Friday, February 18, 2011

Your LID Shopping List

It's time to go shopping.  You may be going hypo-thyroid for your scan and/or treatment with radioactive iodine.  This means you'll give up your thyroid hormone medicine and you'll feel miserably hypo-thyroid.  If so, best to do the shelf-stable items on this shopping list while you are still feeling well, or ask a friend to help.  Since you might be prepping for treatment post-surgery, you'll want a friend to help carry groceries for you.  With all items on this list, check the labels so you avoid salt, milk and milk products that can be lurking in the ingredient list.  I'm listing foods that are generally safe for the LID.  WARNING:  Ingredient lists can always read to be extra sure!!

Shopping list:
  • Pasta - treat yourself to a variety of shapes and sizes.  Be wary of noodles - they contain eggs.
  • Flour - avoid self-rising flour
  • Corn meal
  • Tortilla crumbs (read ingredients - look for corn and lime as the only ingredients)
  • Matzo meal (make sure it's the salt free variety)
  • Rich's Coffee-Rich (creamer, find it frozen in pint and quart size cartons; use in strict moderation due to soy isolate protein being present in the ingredient list - less than 2%); there are other options for coffee creamer - keep reading...only use Rich's if you really have to.
  • Mimic Cream Unsweetened Creamer FOR COFFEE (be sure to use the one for coffee, other varieties have sea salt).  Learn more about Mimic Cream at  - BE CAREFUL because apparently this sea-salt free variety is no longer made and if you purchase it on-line you might get an expired product.  Their other products are nice for when you are not on the LID.  I'll contact them to verify and update.
  • So-Delicious coconut milk (always verify that it does not contain carageenan or sea salt)
  • Fleischmann's salt-free, dairy-free margarine (the stick variety is hard to find these days, but the tub variety is also now safe)
  • Mother's brand sweet salt-free, dairy-free margarine (not easy to find)
  • Crisco vegetable shortening - regular or butter flavor - both are safe as spreads or for baking/cooking
  • Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread Soy Free - NOTE:  This does contain "natural salt" and several Inspire folks have talked to the manufacturer who state the salt is iodine-free. Please be aware that there are no laws and no FDA guidelines that would prevent them substituting iodized salt.  However, it's likely very safe for the LID.  Also, it MUST be the "Soy Free" variety.
  • Baking potatoes, boiling potatoes, sweet potatoes (the skins have iodine but the inside is totally safe)
  • Puffed wheat cereal (ingredient:  wheat) from the health food store or health food aisle of your super market
  • Unsalted nuts (pecans, almonds, peanuts, etc.)
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt (non-iodized)
  • Hot Wheat (not instant) cereal [like "cream of wheat" but best brand I have found is Manischewitz Creamy Hot Wheat Cereal (]
  • Oatmeal (not the flavored packets)
  • Salt-free, sugar-free natural peanut butter (yup, the nasty stuff - don't worry, it'll be great) - buy three jars of 16 oz size - I buy mine on-line from Krema Nut Company
  • Jellies and jams (no food coloring! And no salt)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Canola oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Nestle brand Choco Bake (learn more about this product at their web site - this product is hard to find - Baker's chocolate and Cocoa can be used instead
  • Sunspire brand salt-free, dairy-free dark chocolate chips, or any other brand that's LID safe
  • Dark chocolate like Lindt 70% dark or Ghiradelli 72% dark.  Avoid milk chocolate.
  • Cocoa (salt free, dairy free)
  • White sugar
  • Dried fruit - cherries, blueberries, dark raisins, etc. (watch for food coloring and salt; some say to also avoid sulfites such as sodium metabisulfite and to not use sulfured mollasses but some of us on Inspire can't figure out why this needs to be avoided)
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Agave syrup (light and amber colored)
  • Honey (plain and whipped)
  • Marshmallows (read ingredients - no salt!); works well as coffee creamer to melt one into coffee
  • Marshmallow Fluff; works well as coffee creamer - put a spoonful into coffee
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Water - Distilled.  A note about water:  Most tap water is safe.  If your water is softened using a salt based process, you need to call the salt manufacturer and see if the salt is iodized or not.  Reverse osmosis purified water is safe.  Watch out for water with items added back in for flavor.  Some of the popular brands of bottled water first use reverse osmosis (RO) and then add back in salts and minerals for flavor.  Watch out for those!  What do I use?  I have soft water which uses a salt pot after that my drinking water goes through a RO process.  I use that at home.  When out - I buy some distilled water gallon jugs and keep some at work and in my car.  Am I a bit anal about this?  Yup! And proud of it!
  • Do you have a Trader Joe's store nearby?  Many of the Inspire members have talked with them and they do not use iodized salt.  So if you shop there, remember to avoid sea salt and other LID no-nos like dairy, egg yolks, fish, carageenan, etc.  But they are a great source of other foods if you are not able to make things from scratch.
  • Frito-Lay corporation does not use iodized salt, so Fritos and Lays Potato Chips are safe!
  • Remember that soy is a no-no, BUT soybean oil (or soy oil) and soy lecithin are safe!
Investing in your shopping list is important because eating out and eating processed foods is not a good idea when on this diet.  Why not?  Many restaurants and food manufacturing facilities, even your local butcher counter, meat grinder and deli slicer - might be using iodine based solutions to clean their equipment. If you eliminate all processed foods from this diet - you'll be pretty hungry because that would include things like the cocoa, sugar, coffee and marshmallows listed above.  But, remember - this is a LOW iodine diet, not a NO iodine diet.  So, eat a varied diet as much as possible and try to eat things in moderation.  Now is the time to count some calories anyway - if you withdrew from Synthroid to do this diet you may gain some weight from going so hypo.  If you are using Thyrogen, you still might be stress eating (I know I did!); so try to use this time for portion control.  That will help keep your iodine levels in check as well since it's nearly impossible to remove all of it from your diet.  Now, let's get cooking!  Recommended bread-machines for those of you who want to bake your own:
Breadman TR520 2lb. Horizontal Bread Maker
Breville The Custom Loaf Bread Maker - BBM800XL
Cuisinart 2-lb Bread Maker - CBK-100
Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker With Raisin And Nut Dispenser - SD-RD250
Cuisinart 2-Pound Convection Bread Maker CBK-200

This blog does not focus on foods to avoid - you can get good comprehensive lists at the reputable links provided on the upper right hand side of this page.  However, these links won't tell you that Bromine also binds to Iodine receptors and could inhibit Iodine uptake when you have treatment.  Foods to avoid: