Food to Avoid While Having Graves’ Disease

Graves’ illness causes your body to overproduce thyroid hormones, which disrupts your metabolism. While there are no official nutritional suggestions for persons with Graves’ disease, many people find that avoiding certain foods helps them feel better. This practice helps them to improve Grave’s disease symptoms and give them some relief.

Food to avoid:

Graves’ disease is one of the significant reasons for hyperthyroidism. Grave’s disease makes the thyroid gland create excessive amounts of thyroid hormone, resulting in hyperthyroidism. Severe weight loss, osteoporosis and brittle bones are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

It’s important to eat a healthy food to manage Graves’ disease. Some foods may aggravate the symptoms of Graves’ illness. Food allergies or sensitivities can compromise the immune system, leading to disease flare-ups in some people. As a result, it’s critical to try to figure out which foods should avoid. Keeping these foods out of your diet may help you feel better.

1.    Caffeine:

Caffeine-containing foods, such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can exacerbate Graves’ disease symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, palpitation and weight loss. Although you do not need to eliminate caffeine, see your doctor, determine whether you limit caffeine-containing items. If you love a cup of morning coffee and don’t feel bad, you don’t need to give it up.

2.    Gluten:

People with thyroid problems have a higher risk of developing Celiac disease than the general population. It could be due to a genetic relationship, in part. Gluten-containing foods could make treatment more challenging. People suffering from autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Graves’ disease, must avoid food containing gluten.

Gluten can be found in a variety of foods and beverages. Reading labels and looking for gluten-containing ingredients is essential. The foods containing gluten are Wheat and wheat products, rye, barley, malt, triticale, Brewer’s yeast (yeast used to make beer), and all sorts of grains (like Kamut, spelt, farro and durum etc.).

3.    Iodized salt

To treat iodine deficiency, salt makers in the US frequently add iodine to table salt. Too much iodine, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily a healthy thing for persons with Graves’ disease. TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) tells the thyroid to manufacture more thyroid hormone, and iodine can encourage your body to produce more of it. According to the NIH, NIDDK ( National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), a hyperactive thyroid can cause heart, bone, and muscle problems if left unchecked.

According to the ODS (National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements) the recommended iodine consumption is 150 micrograms, but persons with hyperthyroidism may need less. Consult your doctor to determine how your daily consumption of iodine. Look for the words “iodized” or “provides iodine” on the nutrition label to see the salt contains iodine. Iodine is frequently absent from speciality salts like kosher salt and sea salt.

4.    Seaweed

Nori, kelp, kombu, and wakame are examples of seaweed that are high in iodine. According to the ODS, one 10-gram of dried nori has 232 micrograms of iodine or roughly 155 percent of the recommended daily amount.

5.    Whole Milk:

Individuals with hyperthyroidism should avoid consuming whole milk because of its high-fat content. Organic milk or skim milk is a better choice because it is healthier and digests quickly than whole milk.

6.    Soy:

According to animal research, the Ingestion of soy has been demonstrated to impede radioactive iodine uptake, which is used in treating hyperthyroidism. Soy is obtained from various sources, including soy milk, tamari (soy sauce), tofu, and edamame beans (a type of legume); soybean oil is a type of oil from soybeans.

7.    Added Sugars

Added sugars, such as corn syrup (high fructose), sugar cane, dextrose, and other sweeteners, increase the number of empty calories in a meal while raising blood sugar levels. These forms of sugars provide little, if any, nutritional value. Patients with hyperthyroidism who experience heart palpitations can have their symptoms managed by lowering blood sugar levels.

Soft beverages, jam/jelly, pancake syrup, cookies, candies, cakes, pastries, and fat-free frozen yogurt are just a few of the foods to avoid.

8.    Red meat and other animal products:

According to a study (Prevalence of hyperthyroidism according to type of vegetarian diet), vegetarians had a lower risk of hyperthyroidism than non-vegetarians. Red meat has a lot of cholesterol and saturated fat in it. Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes can develop as a result of this. Reducing red meat consumption can assist in alleviating hyperthyroidism symptoms.

Red meat is also classified as an inflammatory food, which indicates that it can promote inflammation inside the body if consumed in high amounts over time.

Coldwater fish (tuna, salmon, herring, and mackerel) and beans are suitable replacements because they are higher in lean protein. Processed, sauced, or fried foods should be avoided.

9.    Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil:

Many commercially prepared foods contain hydrogenated vegetable oil. They are the significant sources of Trans fat, which lower good cholesterol levels and exacerbate hyperthyroidism symptoms.

Foods like crackers, pastries, margarine, doughnuts, pie crust, and onion rings should be avoided. These dishes are cooked in a commercial setting.

10. Alcohol:

Alcohol can deplete energy and exacerbate sleep problems associated with hyperthyroidism. In people with hyperthyroidism, drinking alcohol increases the chance of osteoporosis. Wine, cocktails, beer and other alcoholic beverages should be limited or avoided entirely.

Food allergens:

Suppose you have any sort of food allergy. In that case, even if it is a mild food allergy, you might like to avoid eating that food in order to reduce the likelihood of experiencing negative consequences. Some dietary allergies have an effect on the body that is similar to Graves’ disease symptoms. Therefore avoiding particular foods may aid your doctor in determining what exactly your Graves’ disease symptoms are. Wheat-based foods (gluten), soy, dairy products, corn, and nuts are some of the most common food allergies to be found.


Everyone has different dietary requirements, such as vegetarianism, high cholesterol, or gluten sensitivity. You should consult your doctor or request a referral to a registered dietitian for help in developing a meal plan that meets your requirements and allows you to eat more of the foods you enjoy while avoiding the foods that aggravate your Graves disease.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Guardian Talks journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.