Unsalted Products We Used

Tips for Less Stressful LID Food Preparation:

  1. Collect LID recipe ideas as early as possible and make a tentative meal plan and grocery list. If you have ingredient questions/concerns for the recipes you have found, call your physician's office and speak to the nurse.
  2. Shop for needed grocery items as early as possible in order to stock your pantry and refrigerator.  I found I had to visit multiple grocery store chains to purchase needed items- very time consuming and sometimes I could not find a LID ingredient for the recipe I was considering...Always have a Plan B recipe ready.
  3. Cook and freeze as much as you can ahead of time- so much easier to defrost something than prepare something when you are not feeling well or pressed from time. You are less likely to make a LID ingredient mistake, if you prepare ahead of time.  
  4. If there is a recipe you think you will enjoy, prepare a double batch and freeze in meal size portions.
  5. Ask friends and family to prepare recipes for you.  Give them a bag of LID approved ingredients and a recipe and ask they use only the ingredients you have provided. 
  6. For variety, think of ways you can prepare ingredients once for multiple meals- ex. if you are making hamburger patties, also saute a portion of the ground beef that you could later add to pasta sauce or use for a LID version of nacho toppings- all of this could be frozen for later.
  7. Be good to yourself.  This is a LOW iodine diet not NO iodine.  You may make a mistake- it happens.  Do the best you can and it will be fine. If you are concerned about an ingredient mistake, call and talk with the nurse in your physician's office.

Unsalted Foods We Used During the LID:

Below is a collection of photos showing the different unsalted products used during my husband's LID.  Most were purchased at Whole Foods, Wal-Mart or Harris Teeter grocery store.  Since the RAI, we now have a Trader Joe's in our town.  If/when my husband ever needs to repeat the LID, I will also shop for unsalted products at Trader Joe's.  They stock an impressive number of unsalted and Kosher salted products.

Tip:  If you are looking for a particular item, save time and gasoline and call the grocery stores in your area.  If they do not have the item, ask if they will order for you.  Often they will and since they usually receive shipments a couple of times each week, it should not be a problem. And remember LOW iodine- not no iodine.

Note- Nutrition facts label shows 0% sodium while the front of pkg says "low sodium"; this bread may contain small amt. of iodine --"sprouted soybeans"; this bread was ok'd in small amounts by my husband's physician--remember, it's a LOW iodine diet- talk w/your physician about bread options; purchased at Whole Foods- freezer section.

Zero sodium; I added kosher salt to the jar. Keep in the refrigerator to avoid oil/ peanut butter separation.

Zero sodium; no Red Dye #3.

Zero % sodium.  This granola is delish!  Will be using after the LID.  Best price is at Wal-Mart.

Frozen Hash Browns.  Zero sodium; 80 calories/serving.

My favorite ingredient from the LID. Plan to use this seasoning after the LID! NO salt.
No sodium; no harmful dyes.
Zero sodium in these cranberries; zero red dye #3.

Zero sodium.

See the overnight way to cook these steel cut oats on Day 7 Breakfast Tab!

Also, available in Beef flavored bouillon- both are sodium free. In the soup section near broth and other bouillon products.
Lots of sorbet options out there- most with zero sodium.  Sugar is little higher than we generally prefer, but when on the LID....go for it!
Used this product as base for pasta sauce.
Used for the Homemade LID Snack Bar recipe.  Zero sodium/zero sugar. 18 g whole grain.
Zero sodium...while it says Sugar Fire sauce is a dessert sauce- we used it on grilled chicken, hamburger patties, etc.  It is made from mangoes, papaya, oranges, brown sugar and habanero peppers.  Purchased at Whole Foods.
Beef flavor bouillon.  Salt free, gluten free and no MSG.  Used when making crock pot beef roast.  Purchased at Harris Teeter grocery store- found in soup/stock section.
No sodium; 50 calories, 11g whole grain, gluten free. 3g sugar.  Purchased at Harris Teeter grocery store.
Looked forever for a bar of chocolate...This was it! No sodium; no milk products.  75% cacao.  Purchased at Whole Foods. 
That's right- we're from the south!  Zero sodium- make sure they are "old fashioned" and not INSTANT! The instant ones have sodium.  150 calories per serving.
Zero% sodium; 160 cal./serving; gluten free. Purchased at Fresh Market.  Will continue to buy these after the LID!
Note:  Some blog readers reported their physicians told them to avoid beets during the LID- These chips contain mostly sweet potatos with some beet chips- if you have been advised to avoid beets- simply pick out the beet chips and save for another family member  :)
Zero % sodium; low sugar.  Apple Cranberry juice. No red dyes.
Check with your doctor on the iodine content of quinoa.  I did prepare foods with it during my husband's LID since it was zero sodium- we assumed it was ok but, I have recently read that it may contain iodine.  You should double check before eating.  We love quinoa and use this product regularily.  100% whole grain; zero sodium; 155 calories/serving.  Zero sugar/ gluten free.  6g protein/serving.  Purchased at Costco- have seen in grocery stores.

