≡ Menu

Thyroid Healthy by Suzy Cohen RPh (2014): Food list

Thyroid Healthy by Suzy Cohen RPhThyroid Healthy (2014) is a book that advises how to improve your thyroid health.

  • Eat a paleo-like diet – low carbohydrate, gluten-free, high protein, vegetables, seaweed, real salt.
  • Avoid processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, soy, vegetable oil.
  • Limit cruciferous vegetables.

Below is a description of the food recommendations in the diet.  What to eat  |  Foods to avoid.  There’s a lot more in the book.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else who you want to understand what you’re eating on this diet.

Get a copy of Thyroid Healthy for thyroid basics, enzymes and vitamins/minerals, nutrient deficiencies, supplements to use and avoid, testing, ways your doctor misdiagnoses you, and thyroid medication discussion.

The reasoning behind Thyroid Healthy

The book says that improving and balancing your thyroid hormone function can improve many aspects of general health and feeling well. The food contribution to improved thyroid health is to restore nutrients which have been “mugged” by drugs such as statins, birth control pills, and acid blocking pills. If you eat a nutritionally naked diet of refined foods, you deplete your minerals then you can’t convert that T4 to precious T3, which is what so many people with thyroid issues need to do. No matter how much thyroid medicine you take, it will never get activated or into your cells unless you have adequate levels of minerals.

It’s assumed that when you take a medication you will absorb it but if you have impaired gut function, an undiagnosed infection or low acid in your stomach, then you will not get the full benefit of your medication. Heal the gut first, and your medication will work much better, so will your supplements.

Thyroid Healthy diet plan – what to eat and foods to avoid

What to eat  |  Foods to avoid

Foods to eat in Thyroid Healthy

Optimally, adopt a Paleo Diet.

Here are some specific recommendations:

  • Choose organic foods wherever possible
  • Proteins
    • Include protein in every meal – either eat it or take a protein shake
    • Liver – for iron
    • Seafood (not high mercury) – for many minerals
    • Turkey breast
    • Eggs
    • Cow’s milk products, occasionally (from grass-fed animals raised without antibiotics or hormones) (note that casein may be better avoided for some people)
  • Vegetables
    • Dark green vegetables – for minerals in general (limit cruciferous vegetables)
    • Seaweeds – for many minerals
    • Mushrooms
    • Other whole vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Organic nuts and seeds
  • Flour alternatives
    • Rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, hemp flour
  • Fats and oils, fatty foods
    • Cow’s milk products, occasionally (from grass-fed animals raised without antibiotics or hormones). Ghee is fine if it’s the absolute highest quality clean ghee. Cheese is best avoided or at least minimized. (Note that casein may be better avoided for some people)
    • Coconut oil
    • Olive oil, tea seed oil, grapeseed oil
  • Beverages
    • Green tea
  • Whole foods
    • Instead of eating apple pie, eat an apple. Instead of potato chips, eat a potato
  • Foods high in natural iodine
  • Foods high in selenium
    • Seafood
    • Clams, canned or fresh oysters, raw octopus
    • Meats (chicken, lamb, turkey, free range game, etc)
    • Mushrooms such as crimini or shitake
    • Asparagus – okay if it’s cooked, broiled or seared
    • Eggs
    • Spinach
    • Nuts
  • Foods rich in tyrosine
    • Protein of all sorts –  game meats, poultry, fish, steak, and eggs
    • Some excellent vegan sources include avocados, bananas, and pumpkin seeds
    • Duck
    • Fava Beans
    • Eggs, specifically the egg white
    • Hawaiian spirulina
    • Kidney beans
    • Spinach and other greens
    • Seafood (orange roughy, tilapia, salmon, haddock, crustaceans, etc.)
    • Seaweed like wakame
    • Sesame seeds
  • Foods rich in zinc
    • Oysters
    • Seafood and crustaceans such as lobster, shrimp, etc
    • Natural cereals
    • Miso soup (without MSG, not too much sodium)
    • Spices such as freeze-dried parsley and chives
    • Seeds and seed butters – Pumpkin seeds, sesame butter/tahini, sunflower seeds and sunflower butter, watermelon seed kernels
    • Nuts – especially Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pecans, almonds, and walnuts – make sure you buy organic, and peel the skin from almonds
    • Dried shiitake mushrooms

Foods to avoid or limit with Thyroid Healthy

  • Refined and processed foods
    • Processed junk foods
    • White flour
    • Artificial sweeteners and colors
    • GMO foods
    • Olestra (fat substitute often used in “light” potato chips) – “mugs” vitamin D
  • Grains
    • In general, reduce carbohydrates
    • Gluten grains – wheat, rye, barley, spelt
    • Other grains as well, e.g. amaranth, corn, quinoa, rice (especially if you have Hashimoto’s)
    • Avoid whole grains
  • Dairy
    • More specifically – casein, the protein in dairy (“mugs” zinc)
    • Limit cheese
  • High-mercury seafood – the mercury harms thyroid tissue
  • Some legumes
    • Soybeans (you can have edamame occasionally
    • Soybean ‘foods’ such as soy meat substitutes, soy cheese
    • Soy milk
    • Lima beans can crash your thyroid
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cruciferous vegetables
    • E.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga/swede, turnips
    • Limit to fewer than 5 servings per week as they are considered goitrogens
  • Caffeine
    • Reduce or eliminate caffeine
    • Chocolate, in excess (“mugs” zinc)
  • White table salt
  • Beverages
    • Coffee and tea – “mug” iron from your diet
    • Alcohol
    • Sodas and energy drinks – watch out for brominated vegetable oil BVO – used as an emulsifier to stabilize sodas and some energy drinks
    • Tap water – contains fluoride most of the time which reduces thyroid levels; also contains chlorine
    • Bottled water – plasticizers from plastic bottles
    • Soy milk

