Foods You Can Eat on a Low Iodine Diet

Low iodine diets are often prescribed as part of thyroid treatments, or prior to testing for thyroid conditions. A low iodine diet is also necessary prior to testing to determine how iodine is used by your body, because the iodine in your diet can interfere with getting accurate test results. If you need to follow a low-iodine diet, you can still consume a range of healthful foods and follow a balanced diet.

Bowl of oatmeal with fruit Credit: HHLtDave5/iStock/Getty Images

Drinks

Most beverages are acceptable on a low iodine diet. Coffee, tea, cola, diet cola, water, lemonade, beer, wine and fruit juices are all allowed. Any soft drink or juice with red dye, as well as all dairy products are forbidden on a low iodine diet.

Grains

Grains that you can eat include homemade baked goods, oatmeal, pasta noodles, cream of wheat, barley and shredded wheat. Any commercially made baked goods such as cookies, donuts, pastries, pies, cakes and breads are off limits.

Eggs and Fat

Eggs can be eaten, but only if the yolk is removed, according to the Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association. Egg whites may be eaten as you please. Fats may include oils and margarine, but not butter.

Meat

Most meats are acceptable to eat on a low iodine diet. Choose from beef, chicken, pork, veal, turkey or lamb. Natural peanut butter with no added salt may also be eaten. refrain from eating fish, shellfish,and all cured meats like bacon, ham and hot dogs. Do not add any table salt or sea salt to your meat, as they contain iodine.

Vegetables

Any fresh vegetable except sea vegetables, is allowed on a low iodine diet. You can also consume canned or frozen vegetables, as long as you are sure there is no added salt.

Fruits and their Juices

Fruits and fruit juices are allowed as part of a low iodine diet. Just look to ensure any canned fruit or juices are not made with red dye.

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