Cooking a low iodine meal can be quite frustrating and challenging because it requires some planning and improvisation. However, a diet that is low in iodine does not necessarily mean that it is also tasteless.
Shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid gland is located in front of your trachea or the windpipe. The main function of this gland is to create and release hormones that are responsible for regulating the way in which the body uses energy. An uncommon type of cancer, thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells start to grow in your thyroid gland. Even though the cause of thyroid cancer is not known, exposure to radiation is one of the risk factors of developing this form of cancer. It is also much more common in women than in men. The American Cancer Society estimated that approximately 62,500 people in United States would develop thyroid cancer in the year 2015.
The standard methods of treating thyroid cancer are radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy and surgery; only in some rare cases does it need chemotherapy. Before undergoing radioactive iodine treatments or radioactive iodine scans, your doctor may prescribe you to go on a low iodine diet. So what exactly does iodine have to do with thyroid cancer treatment? It is the thyroid gland that absorbs iodine from your food and water intake and uses it to produce the hormones that are necessary to regulate the body metabolism. The thyroid cells are special because these are the only cells in the body that absorb iodine.
By going on a low iodine diet, you ensure that your body is starved of iodine so that when you are given radioactive iodine during treatment, the iodine starved cells absorb the RAI. The RAI makes it possible for these cells to be detected during scans or to be destroyed during treatment. Cooking a low iodine diet is simple, however, it requires careful planning. One of the biggest rules of this diet is to stay away from iodized salt. You can use kosher or non-iodized salt because they do not contain any iodine.
Cooking for a thyroid cancer patient does not necessarily have to be frustrating. The trick is to use substitutes and alter the way you prepare your meals. Here are some delicious low iodine recipes to enjoy when you are on thyroid cancer diet.
Baked Paprika Chicken
What makes this baked chicken so delectable is the garlic and smoked paprika coating. So if you are craving chicken when you are on thyroid cancer diet, whip up this recipe and you will be asking for seconds.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 chicken, quartered or cut into parts
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