What is the best Hashimoto’s Diet?
Welcome to the Health With Hashimoto’s podcast. This is where you find true, simple, and sustainable tips to help you on your path to whole health.
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Today we’re talking about a frequent question, which is what is the best diet for someone with Hashimoto’s? And I’m going to answer that question and I am going to help you figure out exactly what the best diet is for you. I know everybody is looking for the answer and I’m gonna give it to you.
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The Many Diets Claiming to Help Those with Hashimoto’s
If you do a Google search or whatever search browser you use, and you ask the Internet, “What is the best diet for someone with Hashimoto’s” you’re gonna get a lot of answers. You’re going to get very strong opinions from some people. I mean, there’s not one clear answer. When you do that search. You’re going to hear things like keto, paleo, keto-paleo, intermittent fasting, low iodine, the autoimmune protocol, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free… There are so many different answers. And many of the people who are talking about that specific diet, they are 100% positive that it is the diet that will work for you if you have Hashimoto’s.
A little while ago, I released one of my book review bonus episodes. It was about the book The Underactive Thyroid; if you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to. I found a lot of value in the book, but one part of the book that I quite honestly rejected was early in on page 24. And what they said is, “If you are not prepared to go paleo-keto, then please stop reading right now and pass this book on to someone who is.” Okay, so that was the author’s view of what is best if you have Hashimoto’s. Other people are just as strong in their opinions and they’re going to tell you something different, but I’m going to give you the answer.
Are you ready?
Finding the Best Diet for Hashimoto’s: Change the Question
Here’s the answer: You have to change the question.
There is no best diet in general, you have to change the question. The correct question is what is the best diet for me right now at this stage in my life? If you’re asking the question, what is the best diet for someone with Hashimoto’s? There is no answer. There are a lot of suggestions. There are a lot of things that have worked for some people. In fact, Dr. Isabella Wentz (she is the thyroid pharmacist) surveyed I think over 2000 people. 88% of those people felt better when they removed gluten.
So is a gluten-free diet going to be best for you? If you have Hashimoto’s, well for 88% of the people who went through her survey, yes. Is it 100%? Probably not.
The Importance of Individuality
You are unique. You are a bio-individual there is nobody else on Earth like you existing in this time in this space in your situation.
And there is no blanket answer, but I am going to tell you the best diet for you. I’m going to help you figure it out. And we’re going to go through a framework that I just automatically think in right now.
Looking at the Whole You: Body, Mind, Spirit, Diet, and Environment
If you look at the logo on my podcast artwork, there’s a little five-petaled flower each of the petals has a different color. The flower is a whole; it is one flower, with five different petals. That is symbolizing you: the whole you. You are a whole bunch of pieces and you can’t take any one of those out and look at it in isolation.
So when the book The Underactive Thyroid is talking about the Paleo-keto diet being the only diet that people should eat or should follow if they have Hashimoto’s or an underactive thyroid, they are looking only at one part of the whole you. So if you look at that five-petal flower, those five petals stand for body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment. Each one of those is part of the whole and each one impacts all of the others. So when we’re looking at what is the best diet for you, especially in this season of life, we need to look at all five of those petals.
Evaluating Your Hashimoto’s Diet for The Whole You: Body
So let’s start with the biggest one: body. What is the best diet for your body? So we’re talking about somebody who has thyroid problems, right? You’re listening to this podcast because you either have been diagnosed with thyroid problems or you suspect that you have thyroid problems or maybe somebody else that you love has thyroid problems and you’re trying to help them you’re also listening to this podcast because you have an autoimmune problem. That is your immune system is kind of going haywire and it’s attacking things that it shouldn’t attack.
Diet Can Lower Inflammation
So let’s talk about what is the best diet for your body. Number one, you want to lower inflammation. If you are eating foods that raise your inflammation, we know 100% of that is going to mess up your immune system even more. If you have problems with your immune system. You need to lower inflammation. How do you do that? You do it with whole foods. You do it with less processed foods. If you think of processed foods on a continuum the more processed the more inflammatory it is. So when I say processed, you know, think of an apple you pick an apple off a tree and it’s going to be completely unprocessed. You take the apple and you coat it with waxy nastiness to preserve the look. That’s one form of processing and it is not good for you. I don’t know if you have seen the stuff about “apeel” which is a coating that Bill Gates developed and supposedly is good, but it is, according to what I’ve read, it is very harmful. It is an oxygen barrier. So yeah, don’t eat it. Don’t eat it.
