Thyroid School, Issue #11// Nutrition Foundations for Thyroid

A quick Google search of “diet for hypothyroidism” reveals 92,200,000 different results. Yikes, that’s a lot to sift through.

Before you succumb to paralysis by analysis, try focusing on foundational nutrition shifts you can make that casts the widest net. In over a decade of practice as a Registered Dietitian, these foundations are where the majority of my clients fumble the ball. It’s tempting (and easier) to seek out a new supplement or super-food to help you heal your thyroid, but quick fixes almost always yield quick failures. 

Step one: perspective shift.

The term “diet” is confusing. “Diet” usually conjures up negative connotations of deprivation, discomfort, and sacrifice. However, “diet” is defined as the “sum of the food you consume”.  Diet is what you feed yourself over time— not a moment in time. Making dietary changes, by definition, should then be sustainable and possible to be done over time. With this in mind, your diet should be nothing extreme, unrealistic, and/or done inconsistently. 

Step two: start with the basics

Balancing your meals seems too simple to be as effective as it is. This one tool is by far the habit that the majority of my clientele implements and sees the most success with. It’s easy to implement and flexible enough to fit your lifestyle— whether you’re eating out, eating at home, or eating on the go.


Don’t get lost in the weeds of trying to complicate nutrition.

You must master the foundations before you move on to more complex nutritional strategies (like macro counting, portions, food sensitivities etc.). Ignoring the fundamentals is like building a house on quicksand.
This is a helpful framework (step one in my 3-F protocol) for the balance of your diet (remember, “diet” being the sum average of what you do over time). Don’t get bogged down in thinking you’re failing by not perfectly balancing your plate like this every single meal.

We eat over 1000 meals per year, so if your holidays look way different than you’d like or if traveling often has thrown you off, those circumstances are usually the minority… unless they’re not.
This framework is a good jumping off point that can be adjusted as needed based on you, your goals, and your specific biochemistry. Your thyroid craves predictability and consistent nourishment. Extreme measures including any sort of deprivation will affect the production of thyroid hormone, especially if your root cause of hypothyroidism is stress-related and/or autoimmune in nature. 

Is the way you’re eating today the way you will be eating 20, 30, 60+ years from now? 

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Disclaimer: Please note that “Thyroid School” emails and blog posts from Chews Food Wisely, LLC (and Nicole Fennell, RD) are not intended to create any physician-patient relationship or supplant any in-person medical consultation or examination. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Proper medical attention should always be sought for specific ailments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained in “Thyroid School” emails. Any information received from these emails is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. These emails, websites, and social media accounts are for information purposes only. The information in these emails, websites, and social media accounts is not intended to replace proper medical care.