Hashimoto diet: what is it? pros and cons

Hashimoto diet: what is it? pros and cons


Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – sometimes referred to as Hashimoto’s or Hashimoto’s disease – is one of the most common thyroid disorders in developed countries. Even if treated with drugs, the symptoms of the disease can significantly affect the quality of life. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that a specific diet with the exclusion of certain foods, favoring others, and a healthy and balanced lifestyle, in addition to medicines, can significantly improve symptoms.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: what is it?

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that leads to the gradual destruction of thyroid tissue by lymphocytes (white blood cells). The thyroid is an endocrine gland found at the base of the neck. It secretes hormones essential for the proper functioning of several organs, including the heart, lungs, skeleton, and central nervous and digestive systems. Not only that, the thyroid is involved in the proper functioning of metabolism and growth. The main hormones secreted by the thyroid gland are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

There is also the planetary diet .

Diet and Lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle play a fundamental role in the management of hashimoto’s, since many subjects affected by the disease recognize that the symptoms persist even with medication. Research in the field suggests that inflammation may be a driving factor for all symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Inflammation is often linked to diet which is essential to reduce the risk of other disorders related to thyroid disease, such as: autoimmune conditions, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. Research shows that cutting out certain foods , taking supplements, and making lifestyle changes can significantly improve symptoms and quality of life. A proper diet can also help reduce inflammation, slow or prevent thyroid damage caused by elevated thyroid antibodies, and manage weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

There is also a diet based on skin type .

Gluten Free diet

Is there a correlation between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and celiac disease ? The results of the numerous researches carried out answer this question: subjects with Hashimoto’s are more likely to have celiac disease than the general population. Therefore, experts recommend that everyone diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease be screened for celiac disease. 

Furthermore, following a gluten-free and grain-free diet would benefit the symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, as the absence of gluten would reduce the levels of thyroid antibodies by improving thyroid function and vitamin D levels . Another highlight: People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis — or autoimmune disease in general — benefit from a gluten-free diet even if they don’t have celiac disease.

Autoimmune Protocol Diet

The Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP) was formulated by nutrition experts for people with autoimmune diseases. All potentially harmful foods are excluded from the diet, such as:

  • cereals,
  • dairy products, 
  • added sugar,
  • coffee,
  • legumes,
  • egg,
  • alcohol,
  • nuts,
  • seeds,
  • oils and food additives 

The AIP diet is a phased elimination diet and should be prescribed and monitored by a physician or nutrition expert.

What to eat

Some general guidelines for people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (which, however, do not apply to all cases):

  • Lactose intolerance is very common among people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Cutting out dairy products can help digestive problems, as well as thyroid function and drug absorption. 
  • Consume anti-inflammatory foods. An anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly improve symptoms, reduce oxidative stress – a condition that causes chronic inflammation. Vegetables, fruits, spices and fatty fish are just a few examples of foods with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Whole, nutrient-dense diets: Eating a diet low in added sugar and highly processed foods but high in whole foods, nutrient-dense foods, reduces Hashimoto-related symptoms, and provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Hashimoto diet: foods to take

People with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should consume:

  • Fruits: berries, pears, apples, peaches, citrus fruits, pineapples, bananas, etc.
  • Non-starchy vegetables: zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, peppers, broccoli, arugula, mushrooms, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, acorns, and squash, etc.
  • Healthy fats: avocado, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, full-fat yogurt, coconut yogurt
  • Animal proteins: Salmon, egg, cod, turkey, shrimp, chicken, etc.
  • Gluten-free cereals: brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice pasta, etc.
  • Seeds, Nuts, and Nut Butters: Cashews, Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Natural Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, etc.
  • Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc.
  • Plant-based dairy substitutes: coconut milk, coconut yogurt, almond milk, cashew milk, unsweetened full-fat yogurt.
  • Spices, herbs and condiments: turmeric, basil, rosemary, paprika, saffron, black pepper, salsa, tahini, honey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.
  • Beverages: water, unsweetened tea, sparkling water, etc. 

Nutrient deficiency

Several supplements can help reduce thyroid inflammation and antibodies in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Additionally, people with the condition are more likely to be deficient in certain nutrients , so supplementation of:

  • Selenium.
  • Zinc. Zinc is essential for thyroid function.
  • Curcumin (anti-inflammatory compound and antioxidant may protect the thyroid) 
  • Vitamin D. People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have been shown to have significantly lower levels of this vitamin
  • Vitamins of the B complex. 
  • Magnesium.
  • Iron (people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are more likely to develop anemia)


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