Weight gain, lethargy, depression, and constipation are classic symptoms of hypothyroidism. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism recently, here’s a simple meal plan that assists in managing your underactive thyroid and losing weight.
But before that, let’s answer a few simple questions.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning is the process of planning your food intake as per nutritional recommendations. It includes planning ahead the macro nutrients and micronutrients you need to consume in order to ensure balanced diet as per your age, lifestyle, and medical conditions.
What is a thyroid meal plan?
People with hypothyroidism often have weight gain, constipation, fatigue, and other symptoms. Even though medications tend to address the inadequacy of thyroid hormones, you need a diet plan that maintains essential nutrient intake, avoid foods that can be harmful for your thyroid glands, and consume foods that can stimulate proper functioning of thyroid glands.
Indian Hypothyroidism Meal Plan
Hypothyroidism meal plans are designed to boost your metabolism that gets sluggish with underactive thyroids. It includes consumption of vital nutrients, and avoid all foods that can aggravate your condition and lead to weight gain.
This meal plan should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and natural foods along with seafood and lean proteins. It involves regulating foods that are goitrogenic (foods that interfere with normal thyroid function).
Consult an endocrinologist and a dietician before you start on your thyroid meal plan.
Ideally, a healthy breakfast should provide more than 25% of the daily nutritional requirement. It should consist of fresh fruit, cereals, low-fat dairy products, and protein sources like eggs.
Lunch should include whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, and fruits.
Dinner should include vegetables, whole grains, millets, seafood or any other source of lean protein, and fruits.
People who enjoy snacking in between meals should consume baked snacks, and dry fruits, and avoid deep fries.
Note: Portion size and the amount of food to be consumed depends upon age, gender, physical activity, and presence of other medical conditions.
Foods to be included-
Cereals, Grains, and Pulses
Indian cereals and pulses like bajra, Bengal gram, kidney beans, chana dal, masoor dal, moong dal, whole black gram, parboiled rice, and jowar are good options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is important to restrict goitrogens like gluten-containing grains. These include wheat, barley, and rye.
Dishes like Poha, porridge, roti, upma, daliya, and idlis are good options for breakfast.
Dishes with brown rice, barley, jowar, and bajra are good options for lunch.
For dinner, a meal made of quinoa, wild rice, and buckwheat are good options.
Vegetables containing goitrogens should be strictly regulated. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower, turnips, mustard, radishes, soy, and Brussels’ sprouts should be restricted. While consuming these foods, steaming them or cooking them can reduce goitrogenic compounds.
Green beans, eggplants, onions, peppers, potatoes, okra, tomatoes, pumpkins, carrots, avocados, celery, mushrooms, cucumbers, and seaweed are preferable foods for people with hypothyroidism.
Peaches, strawberries, and pears are known to be goitrogenic. It is better to restrict intake of these fruits.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, cantaloupe, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, mangoes, pineapple, pomegranates, and kiwi fruit are good fruits for people with hypothyroidism.
Nuts & Seeds
Walnuts, peanuts, and flax seeds are known to be goitrogenic. It is better to restrict their intake.
Other nuts and seeds like Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, Hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds are good for people with hypothyroidism.
Seafood, free-range poultry, and no hormone meat products are good choices. Fortified dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and curd should be consumed in appropriate quantities to avoid vitamin D deficiency that is associated with Hashimoto’s disease.
Spices & Herbs
Garlic, onions, chilies, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, sage, thyme, ginger, and oregano are known to increase your metabolic rate. Using these in your diet is good in hypothyroidism.
Oils & Fats
Olive oil, and coconut oil are beneficial for people with hypothyroidism. Cutting down on bad fats and fried foods helps in weight reduction.
A thyroid meal plan should have foods rich in iodine, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B, C, and E. It should take into consideration other medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease in order to adjust intake quantities.
If you have hypothyroidism, it does not mean that you have to cut down on tasty foods altogether. Ensuring portion size control, getting adequate physical activity, and remaining stress-free are important aspects of managing hypothyroidism.