Low-iodine diet for radioactive iodine therapy

if you have radioactive iodine Treatment, which is an oral medication, will permanently lower your thyroid activity, and you must follow a low-iodine diet. Iodine is an element found in food that the body uses to make thyroid hormones.

Going on a low-iodine diet for at least two weeks before treatment can make your thyroid more receptive to medication. This increases its effectiveness. You will need to continue this diet until your treatment is complete.

There are several different thyroid disorders that can be treated with radioactive iodine therapy.These may include several types of thyroid cancer, and Hyperthyroidismwhich occurs when your thyroid produces more hormones than it needs.

This article explains which foods to eat and which to avoid when following a low-iodine diet.

Overview of Treatment of Thyroid Disorders

What foods should I avoid before radioactive iodine therapy?

A low-iodine diet has certain limitations. Some foods either contain iodine or increase your absorption of iodine.

Foods you should avoid include:

  • iodized salt
  • dairy products, such as cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, and ice cream
  • Yolks, Whole Eggs, and Foods Containing Whole Eggs
  • seafood, such as fish, shellfish, seaweed, and kelp
  • Foods that contain additives, such as carrageenanagar and Alginate
  • Bread Products Containing Iodine Dough Conditioners
  • milk chocolate
  • Soy sauce, soy milk, tofu and other soy products
  • any supplement containing iodine
  • blackstrap molasses
  • Cured and cured foods such as ham, smoked salmon, and corned beef
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Salt is a common source of iodine. However, low iodine has nothing to do with sodium, which is also present in salt. Sodium is okay when you’re on a low-iodine diet, as long as it comes from other sources.

What are the special considerations for a low-iodine diet?

Medications can be treated with Iodine Red Dye #3, or Erythrosine. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can tell you if any of your medicines contain iodine. If so, you may need to change your medication before and during radioactive iodine therapy. Be sure to consult your doctor before stopping any medication.

Most commercial vitamin preparations have added iodine as an essential nutrient. Read labels carefully to make sure you’re taking iodine-free vitamins while following a low-iodine diet.


Food and some medicines may contain iodine. When following a low-iodine diet, be sure to read labels carefully and ask your doctor if you have any questions.

What can I eat on a low iodine diet?

You can eat a lot of foods on a low-iodine diet. Some people may be concerned about the need to cut back on salt, but know that it’s OK to use non-iodized salt.

Foods you can eat on a low-iodine diet include:

  • No iodized salt
  • Cooked or raw fresh, canned and frozen vegetables
  • Unprocessed meat, including beef, pork, and poultry
  • Pasta and Rice
  • some bread
  • Mazzo
  • protein
  • fruit
  • unsalted nuts
  • unsalted nut butters, such as peanut butter and almond butter
  • Popcorn without iodine salt
  • dark chocolate, non-dairy chocolate
  • Iodine Free Fragrance
  • vegetable oil
  • Soft drinks, coffee, tea and juices

Can I prepare food?

Exercise caution when ordering takeout or dining in restaurants. While some ingredients in a dish may be obvious, others—such as those in a “special sauce”—may not be. You can request that your food be free of salt or iodized salt. However, to be safe, you may want to avoid takeout and prepared meals during this time.

Keep in mind that baked goods are often made with iodized salt, salted butter, egg yolks, and/or dairy products. Look for specialty grocery stores and bakeries that sell low-iodine foods. However, it may be easier to make these items yourself.

Eat well on a low-iodine diet


You can eat many foods on a low-iodine diet. Keep in mind that finding low-iodine-friendly prepared foods from a restaurant or bakery can be a little tricky. To be on the safe side, you may want to prepare your own food during this time.


Before starting radioactive iodine therapy, you need to follow a low-iodine diet. While there are some foods you need to avoid, there are many food and drink options to stick to a low-iodine diet. Keep in mind that some medicines may also contain iodine and may need to be replaced before starting treatment.

VigorTip words

Radioactive iodine therapy may be a very effective way to address thyroid-related disorders. This process requires some preparation on your part, between following a low-iodine diet and adjusting some medications ahead of time. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the instructions you need to follow to ensure you get the most out of your treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the side effects of a low iodine diet?

    Eating foods low in iodine has no negative effects. The dietary recommendations for treating high blood pressure or high blood pressure are similar to those for a low-iodine diet, so you may see improvements in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

    understand more:

    Benefits of the DASH Diet

  • What are the low iodine diet snacks?

    Your best bet is fresh fruit and vegetables, but other suggestions include:

    • dried fruit
    • applesauce
    • unsalted nuts
    • Unsalted Peanut Butter and Rice Cakes
    • matzo or other saltless crackers
    • juice
    • Homemade Muffins

    understand more:

    Where to Look for Hidden Salts Containing Iodine

  • Which foods contain iodine?

    Only a few foods contain naturally occurring iodine. These include seaweed, some fish and dairy products. Most dietary iodine comes from foods fortified with iodine, especially iodized salt, seasonings, commercial baked goods, and other processed foods.

    understand more:

    Why you need iodine