, paneer, peanuts, almonds and avocados. If, however, you have high BP, you must consult your doctor about your intake.
4. Omega 3 (500 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA)
Omega-3 fats are neuroprotective agents that lower the intensity of hypothyroidism induced depression and mood disorders, high cholesterol, arthritis, weak immune systems and inflammation. Get your omega 3 naturally from wild fatty fish, flax seeds, chia seeds.
5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 tackles fatigue which is a major problem all men suffering from hypothyroidism face. You can take supplements or you can have foods that naturally boost vitamin B 12 in your body.
Probiotics help to heal the gut and better absorb the nutrients. Get your probiotics from homemade curd made out of A2 milk.
Eating a balanced, clean and healthy meal and coupling it with exercise and mindfulness activities are key to managing the disease. Nutrition By Lovneet has a special thyroid healing program where we put you on no deprivation, weekly palatable diets to help you manage the disease without changing your lifestyle.
Generally, depending on the severity of your symptoms and after looking at your blood reports, you are put on a series of medication programs and are advised to get on a diet that works towards aiding your medication to be more effective.
But in milder cases, diet, and lifestyle modification are enough to manage hypothyroidism, and in some cases, reverse the symptoms effectively. At Nutrition By Lovneet we are specialists in disease management and our hypothyroidism meal plans are designed to boost your sluggish.
Our customised weekly meal plans include teaching you how to have your favourite dishes while eliminating all foods that can aggravate your condition.
Learn more about our Thyroid Care Program
What can make hypothyroidism worse?
Eating the wrong foods can make hypothyroidism worse. Not managing your weight and lack of movement can also make it worse. Make sure you know what foods to avoid with hypothyroidism.
Which vegetables are not good for thyroid?
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnip, kale and Brussels sprouts are some foods to avoid with hypothyroidism.
What vitamins are good for hypothyroidism?
Vitamin B-12 is a must for hypothyroidism.
How do I check thyroid levels at home?
There are thyroid test kits available in the market to check levels at home. You can also try the water test, where you observe yourself in a mirror drinking water, with your head tilted back a little bit.
While you swallow the water, take a look at your neck. Check for bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow.
Is egg useful for thyroid patients?
Yes. Pasture-raised organic eggs are rich sources of iodine and selenium, which are thyroid supportive nutrients