9 Foods that Harm Your Thyroid Gland [Video]

  • The thyroid gland, as part of the endocrine system, is responsible for many bodily functions such as circulation, heart and liver function, and metabolism.
  • The American Thyroid Association has estimated that about 20 million Americans have thyroid problems, and most of them are not aware of it.
  • According to thyroid experts, some foods are nutritious but are not beneficial to your thyroid.

The thyroid gland secretes hormones that control and influence growth and development, metabolism, and the body’s internal clock. At times, the thyroid does not function correctly, and you develop several thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism(over-active gland), hypothyroidism (under-active gland), goiter, and Grave’s disease.

Some people may not know that they have certain thyroid conditions and so it is vital to know the ways how to care for your thyroid. One of them is your diet. Some foods may be nutritious, but they are not healthy for your thyroid.

Here are some of the foods thyroid experts warn you to avoid to keep your thyroid healthy.


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People who have thyroid problems may also have celiac disease, and so endocrinologist recommends avoiding gluten altogether.

Green Juice

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Turning your green vegetables into juice can make it more concentrated with goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that can disrupt the natural production of thyroid hormones by disrupting the iodine uptake in the gland. With this, New Jersey-based endocrinologist, Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, suggest eating fruits and vegetables instead rather than turning them into juice.


Kale, together with broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are all cruciferous vegetables that have goitrogens. Dr. Rosenfeld adds that eating these kinds of vegetables can make your thyroid over or underproduce. Cheryl Harris, dietitian and nutrition expert, recommends cooking these vegetables instead to make them safe. But kale is usually added to salads and eaten raw, so it is still not safe for people with thyroid problems.

Kelp and Other Seaweeds

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Seaweeds are good sources of dietary iodine, but too much iodine intake can also pose some problems. It was proven by a study in 2014 where a woman who was in a kelp diet developed hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Dr. Richard Harrel, an endocrinologist, and spokesperson of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, then encourage people to be cautious of eating seaweeds.

Millet and Cassava

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Both cassava and millet contain goitrogens, making them unhealthy for people with thyroid problems. They are used as flours, tortilla chips, and other snacks.


Not all types of salt are ineffective, but specialty salts such as kosher and sea salts are. These specialty salts contain little amount of iodine, which may not be effective in producing thyroid hormones. Dr. Elizabeth Pearce, endocrinologist and past president of the American Thyroid Association, suggests sticking to table salt, which has been iodized.

Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

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According to Harris, if you have thyroid problems, using more sugar can put you at a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart diseases. So it is better to limit sugar intake and also reduce your chances of developing other health conditions.

Artificial sweeteners, based on studies, have shown to affect thyroid function, also.


Dr. John Sistrunk, another endocrinologist, explains that soy is another goitrogen that can prevent the absorption of thyroid hormones in the body.

Processed Foods

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Processed foods contain additives believed to be linked with thyroid diseases. While this speculation has not been thoroughly studied, Dr. Rosenfeld recommends avoiding processed foods due to its harmful effects on your health.

Source: The Healthy

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