Zero sodium; 40 calories/serving. Purchased at Whole Foods.

Margarine ideas:  This seems to be one of the trickiest items to obtain during the LID. Ask you physician for a LID-friendly margarine.  Then call your area grocery stores to save time and gasoline.  If they don't stock an unsalted margarine, ask if they will order for you.  

Here are two ideas:

On the ConAgra site, you can search for stores that carry their Fleischmann's products by zip code. 

Here is a link: http://www.conagrafoods.com/our-food/brands/fleischmanns-margarine-spread 
Look for the "Where to Buy button" in the upper middle part of their web page.

NOTE: "This does contain "natural salt" and several Thyca Inspire folks have talked to the manufacturer who state the salt is iodine-free. Please be aware that there are no laws and no FDA guidelines that would prevent them substituting iodized salt. However, it's likely very safe for the LID. Also, it MUST be the "Soy Free" variety."  Some Wal-Mart's may carry this buttery spread.
This Earth Balance Soy Free product is mentioned by Daria on her LID Blog: : http://thelowiodinediet.blogspot.com/  


  1. ezekiel bread has soybeans in it. Soybeans are not allowed on most LIDs.

    Unless you are vegan or vegetarian and that is your only protein source.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Absolutely true- we avoided salted products which we figured may include iodine (iodinized salt). We used kosher salt during the diet- LID is low/non-iodine not "no salt."

    2. Hi Sonya, I'm wondering why you didn't use Morton non-iodized salt. Was it just a matter of preference to use kosher salt? The reason I ask is because some have mentioned that kosher salt tends to be larger grains, whereas the Morton non-iodized salt is the same table salt, but without the iodine. (btw: Thanks for all your effort on this blog - it's awesome!)

    3. I actually wondered the same thing. We are on the LID right now (half-way through) and decided to use the Morton non-iodized salt since it does NOT have the larger grains of salt. To each his own, but I was also curious about the same question that Sonya had.

    4. Hi- Thanks for your question- I am sorry I failed to reply to the previous question on this same topic (from Sept.) We used kosher salt during my husband's LID since that is the one thing we had on hand and have been using for years- so yes, just personal preference. To my knowledge there is no difference between kosher and Morton non-iodized salt in terms of iodine content. Best health to you as you complete the second part of the LID. Sonya

  3. there's no reason to note 'zero sodium'on the products you have pictured. sodium has nothing to do with the low iodine diet and it's a potentially dangerous (to the health) mistake people often make.

    i am a thyroid cancer survivor, and been at this a long time. :)

    there is no regulatory agency which records iodine content, most foods you eat will contain some amount of iodine. even on the low iodine diet.

    the biggest tip, if your doctor is recommending the low iodine diet is to avoid the major culprits....seafood, dairy, iodized salt.

    knowing the source of iodine, (the sea and foods grown by the sea) it's pretty safe to guess your morning black coffee has iodine in it too. it's impossible to avoid all together.

  4. Thank you so much for doing this blog! This is my third time doing the Low-Iodine Diet the first time I did it in 2010 there was hardly any info on the internet. This makes me really excited and I'll probably just do the same menu you made for the next two weeks. I am also a Thyroid Cancer survivor, I've had to go back in because some of my lymph nodes turned into cancer that were right by my thyroid. Best of luck to your family!

