Nutrition for hypothyroidism of the thyroid gland in women for weight loss

Features of the diet for hypothyroidism in women: principles of nutrition, allowed and prohibited foods. An approximate menu that can activate metabolism, lose extra pounds, remove swelling, stop the development of atherosclerosis.

Nutrition for hypothyroidism of the thyroid gland in women for weight loss

In case of impaired metabolism, healthy nutrition is always something that helps the thyroid gland to cope with the increased load - hypothyroidism. This disease occurs due to the fact that the thyroid gland for various reasons does not produce enough hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are necessary for the nutrition of literally every cell in the body, since it is T4 and T3 that are active participants in metabolism, deliver nutrients to cells, help convert them into energy, and perform many different tasks. Hypothyroidism significantly changes this harmonious mode of interaction, but there are always several ways to help the thyroid gland in the treatment of dysfunction. 

Nutrition for hypothyroidism is an effective, efficient tool to support medical treatment of the thyroid gland. At the same time, excess weight is also corrected by the diet, which will inevitably change from hypothyroidism and a metabolism disturbed by a lack of hormones. The diet for such a disease has its own characteristics, and endocrinologists recommend abandoning many of the usual products or significantly reducing their consumption.  

Diet for hypothyroidism

Unfortunately, there is no single, universal diet for everyone who is struggling with hypothyroidism. Even if the principles and habits that contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle have already been formed before the diagnosis, hypothyroidism significantly worsens the condition of the body. With dysfunctions of the thyroid gland, the overall quality of metabolism is disturbed, the syndrome is often accompanied by the appearance of swelling, the load on the vessels, the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract and other organs increases. In the absence of treatment and / or diet, the symptoms of the disease will only get worse. 

The goal of any diet used against the background of hypothyroidism is to support the treatment plan, to promote the thyroid gland in the production of hormones. Weight loss and weight correction are, of course, important, but not priority conditions. 

In one case, more iodine-rich foods may be recommended, but with hypothyroidism not caused by iodine deficiency, excesses of this microelement will only harm. The popular carbohydrate-free diet for hypothyroidism is also not always a reasonable choice; it is not recommended to deprive the body of the necessary energy.

Any diet should respond to the body's needs for nutrients. This is a reason to visit a dietitian and discuss dietary options for hypothyroidism of the type diagnosed in an individual case. The recommendations of an endocrinologist who has accurate information about the balance of nutrients, trace elements and vitamins in the body at the time of the examination will also be useful. 

Food for hypothyroidism

Even outside the treatment of hypothyroidism, a healthy body struggles to process certain types of foods. These are sausages, smoked meats, canned food and fast food (hamburgers, etc.), muffins and sweet pastries, alcohol, carbonated drinks and everything for which the thyroid gland spends more hormones than for processing simple, light healthy food.

The hormones produced by the thyroid gland directly affect the production of enzymes, which should ensure the full functioning of the digestive tract. With the suppression of the functions of the gland and a drop in the level of T3 and T4 (triiodothyronine and thyroxine), the volume of such enzymes decreases, and accordingly the speed and quality of processing fats and carbohydrates into energy and compounds useful for organs will decrease. For this reason, foods low in carbohydrates and fats, consumed in a minimal amount, still lead to excess weight.

It is desirable to distribute the total daily food intake as follows:

  • the optimal amount of fat will be a share of about 20-25%
  • protein foods should be consumed in the amount of 50-55%
  • allowed carbohydrates - no more than 30%

carbohydrates for hypothyroidism

The first enemy of any diet is “fast” (simple) carbohydrates. Against the background of hypothyroidism, the exclusion of such unhealthy foods is the first and very important step.  

“Fast” carbohydrates include tasty, loved by many, but not healthy foods that are not able to provide the body with sufficient energy, but at the same time have a high calorie content. It will not work to overcome the feeling of hunger for a long time with such products, and a high percentage of carbohydrates against the background of the breakdown rate and frequent use will lead to excess weight. In addition, nutritious substances useful for cells in such food will contain very little.


For example, for the processing of starch, which is found in potatoes, bread and flat cakes, pasta, etc., a fairly large amount of enzymes is spent, the lack of which is inevitable with hypothyroidism. Such products should be preferred vegetable fiber, whole grain bread, brown rice, sweet potato.

At the same time, “slow” (complex), long-processed carbohydrates in the daily diet will be a valuable source of energy, and eating such food is recommended in the morning to provide the body with a reserve from which cells will continue to receive energy for several hours, and the thyroid gland will receive noticeable load reduction.

A group of healthy, complex carbohydrates is represented by oatmeal, whole grain bread, barley groats, durum wheat pasta, cucumbers, greenhouse greens (dill, parsley, etc.), black currant and lemon, beans, prunes and many other useful food.

