Low iodine diet is a therapeutic diet that limits the intake of iodine-rich foods.
Iodine is an essential mineral that is required for the production of thyroid hormones, but excessive iodine intake can interfere with thyroid function and cause health issues.
A low iodine diet is often recommended for people with thyroid conditions or for those who are preparing for a radioactive iodine scan or treatment.
If you’re following a low iodine diet, it’s important to know which foods to avoid and which foods to include in your diet.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a low-iodine diet shopping list that can help you plan your meals and snacks.
Foods to avoid on a low-iodine diet:
- Iodized salt: Table salt that is iodized should be avoided on a low-iodine diet. Instead, use non-iodized salt or sea salt.
- Seafood: All types of seafood, including fish, shellfish, and seaweed, are rich in iodine and should be avoided on a low iodine diet.
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are usually iodine-rich and should be avoided. Instead, try plant-based milk alternatives like almond or oat milk.
- Processed foods: Processed foods like canned soups, packaged snacks, and frozen meals often contain iodized salt or other iodine-rich ingredients.
- Other iodine-rich foods: Some fruits, vegetables, and grains like strawberries, potatoes, and wheat can contain iodine and should be avoided or limited on a low iodine diet.
Foods to eat on a low iodine diet:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Most fresh fruits and vegetables are low in iodine and should be included in your diet. Some examples include apples, bananas, oranges, broccoli, carrots, and kale.
- Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats are generally low in iodine and can be included in your diet.
- Unsalted nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and healthy fats on a low iodine diet.
- Fresh herbs and spices: Fresh herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric can add flavor to your meals without adding iodine.
- Other low iodine foods: Other foods that are typically low in iodine include unsweetened nut butter, plant-based oils, and dried beans and lentils.
Low iodine diet shopping list:
Here are some items you may want to include in your low iodine diet shopping list:
- Fresh produce: Apples, bananas, oranges, carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers.
- Whole grains and cereals: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, and unsweetened cereal without added iodine.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
- Non-iodized salt: Look for non-iodized salt in the salt section of your grocery store or health food store.
- Other low iodine staples: Unsweetened nut butter, plant-based oils like olive oil and avocado oil, dried beans and lentils, and fresh herbs and spices.
Meal planning on a low iodine diet:
Here are some meal ideas for a low iodine diet:
- Oatmeal with sliced banana and unsweetened almond milk
- Smoothie with frozen berries, almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder
- Avocado toast on whole grain bread
Vegetable stir-fry with brown rice and tofu
- Salad with mixed greens, roasted vegetables, and unsalted nuts
- Baked sweet potato with steamed broccoli and a side of lentils
- Veggie burger on a whole grain bun with a side of roasted vegetables
- Quinoa bowl with roasted vegetables, avocado, and unsalted nuts
- Fresh fruit with unsalted nut butter
- Carrots and hummus
- Rice cakes with avocado and sliced tomato
When eating out on a low iodine diet, it’s important to ask for foods that are prepared without salt or iodized salt. You can also ask for sauces and dressings on the side so you can control the amount you’re consuming.
A low iodine diet is an important therapeutic diet for people with thyroid conditions or those undergoing a radioactive iodine scan or treatment.
By following a low iodine diet shopping list and incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and unsalted nuts and seeds, you can still enjoy a nutritious and delicious diet while limiting your iodine intake.
Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.