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Oh the lists that I have stashed away…

February 6, 2013

I have lists of foods based on their Glycemic Load (Not index in case you are wondering…two very different approaches.)

A list of foods with solanine.

Then there is my list of goitrogenic foods – foods that eaten raw,  or in large amounts cause my already faulty thyroid to slow down even more.

And a worn list of gluten products and various dairy products that I cannot tolerate.

You may be thinking, “Man that is a lot of lists! Are you hung up on food or something?” *Well, yes and no! At one point I was carrying a little bitty notebook with me at all times to keep track of various foods that I should not or could not eat! It sounds like I fuss about food a lot. In all actuality I hate to think about it other than to plan for my needs and adjust to what I need for my activity levels.  And I really, really, really despise when someone comes along and tells me I’m picky.  I’m not really. I just do not like to be sick!

And now I have a list of ‘reactive foods’ – foods that often cause food intolerance and the little shop of horrors that comes with being intolerant of foods.

So which lists should I post I wondered? My choice: the goitrogenic foods, the “Dirty 7”, and common reactive foods as those lists cover all my other lists in one form or another.

Most Common Goitrogenic Foods:

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Mustard
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Millet
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Pine Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Watercress
  • Soy Beans and Soy products, including Tofu

So what is a goitrogen?

Goitrogens are substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine uptake, which can, as a result, cause an enlargement of the thyroid, i.e., a goiter.

If you have a low functioning thyroid, or something a bit more serious such as Hashimoto’s…you basically should not eat the foods above in great quantity, and you especially should not eat them raw.  Cooking the above will destroy the goitrogens.  *Personally…I even limit my cooked intake if I’m feeling more sluggish than usual.

The “Dirty 7”

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Sugar – this one everyone should know!

If you know anything about Genetically Modified foods then the soy, corn and gluten in particular will make sense to you. Dairy, in particular:  cow’s milk based dairy is a very big problem for many people. Besides that, I don’t want all the hormones and antibiotics that are pumped into most of the cattle that provide our dairy.  Eggs and peanuts…honestly that shocked me a bit. But thinking back on it. I developed a severe dislike of eggs when I was a kid after eating them for years. I was probably reacting to them even then.

I’ll go into the eggs and peanuts a bit more at a later time. In the meantime…if you are curious to learn more about the “Dirty 7” I encourage you to read:

The Virgin Diet by J.J. Virgin

Reactive Foods by Percentages:

90-95% Reactive

  • Farm Raised Fish
  • Deli Meats
  • Sushi (Most because it is from farm raised fish)

85% Reactive

  • Shrimp
  • Turkey
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Egg Plant
  • Oatmeal
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Black Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Non-organic Spinach
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Salmon
  • Asparagus
  • Bagels

70% Reactive

  • Yogurt (regular)
  • Green Beans
  • Oranges
  • Pork
  • Pasta

60% Reactive

  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms (Excluding Shiitake)
  • Swordfish
  • Cod
  • Tuna
  • Edamame
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Cod (Unless you are thyroid deficient in which case it lowers it to 30%)

50% Reactive

  • Veal
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Couscous
  • White Rice
  • Almond Milk
  • Quinoa
  • Artichokes/Sunchokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas

40% Reactive

  • Wild White Fish
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Lactose-free Milk
  • Tahini

30% Reactive

  • Egg Whites
  • Nut Butters made with roasted nuts
  • Strawberries
  • Tofu
  • Snow Peas

20% Reactive

  • Bread
  • Scallops
  • Steak
  • Roasted Nuts (If you have chronic illness or autoimmune disease, or battle depression this bumps up to 75%.)
  • Bok Choy
  • Cow’s Cheese
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Tempeh

10% Reactive

  • Potatoes (In small amounts.)

5% or less Reactive

  • Pit Fruits (Mangos, apples, avocadoes, etc.)
  • Garlic
  • Chickpeas/Garbanzo
  • Shiitake Mushrooms (May be higher if you have systemic yeast.)
  • Raw Onions
  • Chard (Will be much higher if you have thyroid issues.)
  • Spinach, organic (Will be much higher if you have thyroid issues.)
  • Radicchio
  • Endive
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Goat’s or Sheep’s Cheese
  • Pears
  • Berries (Except Strawberries.)
  • Broccoli (Higher if you have thyroid issues.)
  • Carrots
  • Kale (Higher if you have thyroid issues.)
  • Zucchini
  • Winter Squash
  • Beets
  • Mixed Greens
  • Arugula (Will be much higher if you have thyroid issues.)

So just what does ‘reactive’ mean as it pertains to the list above anyhow you may be asking – glad you asked! The ‘short’ answer:

Food sensitivities can play a role in many common health conditions. Complaints such as digestive problems, headaches, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue are all symptoms which can be caused by our immune system’s “reaction” to foods, additives, or other substances in our diet. Sometimes the reactive food can be a food chemical like solanine and it’s not easy to determine without testing. And sometimes even foods which are considered “healthy,” such as chicken, broccoli, or garlic can cause symptoms.

Whew! Long post…I’ll continue this tomorrow.


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  1. c krukow permalink

    hahahaha I totally know what you mean. You should see me and my little book I have in my purse. The looks I get are priceless. I have been known to whip it out and ask questions of annoying people to amuse myself. . But really its to keep me from being so sick I cant go places. Im getting better but Im still working on soy and dairy. The stuff is everywhere in such strange names I need them written down. People who know me best still love me and understand that I need to be well to be worth being around. I do not have thyroid issues ( that i know of) but have several other chronic health issues Im choosing to regulate with diet and lifestyle changes instead of medication. I found this particular page looking for info on the night shade family. The meds I was on caused side effects that lead to other meds and on and on. I am on only one pain pill a day now and a few supplements. I feel much better about this and my overall health but would like to even be off that one.
    As Im typing I realize I have no point really just to say I understand the feeling of being buried by lists and such.

    • I have been trying to clean out the clutter of paper and such that has stacked up over the years of trying to find my way though the pain maze. I just ‘tossed’ a couple old lists that no longer help me!

  2. JohnPirow permalink

    I praise you for doing so much research and concisely serving it up for reading… this is a blessing of note…. a hundred million thankyou s

  3. ursulabiala permalink

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. mollie nickle permalink

    thanks! from another lists person. i get tired of hearing “your picky” and “what CAN you eat?” working desperately to heal my immune system. or at least not make it any worse.

    • Hi Mollie, if we had a quarter for every time we hear “you’re picky” and “what can you eat?” we would have a hefty pocket full of change wouldn’t we? I do wish you the best on your journey for answers that will help you.

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