Fats in the diet for hypothyroidism

These are less harmful compounds compared to simple carbohydrates, especially when it comes to essential fatty acids, lipoproteins and neutral fats (“good” cholesterol). Such forms improve the activity of most enzymes, and in hypothyroidism it is already important enough to have such compounds in the diet. In addition, fats are a good energy reserve of the body, the ability to store fat-soluble vitamins, bind to proteins, and perform signaling functions between hormones and cells.

A sufficient amount of healthy fats, as a rule, contain foods with a low hypoglycemic index - healthy carbohydrates. Part of the processed fats is found in protein foods. When treating hypothyroidism, there is no need to add any other foods to increase the proportion of fats. 

What foods have healthy fats: dairy and sour-milk products, lean meat of animals and birds, fish, egg yolks, nuts, unrefined oils, coconuts.   

Protein food for hypothyroidism

Eat more protein foods - the basic rule of any diet, and taking into account the pathologies of the thyroid gland, and in its healthy state. Protein compounds are made up of many amino acids and perform many more functions than carbohydrates and lipids (fats):

  • Provide delivery of hormones to cells;
  • Accelerate the course of biochemical reactions;
  • Maintain the shape of the cells;
  • Participate in the signaling system of the body;
  • Contribute to the formation of the immune response;
  • They are consumed during the entire period of cell life.

Protein processing products are both energy, biosynthesis, and the creation of a reserve, as well as an effect on receptors that are important in the absorption of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. In other words, it is proteins in hypothyroidism that are needed in a larger volume than fats and carbohydrates. In addition, the hormones themselves, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, are produced with the participation of amino acids - the basis for protein synthesis.

Complete proteins - those that contain all the amino acids necessary for the body, are present in food of animal origin: poultry meat (chicken, turkey), beef and veal, if pork and fish, then lean. Cheeses with a low percentage of fat content, dairy products, especially cottage cheese, also milk.  

Incomplete proteins - consist of only a part of amino acids, are represented by plant foods and are compatible with the condition of consuming complex (slow) carbohydrates: beans, oats, buckwheat, rye products, artichoke, spinach, asparagus, etc. Fruits, mushrooms and nuts should be consumed in small amounts in the total daily diet, as they always contain a high concentration of sugar and fat.

Protein products also have an additional undeniable advantage: they are not able to influence weight gain. The amount of energy that will be expended by the body on the breakdown of proteins and their assimilation is much greater than is required for carbohydrates and fats of the same amount. In other words, eating foods that are much higher in protein than fats and carbohydrates is more beneficial for all aspects of treating various forms of hypothyroidism. Proteins of plant and animal origin are the basis of the diet with a lack of thyroid hormones.

Switching completely to protein types of products is not recommended, especially in old age and in diseases of the musculoskeletal system. There is a certain risk of developing osteoporosis, since proteins require calcium for processing, and the simultaneous intake of thyroxine (hormone T4) in some cases can increase the likelihood of calcium being washed out of the bones. What proportions of proteins to fats and carbohydrates will be safe and useful - the attending physician decides.

Vitamins, microelements for hypothyroidism

Such supplements can be obtained from food or from vitamin-mineral complexes, additional preparations. Iodine is an important and useful trace element in the treatment of hypothyroidism - it is this substance that is involved in the synthesis of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. But this does not mean that its use can be carried out uncontrollably.

Foods rich in iodine, while taking supplements with this trace element and synthetic thyroid hormones, which also contain iodine molecules, are more likely to harm than speed up treatment. An excessive concentration of any substances in hypothyroidism is highly undesirable and can lead to the development of hyperproduction of hormones by the gland, thyrotoxicosis.

In addition to iodine, the treatment of hypothyroidism may require additional intake of selenium, zinc, copper, and iron is also important, since iron deficiency anemia often occurs against the background of endocrine dysfunction.

The choice of any drugs, including harmless, at first glance, vitamins and trace elements, must be made on the basis of test results, with the approval of the endocrinologist.

At the same time, a professional choice of vitamins, trace elements, additional intake of amino acids can be extremely useful if you adhere to the main plan for the treatment of hypothyroidism. 

  • Vitamin C, a universal group B, including vitamin-like compounds, fat-soluble forms A, D, E - actively help the thyroid gland to restore damaged tissues, improve the transport system, and accelerate the synthesis of hormones. Women will appreciate the effectiveness of taking vitamins against the background of hypothyroidism and from the standpoint of improving appearance: the compounds have a pronounced antioxidant specificity.
  • Amino acids - Protein foods are one of the best sources of compounds, and L-Tyrosine and Omega-3 complex can be added to the treatment plan . Without tyrosine, the process of hormone synthesis is disrupted, and Fish oil and Omega-3 are found in fish. But in conditions of hypothyroidism, the absorption of nutrients is also impaired, and it is definitely worth strengthening the diet with supplements.