Low Iodine Living: Day 1

June 6, 2011

"What is a low-iodine diet?" A diet that is free of iodized or sea salt (kosher salt is ok), soy products, dairy, most legumes, egg yolks, and minimal amounts of meat (beef, chicken, pork) and basically no processed foods -- because of either salt or dairy additives. Sounds pretty simple, no? Well, you would be surprised! Most pastas contain either eggs or salt, almost all processed foods use salt as a flavor enhancer, and dairy turns up in the darnedest places! The upside? It's generally a very short term (1-2 weeks) lifestyle change.

Roasted Beet Salad

"Why?" In general, a low-iodine diet is prescribed for individuals who are being treated with Radioactive Iodine (RAI)to cure thyroid cancer. Why am I writing about it? In early April, I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer; I had surgery in late April to remove my thyroid and things were looking pretty good -- but due to a few complications along the way, my endocrine team decided that a follow-up RAI treatment would be the best next step -- and a low-iodine diet along with it. 

"Why write about it?" After spending hours researching the RAI treatment procedure and consequential low-iodine diet, I found that there are very few resources for recipes. While the hospital pamphlet and ThyCa are a great starting point, I just couldn't find the kind of recipes and meal ideas I was looking for! So here we go, Day 1...

2 Egg White Omelet with diced tomatoes, onions and a dash of Tabasco
1 cup Orange Juice

Romaine, Arugula and Roasted Beet Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Roasted (unsalted) Pecans

1 cup Orgran gluten/dairy/egg/salt-free pasta with Caramelized Onions, Broccoli and White Wine
3 oz baked Lemon-Tarragon Chicken Breasts

1 Apple, peeled, cored and baked with Brown Sugar, Chopped Pecans and Raisins

So far so good, we'll see how tomorrow goes!

Image Sources:



Andie Mitchell's picture

Thanks for sharing all this information, Kelsey! I know it must have required lots of planning and thought, but your first day of eating sounded absolutely delicious.

Julianne's picture

I am starting in 1 month for the same process, so this helps, thanks for posting.

Julianne Higdon

Noemi 's picture

thanks for the recipe! I had RAI because of an overactive thyroid..now I'm hypothyroid..should I also follow a low iodine diet?
Thanks, Noemi

Noemi 's picture

thanks for the recipe! I had RAI because of an overactive thyroid..now I'm hypothyroid..should I also follow a low iodine diet?
Thanks, Noemi

Charlene's picture

Finishing up my THIRD week of my LID diet as we speak. I work full time, have kids and am trying-really hard-to push through this. I have been cooking on the weekends and find it just easier to eat chicken and turkey. HOPEFULLY-crossing my fingers-I can start my scan/RAI treatment on Thursday. I soooo miss chocolate! Although this is tough, I have learned something-several somthings. Don`t take life for granted. When you can finally eat, enjoy it while you are chewing. Make sure you take care of yourself, in addition to those you love, NOT just them. SPEAK your mind when it comes to doctors. ENJOY life-you never know when you may be stuck in a room, with nobody to converse with while having your RAI treatment. GOOD LUCK with yours.