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Thyroid Auto-Immune Diet Basics

If you have thyroid problems, you may likely have an auto-immune disease, thus making it a necessity to have the proper diet. Most functional health care practitioners that have found the most success helping auto-immune thyroid patients heal demand that their patients have the correct diet. Why? It all starts in the gut! Heal your gut first, and then hopefully healing elsewhere will follow.

To get started in this series of articles, we want to start with a list of foods anyone with thyroid problems has must stay away from at all costs.

Foods to Avoid:

1) Number 1 on our list is Gluten. We will dive more in detail into this later, you must cut gluten out of your diet if you want healing with your thyroid. Wheat, grains, oats and so on are the most obvious. But you have to watch foods that hide gluten, such as sauces, (BBQ, soy, teriyaki) lunch meats, monosodium glutamate, non-dairy creamers, some spices, chewing gum fillers, binders, brewers yeast, etc.
2) All Sugars: agave, maple syrup, white sugar, coconut sugar, corn syrups and so on
3) Dairy and eggs
4) Soy products
5) Alcohol
6) High glycemic foods, bananas, high fructose fruits, dried fruits, etc.
7) Nuts, seeds and grains
8) Beans and legumes
9) Most processed foods, coffee and so on
10) Mushrooms and also nightshades

You may not like this list, but if you want healing you will have to work hard for it and ask yourself, what's more important, food or your health?


Taking that list out of my diet does not leave much to eat. Most thisngs lsited here are normally recommended for a health, balanced diet.


I have hashimotos and as nothing can stop my thyroid being attacked how can these restrictions help me.

    • jeffbursens likes this

If we remove the foods listed above and the high goitrogen foods from a previous article from our diet, what's left to eat?

If we remove the foods listed above and the high goitrogen foods from a previous article from our diet, what's left to eat?

Agreed. These two list combined does nothing but add confusion.

There's plenty to eat. If you want processed foods, bad grains and such then you will be left out. The fact is Gluten is a killer to the thyroid not to mention the chemicals and processed foods out there. However the decision is yours. To me, no food is worth poorer health. I have found lots to eat, gotten really creative, it's actually easier now. I am thankful my Hashi's has gone the other way in just a few months, so excited to see how it will be in 6 months when I test again. 

Please provide sources. I don't believe this list.

What don't you believe? You don't believe food can affect your body and health? There are tons of sources and resources. Just Google it. Here is a great start. http://thyroidbook.c...ut-repair-diet/


or here


He cured his wife of graves, go here 


Apr 14 2014 11:26 PM

Why Dairy and eggs? Beans?  Nuts?

    • blackngold likes this
Dr. Hila Handler
Oct 21 2014 08:35 PM

Several studies show a strong link between autoimmune thyroid disease (both Hashimoto’s and Graves’) and gluten intolerance. Here are a few references, but there are plenty more: 

  • "Celiac Disease a Hidden Epidemic"; Peter H.R. Green MD; 2006.
  • "Clinical Medicine and Research"; Celiac Disease and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease; Ch'ng CL, Jones MK, Kingham JGC; 2007
  • "Thyroid"; Tissue transglutaminase antibodies in individuals with celiac disease bind to thyroid follicles and extracellular matrix and may contribute to thyroid dysfunction; Naiyer AJ, et al.; 2008
  • "Today's Dietitian"; Two of a kind--Research connects celiac and thyroid diseases and suggests a gluten-free diet benefits both.; Harris, Cheryl; Kaplan, Gary; November 2010

The link is so well-established that researchers suggest all people with thyroid disease be screened for gluten intolerance, and vice versa.

Why? - There is a concept called molecular mimicry. The antibodies to gliadin, the culprit protein in gluten causes the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have autoimmune thyroid disease and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid.

Even worse, the immune response to gluten can last up to 6 months each time you eat it. It is critical to eliminate gluten completely. If you’re gluten intolerant, you have to be 100% gluten-free to prevent immune destruction of your thyroid.

I'm on board with no gluten--haven't had it since October; however, I'm not on board with no dairy. I have osteoporosis, and the best source of calcium is dairy, not supplements. I have Greek yogurt and goat cheese. I am carb-free due to my sugars being very slightly elevated, but I agree with fttbass, this list is much too restrictive. In addition, I am not a huge meat eater and rely on nuts and legumes for added protein. But the gluten? Yep. also I avoid iodine. And soy I agree with as well--causes a flare.

    • LittleSwan likes this

All the items mentioned in this list are the main food that I am having presently, all these are the main things that we eat here in India. My question is, if I completely avoid the list of items mentioned above, will the auto immune attack on my thyroid stop? And if the attack stops, can I discontinue the tablet? Would also like to know of a few people who have gone gluten free or rather "the above mentioned list free"


My mom has Thyroid since 20 years, she has not compromised on her diet in anyway, she is doing just fine, there are just some minor symptoms that appear and go back from time to time.

How about a section on good foods and recipes that will give confidence and a sense of “I can do this”

A positive article showing HOW and WHAT to eat instead of only seeing what you CAN NOT eat.


I am a Type 1 diabetic and already feel so very restricted and limited. Those of you that are eating gluten free and doing well might want to share how you are doing it. Share where you find your products. I’m in Texas and the local HEB stores have a very large selection of gluten free foods. They are not all affordable and that makes changing a life time of eating one way to this healthier way even harder.


I know that Amy’s frozen foods are gluten free. Their veggie Lasagna taste very good to this Texas Meats and potato lover.

clean up your diet and die anyway sweet sauce

    • utg123 likes this

I eliminated grains, sugars, dairy, soy, dried fruits, citrus, nuts, red meats and all processed foods including coffee, sodas and chocolate for over 10 years. It was incredibly socially limiting because I could never dine out or even participate in pot-lucks. This diet was so limiting that after a few years, I lost interest in eating and became underweight. I did not experience significant symptom improvement. I did not have improved energy or positive outlook. My thyroid tests were consistent - no improvement. In fact, following a diet so restrictive was counterproductive to my enjoying my life.


Six years ago I reintroduced several "forbidden" foods back into my diet and my general health and outlook has significantly improved. I still avoid gluten grains and corn, and most processed foods but I have not had any troubling symptoms since reintroducing almonds, seeds, beans, soy, dried fruits, sugars (in moderation) and Basmati rice.


One last suggestion: avoid websites where authors, who are trying to sell you their books and materials, suggest this restricted diet. I go to medical journals and government pages which provide conclusions based on submitted studies. There is a warning about gluten grains exacerbating thyroid/autoimmune disorder symptoms but I have yet to see anything about any of the other foods commercial websites suggest eliminating.