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General Practice 2023

4 foods that harm your thyroidóide (and what to eat)

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4 foods that harm your thyroidóide (and what to eat)
4 foods that harm your thyroidóide (and what to eat)

Some types of food, such as soy, sugar, refined flours, industrialized foods and some vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, when consumed in excess, can harm the functioning of the thyroid.

To keep the thyroid regulated, it is important to maintain a balanced diet with foods that are sources of fiber, iodine, selenium, zinc and copper, which are nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of this gland and which can be found in foods such as fish, seafood, whole grains, eggs and nuts.

It is important to remember that, if you already have a thyroid disease, no food should replace the use of medication prescribed by the endocrinologist. See some medications used to treat the thyroid.

Some foods that, when consumed in excess and for a long time, can harm the thyroid are:

1. Soy and derivatives

Soy and its derivatives, such as soy milk, tempeh or tofu, are sources of phytoestrogens, which are nutrients that play a similar role to the hormone estrogen in the body and are beneficial for he alth. However, when consumed in large quantities, these foods can disrupt the thyroid and cause hypothyroidism, which is a decrease in the production of hormones by this gland.

For those who have hypothyroidism, it is recommended to eat soy in moderation so that it does not interfere with the effect of the medication prescribed by the endocrinologist, and it is recommended to consume it no more than 2 times a week.

2. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, radishes, broccoli, cabbage or Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants that are important for preventing numerous diseases.However, these vegetables also contain glucosinolates, which are compounds that decrease the production of thyroid hormones, which can cause hypothyroidism in people who consume little iodine in their diet.

Cruciferous vegetables can and should be included in the diet, but without exaggeration and preferably 1 to 2 times a week, alternating with the consumption of other types of vegetables.

3. Processed foods

Industrialized foods, such as smoked meats, ready-made sauces, ice cream and packaged snacks, contain some preservatives that, in excess, hinder the absorption of the mineral iodine by the thyroid and can cause hypothyroidism. In addition, these preservatives can also cause more serious changes, such as some types of cancer.

Excessive consumption of processed foods is still one of the main causes of weight gain and body fat. Excess fat in the body generates inflammation in various organs, making it difficult for the thyroid to absorb iodine, which can also contribute to hypothyroidism.

4. Refined flours and sugar

Excessive consumption of sugar, found in foods such as sweets, cakes and ice cream, and refined flours, present in foods such as bread, rice and white pasta, can cause insulin resistance and diabetes. This change in insulin levels in the body can lead to the appearance of nodules or even thyroid cancer.

What to eat to regulate your thyroid

A varied diet of vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes provides nutrients that help regulate thyroid functions, such as:


Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones and, therefore, the lack of this mineral in the diet can cause problems such as hyperthyroidism and goiter, which is an increase in the size of the thyroid gland. However, it is important not to overdo the mineral as excessive consumption of iodine can also lead to the development of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.See a list of iodine-rich foods and their he alth benefits.

The recommended minimum iodine intake for adults is 75 µg per day and the maximum is 1, 100 µg per day. The main sources of this mineral are seafood, s altwater fish, seaweed, eggs, cereals, milk and dairy products, and iodized table s alt. The consumption of 75g of hake fish, for example, already meets the daily recommendations for iodine for an adult. See a list of foods rich in iodine.

In Brazil, the consumption of foods with iodine is low and, therefore, table s alt is already mandatorily fortified with this mineral to prevent thyroid problems.


Selenium is found in large amounts in the thyroid, as it helps in the production of the gland's hormones. In addition, this mineral also has antioxidant properties, which are essential for strengthening the immune system.

Selenium deficiency can contribute to the appearance of goiter and other thyroid problems and the recommended intake of this mineral for adults is 55 µg/day and the main sources of the mineral are eggs, meat, fruits of the sea, mushrooms, Brazil nuts and cereals.The consumption of 1 Brazil nut per day, for example, meets the selenium recommendations for an adult. Find out about other foods that are rich in selenium.


Zinc is another essential mineral for the production of thyroid hormones. Some studies show that the lack of this nutrient in the body can worsen hypothyroidism in people who already have the disease. In addition, zinc deficiency can also contribute to the development of hypothyroidism.

The recommended intake of zinc for adults is 15 mg per day, found mainly in foods such as nuts, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, oysters, red meat, chicken, beans and whole grains. See a more complete list of foods that are sources of zinc.


Copper is a mineral with antioxidant function necessary to maintain the functioning of thyroid hormones and fat metabolism. This mineral is responsible for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, as well as stimulating the production of thyroid hormones.

The recommendation is that adults consume about 900 ug per day, mainly found in foods of animal origin, such as seafood, offal and meat, nuts, cereals and vegetables.

See with our nutritionist how a varied diet can help regulate your thyroid:

Menu option for thyroid

The following table suggests an example of a 3-day menu to keep your thyroid regulated:


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


200g of low-fat plain yogurt with chopped banana + 1 tablespoon of oatmeal + 1 omelet with 1 egg 1 cup of skim milk with 1 tbsp of cocoa powder and flaxseed + 2 corn tortillas with hummus ½ avocado with 1 tablespoon of chia + 1 slice of wholegrain bread with 1 slice of Minas cheese

Morning snack

2 Brazil nuts + 1 pear ½ papaya with 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds 1 orange + 3 walnuts


90 grams of grilled salmon + green beans, bean sprouts and carrots sautéed with olive oil + 2 tbsp brown rice + 1 tangerine Wholegrain noodles with ground beef and homemade tomato sauce + lettuce, onion and tomato salad with olive oil + 1 apple 90 grams of grilled chicken + 4 tablespoons of quinoa + asparagus sautéed in olive oil + 1 persimmon

Afternoon snack

1 glass of orange juice + 1 slice of wholegrain bread with 1 col ricotta cream 200 g plain plain yogurt + 10 fresh grapes 3 slices of pineapple + 1 serving of peanuts

Important to remember that this menu is just a model of eating to help maintain a balanced diet and may vary if the person has any thyroid changes or not. Therefore, it is best to seek guidance from a nutritionist for a complete assessment and a personalized meal plan.

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