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The Best Fruits To Eat For Hypothyroidism

A look at the connection between fruits and your thyroid health.
The Best Fruits To Eat For Hypothyroidism
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Our ancestors consumed a variety of foods sourced from Mother Nature. Fruits have always been a favorite, including fruits from trees such as apples and oranges and from lower-ground plants such as berries. Fruit is seen as a source of vitality, bursting with vitamins and minerals that are essential for health. However, with a growing interest in nutrition and an influx of mixed messaging around what is deemed “healthy,” fruit has gotten a bad rap, especially the reputation that “fruit has too much sugar.” Ahead, a look at the benefits of fruit and how to choose the best fruits when your thyroid gland is underactive.  

The nutritional benefits of fruit

There’s no question that fresh fruits are healthy. Fruit helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes and improves gastrointestinal and eye health. Moderate consumption of fruit can also help with weight management.  According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, for a well-balanced diet, around half of every plate should contain whole fruits and a variety of vegetables. Unfortunately, nearly 80% of the U.S. population does not meet this daily goal, and their diet is deficient in essential nutrients, including potassium and antioxidants. 

Fruit contains adequate amounts of the mineral potassium needed for proper kidney and heart function, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Potassium is readily found in bananas, avocados, and dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, and raisins.

Fruits supply an array of nutrients beneficial to health, including antioxidants, prebiotics, phytoestrogens, electrolytes, phytochemicals, and anti-inflammatory agents - all of which benefit our bodies, especially those with preexisting health conditions such as thyroid disease.

What about the sugar in fruit?

We know fruit can be part of a nutrient-dense diet, but the big question remains: what about the amounts of sugar in fruit? Is sugar in fruit bad for you?

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, meaning it provides our bodies with vital energy. The sugars in fruit are fructose, sucrose, and galactose -- classified as monosaccharides. The natural sugars found in fruits are metabolized in the body in the same way. The difference is in how they’re metabolized. Fructose, for example, is the predominant sugar in fruit and does not significantly increase blood glucose or insulin levels. Fruit also contains fiber, which slows the digestion and release of sugar.

Foods that contain refined sugars, like cookies, candies, or sugary soft drinks, usually have little to no fiber.  The sugar source travels rapidly to the bloodstream and spikes blood sugar levels, creating the well-known “sugar high.” 

Understanding the glycemic index

A key to choosing healthier fruits is the glycemic index, a rating system for all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. Based on each food’s rating, the index shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar level when eaten on its own. The foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100. The closer to 100, the more a particular food affects blood sugar.

Generally, fruits have a lower glycemic rate than dairy, grains, and processed sugar. 

Tropical fruits such as mangos, papaya, and pineapple are higher on the glycemic index. Fruits like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, apples, and pears are lower on the glycemic scale. Choose fruits that are lower on the glycemic index to reduce sugar intake and inflammation. The Glycemic Index website has a helpful chart of most fruits. 

Fruit and fiber

More than 90% of women and 97% of men also don’t meet the recommended levels of dietary fiber intake. Fruit is a good -- and delicious -- way to increase fiber intake and meet daily goals.

Avocados, raspberries, pears, apples (with skin), oranges, and strawberries are all fruits rich in dietary fiber. MyFoodData has a helpful list of the fruits that are highest in fiber.

What’s the best fruit for hypothyroidism?

All fruits have nutritional value. When you have thyroid issues, deciding on the best fruits to eat ultimately depends on your specific goals. If you are at a healthy weight with normal blood sugar levels and your thyroid hormone levels are well controlled, you may want to choose fruits that are highest in fiber and nutrients. If you are experiencing weight gain, you’re trying to lose weight, you have elevated blood sugar, or you have autoimmunity and/or inflammation, you’ll want to choose high-fiber, low-glycemic fruits in moderation as part of your healthy diet. You’ll also want to avoid excessive amounts of high-glycemic fruit.

A note from Paloma

If you’re curious about how to incorporate more fruit into your diet in a healthy way or want to learn more about how fruit can affect your overall health, consider scheduling a session with one of our thyroid-savvy Paloma nutritionists. They can work with you to address any nutrient deficiencies and develop a plan based on nutritious foods that will support healthy thyroid function and thyroid levels.


Harvard School of Public Health. Vegetables and Fruits. The Nutrition Source. Published August 20, 2018. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/

USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 -2025 Make Every Bite Count with the Dietary Guidelines.; 2020. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf

National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements - Potassium. Nih.gov. Published 2016. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-Consumer/

Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Advances in Nutrition. 2012;3(4):506-516. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.002154

ScD VM. Are certain types of sugars healthier than others? Harvard Health. Published May 29, 2019. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/are-certain-types-of-sugars-healthier-than-others-2019052916699

Sugar in fruits: What matters for health | University Health Center. health.unl.edu. Accessed February 10, 2023. https://health.unl.edu/sugar-fruits-what-matters-health

‌What is the glycaemic index (GI)? nhs.uk. Published June 26, 2018. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-is-the-glycaemic-index-gi

Harvard Health Publishing. Glycemic index for 60+ foods - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Published March 14, 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods

Can certain foods increase thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism? Mayo Clinic. Published 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/expert-answers/hypothyroidism-diet/faq-20058554

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Neeyaz Zolfaghari

Holistic Nutritionist and Nourishment Coach

Neeyaz is a Holistic Nutritionist and Nourishment Coach. Her philosophy is built around nurturing your inner home, to transform your outer home. After learning how to heal from an autoimmune thyroid disease, Neeyaz was inspired and moved by her own journey and chose to take this self love into a business built around supporting others throughout their healing journey. Find her online at www.unspokennutrition.com.

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