  5. Hi Sami- Thank you for your kind comments- so glad to hear when someone finds the blog helpful. Best wishes and good luck to you.

  6. Hi Sonya,
    I was so excited when I found your blog on pinterest. I had 185mcg RAI in August after a total thyroid removal back in june. Before that round of RAI, I was on LID for 6 weeks! I am going back on LID tomorrow to preparing for my 6 month scan, you have no idea how helpful it is to find some new inspiration! Especially because you have some wonderful options that are meat-free! Hope that your husband is doing well! He is very fortunate to have a wife who is so supportive. As someone who has a husband who is, I can tell you it means the world to have someone by your side in this journey.
    Take care

  7. Your husband is very lucky to have you. Thank You so much for all of your information. I will be starting my LID this week and you have really helped.

  8. Very good blog! I'm undergoing "round 2" of this annoying diet. Does anyone know if alcohol is acceptable (beer, red wine in particular)? I have seen multiple sources where it is acceptable, while other say it is not.


    1. Thank you. You may want to see alcohol on the ThyCa list of LID approved foods-beer and wine seem to be ok.



    2. Very good, thanks!

  9. Hey everyone! Found this:


    List of manufacturers that do NOT use ionized salt in their products. Obviously we still can't eat some things on the list (oreos) but still nice to know.

    List was made in '09, but was updated in '12.

    Hope this helps!!

  10. Great! Thanks for all the comments. I'm starting the LID on Wednesday for my annual cancer screening. It's the diet that's worse than the actual testing I think.

  11. Thank you for the info...I had my thyroid removed in January 2013 and start the LID diet in a few weeks..I have my RAI early June..I was given a list of do's and don'ts this has been very helpful.


  12. This is my second time on this diet. Not fun!! Any suggestions for juice other than orange juice. I did see the one shown here which is very helpful as is this whole selection of products. I am very thankful to find this!! Thank you for all the hard work!

  13. We are on round 10 of this diet! (son is 21 when diagnosed with RECURRENT Metastatic thyroid cancer. Thyroid and 50 lymph nodes gone, came back in thyroid bed and lungs.) Always happy to see new suggestions!

  14. Thank you for all of your great suggestions. The menus are very helpful. I found that Ezekiel bread contains sprouted soybeans, so it was not recommended for me. Also, the chips you posted have beets, which my doctor told me to avoid. It's all very challenging and it helped me so much to shop, then prepare and freeze ahead. The coconut milks I found 2 years ago all had carrageenan in them, which is a seaweed thickener, and was on my list of things to avoid. It is so hard to read every single ingredient on the label. I just keep reminding myself it is a low iodine diet and not a no iodine diet. Thank you again for posting so much helpful information. God bless you and your husband.

  15. THANK YOU for creating this blog!!! I am SO EXCITED to use your recipes!!! I am 3 days into my LID and Hubby is taking me to Whole Foods tomorrow, because I am getting bored with my food choices, so far. I can't wait to make your recipes!
    You are a blessing!!!!

    1. Ditto! I am now 3 days into LID diet and finally making a trip to whole foods as well! Full time mother of 4 little ones and full time job! Thanks for taking the time to put all this together and share it! Sorry for people who have had rude comments... I'm glad you kept this up for others to see! Thanks again ...Heavenly Father bless you, your husband and all others suffering from cancer.

  16. Hi Sonya: I am happy to have stumbled on your wonderful blog. I created my own on blogspot from the perspective of someone with an already restricted diet to whom adding all these restrictions is leaving me hardly anything to eat. I cannot figure out how to get my blog to come up on search engines. Do you know how? I am glad you posted the product pics. Many of the items though I have not seen here in Nova Scotia inspite of looking in various supermarkets of differing size and health food stores. My blog is from the perspective of someone whith considerable food restrictions already and who lives in a small town. I have easily spent a couple DOZEN hours tryingto find food to eat. Its pretty bad....and that is with a dietician trying to figure out a few things I can eat too. I hope to have more time to look through your very helpful blog some more in next few days. With all this effort I hoped to put my own little blogspot blog up but dont know how to get it to show up on search engines. I cant be the only one with major food issues to be subjected to this diet. would like to put all those hours of effort to use to aid others. thx

  17. any tips for kids starting this my daughter is 12 and starting on tuesday ? thanks robin

    1. I believe gummi bears and gummi lifesavers are okay...If she needs something treat like(double check ingredients)! I also love Haagen Dazs mango sorbet. We found an organic spaghetti sauce that was also salt free. I have found there are many things I normally eat...it just takes a little more time to prepare! (making homemade bread, fresh tortillas, etc.) I'm making apple crisp tonight... Good luck!

