Every person is going to be so different when it comes to dietary needs. Your vitamin levels are different from mine, your life experiences, where you are origins lie, etc. One diet from the next should not be identical.
However, there are definitely some overlaps when it comes to certain circumstances. What should work for something, what we should avoid for something. And that certain something in this article? Thyroid cancer.
Yes, there are foods you should and should not eat when it comes to thyroid cancer. Here today, we are covering the “DON’T” list.
I promise that when you fall in love with all the rich and nutritious foods you CAN have, it won’t be as hard to give up the “should not have” types of foods.
Let’s get right into it.
High consumption of certain animal foods.
Yes, the BBQs, the meat-heavy meals… I once loved this. But it has to go when you have thyroid cancer. Especially pork and poultry. Even red meat though, as the likelihood for worsening thyroid symptoms or developing thyroid cancer increase when a lot of red meat is consumed.
Studies are actually neutral (or sometimes in favor) towards fish, mainly because fish can be so high in iodine which is great for the thyroid. The meats studies show thyroid risk for poultry and pork. Meat, especially the kind that is ultra processed, is not good either. (Source)
If you read The China Study, which widely covered cancer, you will see there findings for being anti-cancer point toward adopting a near fully plant-based diet. Author T. Colin Cambell had said this (among many profound things): “Furthermore, a pattern was beginning to emerge: nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumor development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumor development.”
Avoid soda, both regular and diet.
Sugar and fake sugar is the big problem here. For some reason, people don’t always get just how much sugar/fake sugar is needed in a little can to get it tasting so good.
When blood sugar is unstable, thyroid problems will often be happening alongside. What’s interesting is that to maintain strong and balanced blood sugar, your thyroid has to be in a healthy state. And then there is the reverse: to have a happy and healthy thyroid, your blood sugar should be stable. You just can’t be spiking your blood sugar with… sugar, all the time.
With fake sugar, like aspartame, often found in diet sodas, that can also be a big problem for the thyroid. The Red River Health And Wellness Center said something I found profound. They said,
“A 9-year study of almost 60,000 women showed those who drank two or more cans of diet soda per day were 50 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease… Aspartame is not without controversy. Over the years, it has been associated with myriad health conditions, including brain tumors, birth defects, cancer, and memory loss, and is the culprit in numerous health complaints to the FDA… Because the immune system and the thyroid are integral to all aspects of health, do not create unnecessary problems with diet soda. Managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid requires attention to diet and lifestyle and lowering overall inflammation.”
Ugh- this one almost doesn’t seem fair, right? People with thyroid cancer (cancer is general!) are so fatigued that it’s like… just give me the coffee. Please.
I hear you. But I want to tell you why eventually we are better without it! (By the way, I still drink coffee a few times a week, I am not perfect. But I’m informed, and I want you to be too.)
Caffeine multiple times a day can be terrible for your thyroid. Your adrenal glands too! Caffeine can make your blood sugar out of whack and this will mask your body's signals to get into rest and digest mode. With thyroid cancer, getting into rest and digest mode (your parasympathetic) is incredibly important. The last thing you want is to be on edge all the time.
Caffeine can even block the absorption of thyroid replacement hormone. So be extra careful! (Source)
Avoid most dairy
Dairy is not going to do you any favors when it comes to thyroid health. In some cases it can help with iodine, which we need. But that is about it. And grass fed does not mean much, I know it sounds healthier but it only means the animal had eaten greens in parts of their diet. Dairy is still not nutritious especially when it comes to thyroid health.
Milk is growth on an energetic level — like a baby mammal getting milk from their Mom to grow. If we have a tumor or a nodule on our thyroid, the last thing we want is growth. Eliminating dairy will help stunt the growth process.
Dairy is also high in saturated fat, and hormones that we don’t want in our bodies- this also is not great for thyroid health.
Avoid soy milk (and other GMO foods)
Soy milk is advertised as something that is so healthy for us, the better choice over dairy, etc etc. But it is not so. For one, soy is the most genetically modified food in the world. Why are GMOs bad?
Natural Endocrine Solutions says this: “There does seem to be some evidence that eating genetically modified foods can potentially trigger an autoimmune response, thus leading to conditions such as Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’ve [also] spoken about the risks of unfermented soy on thyroid health, as this can potentially inhibit thyroid gland activity. And of course having the soy genetically modified will only make things worse.”
Other foods to avoid are canola, rapeseed, corn and cottonseed oil. But soy, SOY is important to know because it is always marketing as so healthy. Another thing to think about with soy is that it has chemicals like isoflavones that can impede on your thyroid’s ability to make hormones- especially if you’re not getting a proper amount of iodine in your diet. (Source)
Eating too much food.
This is where I’m going to close, because it also needs to be said that it’s not always about what you eat, it’s also HOW MUCH you eat. You can eat all the thyroid healing foods in the world and avoid the worst offenders but if you are eating at an excess and gaining weight, this is going to hinder your process at getting better. And it will be pro-cancer instead of anti-cancer.
In the Nutrition Guide For Clinicians, they said this: “A meta-analysis found a 25% greater risk for thyroid cancer among overweight individuals and a 55% greater risk in obese individuals as compared with normal-weight individuals. Paralleling these findings, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study found that individuals consuming the highest amount of calories experienced a roughly 30% higher risk for thyroid cancer, compared to those consuming the lowest amount.”
Keep your plate full of vegetables, void of the foods that won’t help you, and keep the proportions in control.
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