Health benefits claimed in Thyroid Healthy

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: poor adrenal function / adrenal fatigue, anxiety, apathy, low body temperature, cold hands and feet, shortness of breath with little exertion, chronic fatigue, concentration difficulties, constipation, excessive cortisol, depression, fatigue, Graves’ disease, hair loss or thinning, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis / Hashi’s, hypochlorhydria / low stomach acid, hypothyroidism, infertility, insomnia, joint pain, Lyme disease, memory problems, heavy menstrual flow, migraine, miscarriages, muscle pain, overweight/obesity, difficulty losing weight, chronic pain, premenstrual syndrome PMS, dry skin and hair, pale skin, disturbed sleep patterns, reduced ability to sweat, thyroid gland disorder, thyroid resistance, abnormal TSH readings, water retention, weakness

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of Thyroid Healthy for thyroid basics, enzymes and vitamins/minerals, nutrient deficiencies, supplements to use and avoid, testing, ways your doctor misdiagnoses you, and thyroid medication discussion.

Suzy Cohen’s website is http://suzycohen.com. You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SuzyCohenRPh and Twitter at https://twitter.com/suzycohen.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • joanne blodgett June 27, 2014, 8:50 am

    my queestion is my thyroid goes overactive every few years….what can i do to prevent this……they want to
    kill my thyroid then put me on medicine and iam resisting…..help please…..


    • Penny Hammond June 27, 2014, 9:52 am

      Hi Joanne,
      Have a look at the book for detailed suggestions – this page only covers food suggestions, the book has a lot more discussion about how to keep your thyroid functioning healthily.

    • Jake July 20, 2014, 6:32 am

      Certainly avoid any attempt to supplement your iodine intake.

  • Debbie Traynor September 3, 2014, 3:57 pm

    I have a question regarding what to drink (by this list)…no coffee or tea (or cut back)…no tap water (understandably) but it states no bottled water as well. What water can be consumed?

    • Penny Hammond September 3, 2014, 4:16 pm

      The author suggest using a tap water filter, so you can drink filtered water.
      If you can get bottled water in glass bottles, that should be okay too (as long as there’s no plastic there).

    • Kathy September 23, 2014, 10:09 am

      Some grocery stores have reverse-osmosis machines, which is from what I’ve read, the only way to get rid of fluoride and chlorine. At Walmart, the machine is at the back of the store, at Giant Eagle, it’s at the front. Big boxy looking things. I like the one at my local grocery because the filter is changed and machine cleaned quite frequently and the dates are written down on a sticker on the machine. I pay .39 cents if I reuse a jug, or .49 cents if I have to buy a new one. Mixed feelings about the plastic jugs, but with two young grandkids helping me tote in the groceries, for now it’s a safer way to go.

  • Kim R September 6, 2014, 7:08 pm

    Hi Suzy. Thank you for all of the info you share with us about taking prescription meds as opposed to natural remedies, and every day diets. I’m a 52 yo female, with several health issues. I have been on meds to control some of the conditions that I am faced with. I would love to change this.

    I am writing to you while sitting in my air-conditioned room, unable to tolerate ANY heat, whatsoever! I have been diagnosed, 3 years now, with hypothyroidism. I have been on synthroid since then, and would like to know if it is possible to take something that is natural to control this? My issue, however, is that I had congenital aortic stenosis, which required an AVR, in 2002. I have since been on warfarin and hsurgeries to ridave INR schedule to follow. I contracted a staph infection during my OHS, that I almost died from. Have had to have reconstruction, due to tissue damage from infections and tunneling. Approx 11-14 surgical procedures to get all of the traveling infection, it literally ate my tissues away. But, after going through several years of this, and a divorce, as well, I became depressed and OCD (badly). I take antidepressants for this. I have tried coming off of the AD meds, but tend to get worse w/o.

    I have your list of foods and herbs to avoid with thyroid issues. Is there any way you can advise me on what I should eat being that I have to avoid many of the foods that help thyroidisms, without interfering with my INR?

    This past two weeks, I have been suffering terribly with sweating rivers the second I step foot outside of ac. My heart rate increases (almost like anxiety attacks), my legs go weak, I feel nauseated, extremely exhausted…but unable to sleep, due to restless legs (which I take zonegran), and now the night sweats are horrible! I change my PJs at least once or twice a night. It has become unbearable. My vision is blurry when I get shaky. My blood sugar is usually under 100. I try to stay away from carbs, but I have very little I can eat. I will list the diagnoses for you to see.

    Please advise me on ways to try and control what I am dealing with, in natural ways.

    Which book would be the most helpful, in your opinion?

    Thank you for taking time to help people. You are very much appreciated!


    Kim Rowe

  • liz Porter October 27, 2014, 10:16 pm

    I purchased Suzys thyroid healthy supplement, it says to take 2 in the a.m .Should it be with or without food? Thank you,
    Liz Porter

    • Penny Hammond October 29, 2014, 8:21 pm

      Hi Liz,
      I can’t find anything on the website about whether you should take the supplement with food or not. There also doesn’t appear to be an easy way to contact them to ask questions like this.

  • Linda cooper September 3, 2015, 11:18 am

    Hi Suzy you are godsend I have been suffering with blood preassure and diabetes for over twenty years I first saw you on dug kufman I bought your books for. Me and give as gift to my family who lived far away your books have help me and my family and friends suzy my doughter is suffering with Tyrod for ten years now I bought your books and tyro script she started loose weight and her skin is clairing up she also have long periods continue with the great job you are doing I am planing on buying your blood sugar control pills

Leave a Comment