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CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — When we see a new patient with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, one of the first and most powerful things we do is put them on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland, causing hypothyroidism. It is the cause of more than 90% of cases of hypothyroidism in the United States.
At RedRiver Health and Wellness Centers, we start with an anti-inflammatory diet because the Western diet increases inflammation and your risk for chronic disease. On the other hand, an anti-inflammatory diet designed to manage autoimmune disease is dense in nutrients and low in inflammatory foods.
Such a diet consists of a whole-foods diet abundant in colorful vegetables, leafy greens, healthy proteins and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado oil. It also requires avoiding sugars, processed foods, junk foods and industrial oils such as soybean oil or canola oil.
During the years of running our clinics, we have been testing patients from all over the country and around the world for food intolerances. When you have a food intolerance, it means the food is causing inflammation in your body every time you eat it.
If you have an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s, this chronic inflammation will promote ongoing autoimmune attacks against the thyroid gland. Removing these foods from their diet helps Hashimoto’s patients significantly in lowering inflammation and slowing or halting autoimmune destruction of tissue.
Here are the food intolerances we see most often and that you should avoid if you have Hashimoto’s:
- Gluten, by far the most inflammatory food we see in immune testing.
- Dairy, which comes up about as often as gluten as being inflammatory.
- Aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in most diet beverages.
- Pork – and beef to a lesser degree.
Studies show many Hashimoto’s patients do better on a low-iodine diet; cases of Hashimoto’s rise in areas where iodine is introduced. Dietary sources high in iodine you should avoid include the following:
- Iodized salt.
- Saltwater fish.
- Supplements, multivitamins or protein powders that contain iodine.
- Dairy products.
- Foods that contain the additives carrageen, agar-agar, alginate or nori.
- Bakery products made with iodated dough.
Additionally, I have my patients remove all grains, all legumes, all nightshade vegetables –peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes – and alcohol.
So what can you eat? The foods you can eat on this diet include the following:
- Vegetables that aren’t nightshades.
- Fruits, but minimize fruit consumption because it is high in sugar. Eat fruit with fiber, protein or fat to slow down the absorption of sugar.
- Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.
If you follow a Hashimoto’s diet for 30 days that eliminates these foods along with sugars and other sweeteners, includes ample amounts of vegetables and removes processed and fast foods, this will profoundly reduce your inflammation and help you bring your Hashimoto’s under control.
We work with your prescribing physician for optimal results. Do not discontinue medication or hormone replacement therapy without consulting your prescribing physician. Visit our website to learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation.
Written by JOSH REDD, chiropractic physician at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center.
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About Josh Redd
Josh Redd, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, is a chiropractic physician and author of the Amazon bestselling book “The Truth About Low Thyroid.” Redd owns seven functional medicine clinics in the western United States and sees patients from across the country and around the world who are suffering from challenging autoimmune, endocrine and neurological disorders. He also teaches thousands of health care practitioners about functional medicine and immunology, thyroid health, neurology, lab testing and more.
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