If your doctor is testing you for hyperthyroidism, you don’t have to avoid iodine. In fact, avoiding iodine may confuse the diagnosis, because you’re looking for abnormally high uptake of the iodine, and you don’t want to artificially enhance the test results by following a lowiodine diet. If you’re having a thyroid scan done for reasons other than hyperthyroidism, follow a lowiodine diet for several days: Use only noniodized salt. Avoid milk or milk products. Avoid commercial vitamin preparations unless they definitely don’t contain iodine. Steer clear of eggs. Don’t eat seafood, fish, shellfish, seaweed, or kelp. Avoid cured or corned foods. Don’t use bread products made with iodine dough conditioners. Avoid foods that contain Red Dye #3, chocolate, molasses, or soy.
Getting Enough Iodine in a Vegetarian Diet Because iodine is a key element of thyroid hormones, iodine is a necessary part of your daily diet. Vegetarians avoid eating the key foods that contain iodine, such as fish, seafood, eggs, meat, and milk. You must have sufficient iodine in your diet to have good thyroid health. A study of vegetarians in the British Journal of Medicine in December 1998 found that 63 percent of the females and 36 percent of the males had inadequate iodine intake. If you follow a vegetarian diet, you may want to take iodized salt or iodine supplements. If you have any doubt about whether you’re getting enough iodine, ask your doctor to check your iodine level (with a urine test). A teaspoon of salt a day or a piece or two of bread takes care of your iodine needs as a vegetarian.
Exercising for Your Thyroid