But there are other things to process too. I mean then think about applesauce. You would have the natural applesauce, apples obviously. Then they took that apple and they boiled it or they steamed it or whatever they heated it so they’re probably losing nutrients without it and then they ground or mashed it up. Maybe they added sugar. Sugar is inflammatory. Maybe they added food coloring, food coloring is inflammatory, or it interacts with stuff in your brain. It’s not good. Maybe they took the applesauce and then they further added things to it like artificial flavors and even more colors and they turned it into fruit leather. And you know they’re selling that to your kids. There’s this whole continuum of processed food. The more processed it is, the more inflammatory it’s going to be.
If you have Hashimoto’s, if you have any autoimmune problem, if you have any “itis” in your body, that is inflammation. So if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or arthritis or any itis, that is inflammation. You want to lower it. When you’re looking at the body aspect of what diet is right for me, let’s lower inflammation.
Balancing Blood Sugar for Optimal Health in Your Hashimoto’s Diet
Another part of the body when you’re looking at diet, is we need to lower the stressors on our body. Back in the episode when I was talking about blood sugar, I mentioned that when your blood sugar dips, that is a big stressor that really highs are big stressors and the lows are big stressors. But for those people with thyroid issues, the lows seem to be more of a stressor on your body, which is not healthy for your thyroid. It’s not healthy for your immune system. Well when you are doing intermittent fasting, you are going through those lows of your blood sugar. And that is not healthy for some people with autoimmune problems or with thyroid problems. This seems to especially affect women who have not gone through menopause yet. There seems to be a difference between men and women in intermittent fasting and also pre and post-menopause. In fact, he may be over three maybe it won’t but what we do know is that those dips on a blood sugar scale, even if you’re not diabetic, even if you are fully healthy as far as blood sugar.
When your blood sugar goes low, it’s still a stressor on your body. So when you are evaluating the best diet for you, right now in this season of life, you want to look for a diet or types of food to eat that are going to keep your blood sugar stable. These are foods that are generally Whole Foods less processed less sugar, because the higher the sugar content, the higher and lower your roller coaster your blood sugar roller coaster is. So as far as lowering the stressors on your body, you want to maintain stable blood sugar if you’re on Instagram, follow @GlucoseGoddess. I’m not a huge fan of the title. That spiritual stuff. I’m not Woo. You know that I am a Christian. I follow Jesus. I’m not woo so the goddess part—not big fan. But her content is so good as far as showing you the glucose rollercoaster and giving you tips for how to maintain stable blood sugar.
Giving Your Body the Nutrients It Needs in Your Hashimoto’s Diet
Another thing that you want to look at for the body part of the flower is: are you giving your body the correct ingredients that it needs for your bodily functions?
For example, your thyroid needs selenium to work. Are you eating foods that have selenium? That’s a good question. Brazil nuts have selenium. Other nuts and seeds do too. Brasil nuts have the most, so that’s what we talk about.
Your body needs so many different ingredients. It needs many different minerals, it needs vitamins, it needs phytochemicals. You need so many different things. So you want to look at am I giving my body what it needs?
Personalizing Your Hashimoto’s Diet: Identifying Reactive Foods
The other thing that you want to ask is Are any of the foods that I’m eating personally reactive for me? This is going to be very bio-individual. You’re going to be different than everybody else. When my youngest son was born within just a couple of months, he was covered head to toe with eczema. And since he was exclusively breastfed, I knew that I was causing the problem.
So I went on an elimination diet. I took everything out. All I could eat were non-GMO, organic fruits and veggies, mostly veggies. I think for fruits I could only have berries. I could have fish and white meat. That was it. That was all I was starting from and then I added things back in. Well what we found out was for my son it was coconut, anything that had even a little bit of coconut in it if I ate it that he would get eczema. So for him, it was coconut. Is coconut something that we talked about as a big allergen? No, it was individual to him.
And in the process of going on this elimination diet. My body was like whoa, I get a break from all the things that I don’t like. And from that point on, I’ve not been able to have gluten. I’ve you know had had trials of it. But I have realized that I can’t eat gluten anymore. It does things to me.
So figure out what works for you. And if there is something reactive for you, then take that out of your diet. Maybe you’ll be able to put it back in after you heal if you work on your gut for a while or after your body has a break. Again, listen to your body.
Evaluating Your Hashimoto’s Diet for The Whole You: Mind
So that kind of takes me to the end of that body petal of the flower. Let’s move into mind. So body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment. Those are the five petals. The rest are not as long as this first one for body.
Mind: What are you going to be able to wrap your mind around eating? As far as meal planning, what is going to work in your brain? You know you.
That’s why, when you go on Pinterest, and you search for meal plans, even if you just search for like how to write down your meal plan you’re gonna find, I don’t know 500 or 1,000, or a million different ways of writing down your meals because what works for one person doesn’t work for another.
Maybe one person likes little index cards that they put on the fridge maybe somebody else likes a whiteboard, they write it down and maybe somebody else likes to print it. You know what works for you.
