“Your weight seems to be increasing. Is it because of thyroid?” Well, the awareness about health-related issues has made people more mindful of the problems they could be going through. Weight gain can happen due to a number of reasons. Thyroid is one. It is a chronic disorder that slows metabolism, increases body weight, or makes it difficult to lose weight. In fact, in some cases, thyroid problems are a result of being overweight. Therefore, it is frequently recommended that people address their thyroid issues as their first step in any weight-loss journey. Following that, for weight loss in thyroid patients, diet plays an important role.
Health Shots spoke to Hari Lakshmi, Consultant Dietician/Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Chennai, to find out what to eat and what to avoid with thyroid for weight loss.
If you want to lose weight, adding healthy foods to your diet, along with regular exercise is important. However, since your thyroid gland plays a significant role in weight gain, it takes much more effort to lose weight.
Lakshmi says, “Since the thyroid hormone is responsible for metabolic functions, an imbalance of it can cause weight gain. Getting proper treatment for hypothyroidism should be your priority before you go on any diet or exercise plan. Inadequately treated hypothyroidism can make it harder for you to lose weight. If you want to lose weight, you need to take care of your overall health. Most people keep their thyroid in control with their daily diet.”
Here is what you should or should not eat to lose weight with hypothyroidism:
With a good quality diet, you can maintain your hormonal functions. Getting better control of your lifestyle can help you lose weight easily with a thyroid.
Foods you should eat if you have thyroid:
1. Increase your iodine intake
This is pretty much obvious. Iodine is the mineral that regulates thyroid function in the body. So, include Iodine rich sources such as salt, fish, dairy, eggs, etc. in your diet.
Adding fibre-enriched foods to your diet can help you improve your digestion. You should ensure that you add plenty of fruits, veggies, and pulses rich in fibre to your daily diet.
3. Selenium-rich foods are important
It is another mineral that helps in the secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Adding Brazil nuts, sardines, eggs, and legumes will help.
4. Vitamin D
You require vitamin D since a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to weight gain. Additionally, the demand for vitamin D is heightened if you have thyroid problems. Foods rich in vitamin D include eggs, fatty fish, organ meat, mushrooms, and sunlight.
5. Copper and omega-3
If you are looking for weight loss tips with thyroid, copper and omega 3 should be a part of your diet. Almonds, sesame seeds, and legumes are good sources of copper. Ghee, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Tip: Don’t forget to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated helps in losing weight faster and it also keeps a check on the functioning of hormones.
Fruits for weight loss in thyroid patients
In addition to these foods, you should incorporate fruits into your thyroid diet to control your weight and overall health. Apples, berries, and avocados are among the fruits that are good for thyroid patients because of their abundance of health advantages. Since these fruits are high in antioxidants, they are useful in preventing the thyroid gland’s damage from free radicals. Not only that, but they might help decrease cholesterol, guard against diabetes, stop obesity, and avoid cardiac problems.
Foods you should avoid with thyroid:
1. Limit your sugar intake and high carb foods
When it comes to losing weight, sugar and carbs are a big “No”. Such foods can also spike the sugar level.
2. Goitrogen containing foods
There are some foods that contain goitrogens which interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid. Such food items include millet, soy, cruciferous vegetables, etc.
3. Highly processed foods
Highly processed foods such as snacks, frozen foods, and biscuits should be avoided as they are generally high in sodium.
4. Certain fruits
Certain fruits such as peaches, pears, and strawberries too should be avoided if you want to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
5. Dairy products
Milk, cheese, paneer curd, and butter are dairy products that you should ditch because they can alter the hormonal balance in your body and can lead to weight gain.