Adults need 150 mcg of iodine per day, but a low-iodine diet involves avoiding foods such as iodized salt, fish harvested from the sea and processed foods, explains Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Additionally, avoid grains, cereals, beef, poultry and pudding mixes, states the American Thyroid Association.
Foods prepared at restaurants should also be avoided as determining what ingredients are used is not possible, states the American Thyroid Association. Do not take herbal supplements, eat whole eggs or foods that contain whole eggs. Blackstrap molasses and commercially prepared bakery items also contain high levels of iodine. People who are reducing iodine in their diets for the purpose of radioactive iodine therapy should also avoid soy products. Although soy products do not contain iodine, there is evidence to suggest that soy products interfere with radioactive iodine uptake.
Acceptable foods include non-iodized salt, egg whites, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, according to the American Thyroid Association. Frozen vegetables, canned fruits, grains, cereal and pasta that do not contain high amounts of iodine are acceptable. Coffee and tea are also fine, as long as milk, creamer or soy products are not added. Unsalted nuts and peanut butter, Matzoh crackers, popcorn without iodized salt that is air popped or popped in vegetable oil, soda, fruit juice and lemonade are also good choices for a low iodine diet.