So the same thing when it comes to what kind of diet is going to be right for you at this stage in your life. What are you gonna be able to wrap your mind around?
Evaluating Your Hashimoto’s Diet for The Whole You: Spirit
This kind of also works with the spiritual aspect of eating. The spiritual aspect of your diet comes down to values. What do you value? If you are like living off the grid, you are homesteading, you’re making sure that you’re doing as much as you can have your own food, you’re foraging when you can, you’re hunting when you can, and you’re raising your own meat. Then you have that value and you’re going to want to incorporate your values into your diet. The same way, if you are huge into like veganism and you don’t want anything that is animal related because you feel like that is unethical, then that comes into your diet. That’s your spiritual aspect of eating.
Can you see how the different petals of the flower of the whole you impact the others? Because your values affect what you’re going to eat and then what you’re eating affects your physical body. It is the same way for all of those five petals.
Evaluating Your Hashimoto’s Diet for The Whole You: Environment
We’ve talked about body mind spirit. Let’s talk about environment. Now, the environment of your diet is kind of who you’re around and where you are. So let’s talk about your family. Now for me, the biggest reason why I am not going to consider a paleo-keto diet like that book was talking about, is because it is lonely to be sitting at a table with your entire family. So there’s six of us around the table and I’m eating something different. That is lonely. And I’m okay with it now on most days. (Maybe on those more emotional times of the month I just like I’m sick of it and I want to go eat somewhere else.) But it is lonely. When you are in community yet you eat differently, you feel it.
Environment Includes Your Family
So what is your diet going to be? Is it going to be something that can incorporate the whole family? For me and my family, a paleo-keto diet is never going to work. Well, never say never. However, I know that my family at this stage in life will not be accepting of a paleo-keto diet. So what I need to do is I need to figure out what is the best diet for that environment.
Gluten-free, I can adapt and most of the foods the meals are pretty much the same. If they’re having something you know that has noodles, I can make gluten-free noodles or I can do zoodles—you know, ribbon zucchini or whatever. There are a lot of different things I can do so that we’re eating, not maybe exactly the same meal, but similar. And we’re all sitting down together serving from the same pot, at least in some parts. You know, we’re all eating the same vegetable together. We’re all eating the same meat together, but we’re just not eating the same carb.
Loneliness is Not Healthy
If I were to switch and do something totally different, that would be even more lonely and it’s not going to be the best for me in this stage of life. It is going to increase my stress and increase my loneliness, which is huge. We figured out with COVID that loneliness is ginormous when you’re looking at health overall health.
Environment: Where will You Eat?
The other thing about environment is where do you eat? Do you eat at home? Do you make your meals do you eat out all the time? What are you going to be able to find that fits with your diet? Again, you want to find a diet that is not super stressful, that is promoting your health in a way that is sustainable. If you are completely stressed out every single day about what am I going to eat? When am I going to eat? How am I going to eat? Where am I going to find my food that is not a healthy way to live. It is going to affect your overall health. So look at the environment, your family environment, the environment where you’re going to eat or where you’re gonna get your food.
I would also include budget in this because you have to eat within the environment of your bank account. And some ways of eating are more expensive. There are always ways to budget better. And I am not super savvy on that. But I have looked at charts on the internet and I have seen how you can do you know home cooked meals afford very very cheaply and that are super healthy, it is possible. And with inflation right now, you know going out to eat is very expensive. Eating in is very expensive. So again, you have to look at your diet and the environment of your bank account.
Evaluating Your Hashimoto’s Diet for The Whole You: Diet
So that comes down to the diet petal of the flower. What is the best diet for you right now at this stage in your life? I hope you have the answer. I can’t tell you one broad thing because you are unique. You are bio-individual and each petal of your flower looks slightly different than somebody else’s.
The best diet for you right now in this stage of life is something that is:
- going to hopefully lower your inflammation.
- Lower your physical stressors,
- provide the ingredients that your body needs
- is going to be something that you are able to plan your meals around.
- It’s something that is aligned with your values.
- And finally, it is going to be a diet that is able to exist in the environment that you exist in.
It is going to be one that you can incorporate with your family or alongside your family in the areas that you eat, whether it’s at home or at work or on the go and
it is going to be able to be incorporated into your budget.
What is The Right Answer For You?
I would love to know what is your personal answer. Let me know let me know either an email or on Instagram I am @EstherY.RN I would love to know your answer because your answer is probably going to differ from somebody else’s. And it all comes down to what is going to work for the whole you.
So again, the correct question to be asking is what is the best diet for me right now at this stage in my life?
This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. Please be sure to discuss any concerns and plans with your trusted healthcare professional.
This transcript is auto-generated by OtterAI and may have slight errors.