Why Hypothyroid Patients Should Drink Fruit Juice Daily

Why Hypothyroid Patients Should Drink Fruit Juice Daily

Contrary to popular belief, fruit juices are actually quite healthy. 

I know, I know, that statement alone borders on heresy, especially if you are part of the anti-sugar movement. 

You know the movement I’m talking about, it’s the one that suggests that any form of sugar is bad, must be avoided at all costs, and the only way to true health is with an all-meat diet. 

But here’s the deal: 

Fruit juices do not cause weight gain and they won’t cause insulin resistance (I will prove this later), but they do provide you with a concentrated source of hundreds of polyphenolic bioactive compounds that can change your physiology and thyroid function for the better. 

It’s for this reason that I believe hypothyroid patients should drink fruit juice every day and I want to explain why. 


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The Fruit Juice Controversy

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But first, let’s address the elephant in the room: 

The fruit juice controversy. 

Depending on where you get your information from, you might have heard that there are few things worse than fruit juices or that these juices are just as bad, if not worse, than soft drinks. 

Those with this argument make these claims: 

  • Fruit juices contain loads of sugar, especially fructose which promotes fat creation in the liver
  • They have had their fiber removed thus preventing the protective benefit that it provides to blood sugar control by delaying absorption
  • They may damage your oral health due to their acidity
  • Because of their high sugar content, they will make insulin resistance worse and increase your risk of diabetes
  • They will cause weight gain by virtue of their caloric content and sugar content

On the surface, these claims all sound reasonable which is why, I think, so many people believe them. 

But, unfortunately for those who make them, they are grounded more in logic and dogma instead of science and research. 

While it is true that fruit juices contain higher amounts of concentrated sugar, they don’t cause negative effects on blood sugar, insulin, or weight as you might think. 

Take this study, for instance. 

It’s a meta-analysis of over 18 randomized controlled trials (1) which attempted to answer this question: 

Does drinking 100% fruit juice actually impact your blood sugar? 

Their finding: 

“Results from this meta-analysis… show no significant effect of 100% fruit juice on fasting blood glucose, fasting blood insulin, insulin resistance as evaluated by HOMA-IR or HbA1c”.

In other words, despite the fact that fruit juice contains plenty of fructose and despite the fact that the fiber has been removed, drinking it doesn’t cause the problems that people think it does. 

This isn’t the only study to suggest this, either, as there’s another meta-analysis of 12 studies (2) that showed the exact same thing. 

What about obesity? 

Everyone knows that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and soft drinks will make you gain weight so shouldn’t fruit juices do the same?

Nope, and this has been proven time and time again in many population studies which all show that people who drink fruit juices every day have a lower weight than those who don’t. 

Studies in children also show the same thing:

Fruit juice intake is not associated with pediatric obesity (3). 

So, no, fruit juices are not unhealthy and won’t cause the problems most people think they do, but why should thyroid patients drink them?

Pro Thyroid Benefits of Fruit Juice

Put simply…

Fruit juices, when consumed in healthy amounts, can provide your thyroid with the nutrients, vitamins, and compounds that help it function more efficiently.

Here’s what I mean: 

#1. Fruit Juices Are a Concentrated Source of Polyphenols

Polyphenols are the natural compounds in fruit that make them so healthy. 

Each fruit has a different concentration and variety of polyphenols and each polyphenol has a different benefit to the body. 

The same polyphenols found in something like oranges will also be found in orange juice but in much higher amounts. 

So drinking orange juice, for instance, in place of eating a whole-food orange, will provide you with significantly more of these polyphenols per unit consumed.

Yes, you are trading a higher caloric intake from fruit compared to whole foods, but the tradeoff for more polyphenols is worth it because of their benefits. 

These polyphenols protect your thyroid gland from thyroid-hormone-induced oxidative thyroid gland damage (4) making them critical for all thyroid patients. 

#2. Carbohydrates Support Thyroid Function

Carbohydrates are often treated as the enemy of people who want to lose weight. 

And because weight gain is a symptom of hypothyroidism, it’s no surprise that many thyroid patients try to avoid this macromolecule. 

The problem? 

It turns out your thyroid requires carbohydrates for optimal function. 

Based on what we know from the research into low-carb diets, thyroid function declines as carbohydrate intake decreases

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This effect becomes more pronounced the longer you stay on a low-carb diet. 

It’s not clear exactly why this happens, but we do know that it happens which is why I recommend that thyroid patients consume at least 100 grams of healthy carbohydrates each day.

Since you need to consume these carbohydrates anyway, you might as well get at least a portion from fruit juices due to their high content of polyphenols. 

#3. Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation damages thyroid gland cells and reduces thyroid conversion and the creation of T3 thyroid hormone.

