THE IMPORTANCE OF DIET FOR THYROID FUNCTION

THE IMPORTANCE OF DIET FOR THYROID FUNCTION

 

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The most common complaint from people with thyroid disorders is that of weight gain. The thyroid

has an immense influence upon metabolism, leading to unintended weight gain and weight loss.

People with thyroid conditions are also at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and

diabetes. Consequently, the necessity of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is paramount (Harris

2012).

 

 

 

 

 

NATURAL NORDIC DIET (NND)

The Natural Nordic Diet (NND) stems from the traditional style of eating adopted in Norway, Sweden

and Denmark, which places emphasis on the plentiful consumption of berries, vegetables

(predominantly cabbage, root veg, legumes, potatoes and herbs) and oily fish. Consumption of red

meat is minimal, and limited to high quality, lean meats such as kangaroo. This diet is rich in omega-

3 fats and low in unfavourable saturated fats, thus helping to support cardiovascular function

(Flaxman n.d.).

PALEO DIET

The Paleo diet is centred upon eating foods our primal ancestors ate – namely lean meats, eggs,

some fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood and shellfish, and healthy oils (e.g. olive, coconut,

avocado, etc.) in moderation. A typical Paleo meal plan may consist of eggs and lean meat for

breakfast, salad or soup containing meat or fish for lunch, and roast meat with vegetables for dinner.

The Paleo diet includes a lot of stews, stir-fries and egg dishes (e.g. frittatas and omelettes) (Cordain

n.d.).

AUTOIMMUNE PALEO

The Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) is a diet which focuses on healing the immune system and the gastro-

intestinal mucosa, and can be applied to any inflammatory condition. It is similar to the Paleo Diet in

that gluten, grains, legumes, dairy, sugar and alcohol are all eliminated. Gluten is highly

inflammatory in the gut and is not suitable for consumption by anyone with an autoimmune

disorder. Foods which are allowed include most vegetables (excluding nightshades), a limited

amount of fruit, coconut products, fats (e.g. olive oil, avocados, coconut oil), fermented foods, bone

broth, grass fed meats, poultry and seafood and non-seed herbal teas. The purpose of this diet is to

reduce the inflammation which exacerbates autoimmune disease (Flanigan n.d.).

berry benefits

 

 

 

 

 

 

VEGAN

Vegan diets are an extension of the vegetarian diet, where only plant-based foods are consumed.

The vegan diet differs to other vegetarian diets in that it restricts both the consumption of and use

of any animal products. A vegan diet consists of fruit and vegetables; breads, cereals and grains;

legumes (e.g. lentils, dried beans and chickpeas); soy products; and nuts and seeds (Dieticians

Association of Australia n.d.).

brazil nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VEGETARIAN

Vegetarian diets are centered on the consumption of plant foods. It can be extremely healthy as the

majority of plant foods are low in saturated fats and high in dietary fibre. There are three main types

of vegetarian diets, including:-

1. Vegan (plant foods only);

2. Lacto (includes dairy foods); and

3. Ovo-lacto (includes dairy foods and eggs).

Caution needs to be taken when following a vegetarian or vegan diet to ensure that all nutritional

needs are met, as a vegetarian is more prone to deficiency in protein, iron, zinc, Vitamin B12,

calcium and omega 3 (Dieticians Association of Australia n.d.).

BLOOD TYPE DIET

The blood type diet is centred on the theory that people with varying blood types digest lectins

differently, and that if they consume foods which are not compatible with their blood type it will

lead to health problems. Group O is thought to benefit from a high animal protein diet typical of the

hunter-gatherer era, whilst those with Group A are encouraged to follow a vegetarian diet. Blood

Group B individuals are considered to benefit from the consumption of dairy products, and those

with type AB are believed to thrive when following a combination of the appropriate diets for both

group A and B (Wikipedia 2015).

colour fruit rainbow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION – BEST DIET FOR THYROID DISORDERS & HASHIMOTO’S
The best suited dietary recommendations for people with thyroid disorders and Hashimoto’s are the
NND, the Paleo diet and the AIP, as they all promote the reduction or elimination of highly

inflammatory grains and encourage consumption of health-promoting fruits and vegetables and lean

protein rich meats.

It is highly recommended that you follow these dietary guidelines under the supervision of a

qualified integrative Naturopath to ensure that your symptoms are properly managed.

 

REFERENCES

1. Harris, C 2012, ‘Thyroid Disease and Diet – Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid

Health’, Today’s Dietician, vol. 14, no. 7, p. 40. Available from

http://www.todaysdietician.com/newarchives/070112p40.shtml. [4 June 2015].

2. Flaxman, G n.d., What you need to know about the Nordic Diet. Available from:

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/weight+loss/diets/what+you+need+to+know+about+the+nor

dic+diet.32129. [4 June 2015].

3. Cordain, L n.d. What to eat on the Paleo Diet. Available from:

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/weight+loss/diet+az/what+to+eat+on+the+paleo+diet,23852?

gclid=CN7E1YPe-cUCFUWUvQodbkQAAw. [4 June 2015].

4. Flanigan, J n.d., What is Autoimmune Paleo or AIP Diet? Available from:

http://aiplifestyle.com/what-is-autoimmune-protocol-diet/. [4 June 2015].

5. Dieticians Association of Australia n.d., Vegan Diets. Available from: http://daa.asn.au/for-

the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/vegan-diets/. [4 June 2015].

6. Dieticians Association of Australia n.d., Vegetarian Diets. Available from:

http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/vegetarian-diets/. [4

June 2015].

7. Wikipedia 2015, Blood type diet. Available from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_type_diet. [4 June 2015].