Part 11, My Low-Iodine Diet

Today, I’m going to deviate from my usual blogging schedule and address a new topic, the Low-Iodine Diet. Some of you know that I had my thyroid removed in December because of papillary cancer. If you’re among those who’ve been praying for me, thank you very much!

On February 15, I need to go on the Low-Iodine Diet (LID) for two weeks to prepare for Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment that will destroy any remaining thyroid tissue. The LID starves the body of iodine, making it receptive to the treatment. Thank God the prognosis for thyroid cancer is excellent! Even if it weren’t, however, I know that my future is ultimately with God, the One who saved me. (See John 14:1-3.)

Apples – A Low-Iodine Food and Yummy

As you know, I’m not in favor of dieting to lose weight. But this is not a low-calorie diet, and it’s only temporary. Fortunately, a fantastic Low-Iodine Cookbook has been developed that includes specific instructions and a shopping list. So I’ve decided to blog about my eating adventure, hoping that my experience will help someone else.

Basically, I need to avoid iodized salt and anything else that contains iodine. No dairy, no egg yolks, no soy, no soy sauce, no fish, and no packaged foods because I can’t be sure they use non-iodized salt.

Yolks – High in Iodine

Fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, sugar, flour, and oil are okay with the exception of potato skins and rhubarb. The only foods I can safely eat in a restaurant are fresh fruits and vegetables without dressing and the inside of a baked potato without salt, butter, or anything else. It’s back to home-cooking for me!

Most vegetables are low-iodine – nice!

For starters, I shopped for plain salt, unsalted canned tomatoes, unsalted Matzo crackers, and pasta made without eggs. The LID cookbook mentioned buying Unsalted Margarine, and I looked everywhere, including Asian grocery stores, but couldn’t find any. I’ve used Spectrum Butter-Flavored Shortening, but I couldn’t find that either. I finally made my own Low-Iodine Margarine using the Soy Free Margarine recipe from the LID cookbook.

Spectrum – Low in Iodine

Low-Iodine Margarine
1 cup Spectrum vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon non-iodized salt
1/2 teaspoon Imitation Butter Flavor
4 drops yellow food coloring
1/8 tsp cornstarch

Melt shortening in the microwave until barely liquefied. Add all other ingredients. Using electric mixer, blend for 1-2 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy. Pour the liquefied margarine into a small container, and place it in the fridge to harden.
Adapted from Melissa Taylor.

For dinner last Tuesday, I made LID Meatloaf. Using my standard recipe, I substituted plain salt for iodized salt, 3 Tbsp Egg Beaters for 1 whole egg, and coconut milk for dairy milk. I got in the habit of using oatmeal instead of bread crumbs years ago when we lived in Africa, and it works fine.

Homemade Low-Iodine Meatloaf

Low-Iodine Meatloaf
1.5 pounds ground beef
1 med onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tsp plain (non-iodized salt)
ground black pepper to taste
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp Egg Beaters (1 egg white)

In hindsight, I wish I’d spread unsalted pureed tomatoes and some Italian herbs on top of the meatloaf before baking. This is a practice run, so I’ll do it next time.

For side dishes, I made a salad, cinnamon yams, and garlic-mashed potatoes with the skins. But I forgot that I can’t have potato skins, so I ate them and didn’t freeze any for when I’m actually on the diet. The cookbook said people usually make mistakes during the first week of being on the LID. I see now how it happens.

Thanks for keeping me company!

Posted on January 31, 2017


6 thoughts on “Part 11, My Low-Iodine Diet

  1. Norma, I have been thinking of you and wondering how you were doing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us and your recipes. Our prayers continue for you as you go through this process, eating differently and taking the treatment and all that entails. Keep us posted.
    Love and Prayers,
    Daryl & Lynda

  2. This is all very intetesting! I think my in-laws used to buy unsalted stick margarine, maybe Imperial or Saffola? The no dairy n eggs would be hard for me but if only 2 weeks, you can do it! Glad the radioactive treatment is an option. Fiona had that too.

    1. Yes, two weeks is do-able. Will have to touch base with Fiona sometime. Thanks for stopping by and for the info, Marilee!

  3. I’m glad to see you’re coming up with good ways to deal with the enforced low-iodine diet. I hope all goes well with it, and with the procedure, and that you’re soon back to feeling normal. ❤

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