By virtue of their high polyphenol content, fruit juices can help stave off this problem. 

Don’t neglect the power of food and the effect it has on either promoting MORE inflammation or REDUCING inflammation. 

Fruit juices fall squarely into the anti-inflammatory camp and may make up for other poor dietary choices. 

#4. Better Gut Health

Even though fruit juices don’t have fiber, they still can promote better gut health by impacting the composition of bacteria in your gut known as the microbiome (5). 

One study showed (6) that juice consumption for 3 weeks increased the richness of microbiota diversity in the gut of 20 participants. 

These participants also experienced a reduction in body weight and improvements in symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, and skin problems as well. 

#5. Higher Nutrient Intake

Fruit juices concentrate the vitamins and minerals found in whole foods just like they do with the phytochemicals and polyphenols.

What this means is that you are more easily able to meet the higher demands of your nutrient intake that you have as a thyroid patient. 

Best Fruit Juices For Hypothyroidism:

There are so many different types of juices that you can consume to support your thyroid, but here are a few of my favorites (those that will give you the most benefit): 

  • Orange juice – Orange juice contains high concentrations of naringin and naringenin (7) which are polyphenolic compounds responsible for protecting against cellular oxidation, cancer, and harmful androgenic effects. Hesperidin is also found in high amounts in OJ which may help promote fat loss. 
  • Apple juice – Apple juice contains chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and rutin (8). These polyphenols have been shown to help reduce cholesterol and promote weight loss. 
  • Pomegranate juice – Pomegranate juice contains ellagitannins and anthocyanins which act to keep your cells healthy by preventing cancer and oxidative damage. They’ve also been shown to help with obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and bone loss (9).

There are plenty of others that provide benefits, but these, in my opinion, are the easiest to get.

Whenever possible, opt for not-from-concentrate fruit juices with a preference for freshly squeezed if available. 

Producing your own fresh juice isn’t always possible, though, so settling for not-from-concentrate is just fine and still very beneficial.

How Much Fruit Juice Should You Drink Each Day? 

The short answer? Around 8 ounces or 1 cup each day. 

The longer answer? It depends on these factors: 

  • Your activity level
  • Whether or not you are insulin-resistant
  • And your weight

Let me explain why each one matters and how to adjust your intake of juice accordingly. 

In general, the more active you are, the more carbohydrate-receptive you are going to be. 

This is more than just the fact that you need more energy because you are active, carbohydrates are needed because they provide an anabolic stimulus for muscle growth. 

So if you are actively trying to build muscle, which is something you should be interested in if you are a thyroid patient, then your body can tolerate a higher intake of fruit juice. 

For those that are active and at a normal weight, you could easily consume 16 ounces or 2 cups (or even more) per day of fruit juice without any issue.

On the other hand, if you are insulin resistant, meaning you have an elevated blood glucose or an elevated fasting insulin, on top of your thyroid problem, then plan to cut down your recommended intake to 4 ounces or ½ a cup of fruit juice each day. 

If you are someone who is actively trying to lose weight, you can safely handle 4 ounces to 8 ounces of fruit juice daily. 

It’s not that fruit juice will cause you to gain weight, but it is a concentrated source of calories and one that you can go overboard on if you aren’t paying attention. 

Will Fruit Juices Make Thyroid Patients Fat? 

Believe me, I get the concern, but there is nothing inherently obesogenic about fruit and fruit juices. 

In fact, researchers are typically perplexed to find that eating fruit and drinking fruit juice is associated with less weight, not more. 

They are so perplexed by this finding that they label it a paradox. 

But there’s nothing paradoxical about it, it’s just the fact that they misunderstand their benefits and effects on the body.

If you are concerned, let me put your mind at ease by sharing several studies that prove drinking fruit juice will not cause weight gain: 

Does this give you a free pass to run around pounding down fruit juice instead of water all day long? 

No, because remember: 

Calories still matter for thyroid patients and, even though carbohydrates are very important for thyroid function, protein is as well (and perhaps even more so). 

And if you want to learn more about why protein is so important for your thyroid then I’d recommend checking out this article next

But in the meantime, don’t be afraid to have some fruit juice every day. 

Not only does it taste delicious, but your thyroid will thank you in the long run. 

Scientific References

#1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5736636/

#2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8277919/

#3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26091353/

#4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8803484/

#5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6170287/

#6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438379/

#7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9313440/

#8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6423211/

#9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7074153/

#10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916434/

#11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836193/

#12. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fsn3.3856#

#13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4578962/

how fruit juice supercharges your thyroid

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

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#1. Get my free thyroid downloads, resources, and PDFs here.

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