  18. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comApril 5, 2014 at 12:15 AM


    Healthline just published a visualization of your daily value of sodium. In the chart, you can see what half of your DV of salt looks like for 30 foods: http://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/daily-value-sodium

    This is very valuable content as it puts nutrition information into perspective and helps a person understand how much sodium is actually in their food. I thought this would be of interest to your audience and wanted to see if you would include this as a resource on your page: http://mylowiodinediet.blogspot.com/p/unsalted-products-we-used.html

    If you do not believe this would be a good fit for a resource on your site, even sharing this on your social communities would be a great alternativeto help get the word out.

    Thanks for your time reviewing. Please let me know your thoughts and if there are any questions I can answer.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
    www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    About Us: corp.healthline.com

    1. Hi Maggie- Thanks for information about sodium levels. While sodium intake is an important health consideration, the low iodine diet is focused on reduced iodine intake in preparation for thyroid cancer treatment. It's not a low salt diet.
      Patients are advised to eat a low iodine diet prior to the cancer treatment- it's not sodium related---kosher salt is permitted. Since many commercial products do not state if the salt included is w/o iodine, most patients seek salt-free foods or prepare their own using kosher salt.
      Thanks for thinking of us.

  19. Thank you...thank you .....thaaaaank you!!! This is a new task and you've made it much easier for me...I felt sooo restricted! !

    1. I hear ya! thanks Sonya!

  20. I was told that there was iodine in the linings of canned food and you are showing canned foods as an option. Also, I was told the only acceptable legumes were peas and lentils. It feels like some more research should go into this list if you are recommending foods for serious health conditions.

    1. Good of you to share this information. Sonya has taken the time to put this all together to make it easier for those of us struggling from this. These are just some ideas she used. We can take it or leave it or do our own thing. I've come to find out that you can research and never come to a 100% understanding of every single thing you can or can't eat. If you have a blog with accurate information, please share it with us...takes lots of time and caring. No offense intended towards you but I really appreciate this woman taking the time to do this, least we can do is be nice. Good luck on your treatments.

    2. Thanks for your kind words.
      I continue to advocate that LID patients follow the guidelines given by their physicians. My husband's care team provided an approved food listing, and this blog conforms to that listing. I do realize that other physicians make different recommendations. Best wishes for good health. Sonya

  21. Very helpful blog! Just finishing up my LID for WBS and in addition to many of the great products you shared, I found Bean & Rice Chips, Unsalted, made by Beanfields (found at Homeland in Norman Okla). Just the right crunch for a Taco Salad with homemade salsa. Thanks for the work you put into this blog.

  22. I am just starting my diet. Thyroid out but had hobnail feature, apparantly that is aggressive. I have been told that as soon as the pellet is given, I can stop the low iodine diet even though I have a scan 4 days later. Any input here?
    Thanks, Fiona

  23. Hi Fiona- It seems that in various parts of the US and the world, patients have widely differing protocols for their treatments and recommendations. Have you found the Inspire website for thyroid cancer survivors? http://www.inspire.com/groups/thyca-thyroid-cancer-survivors-association/ You could post a question on that site- lots of great resources are available. Best to you. Sonya

  24. Doesn't the ketchup (even though salt-free) have red dye?

    1. Hi- we chose that ketchup since it had no sodium (iodine) and no red dye #3.
      Best health to you- Sonya

  25. I also found that Frosted Mini wheat has no sodium and So Delicious almond milk has a little Kosher Sea salt but all the other nut milk has Iodine sea salt in them.

  26. I just started my LID yesterday and made a huge vat of homemade chicken vegetable soup with orzo. Yum! I just read on the Sloan Kittering thyca page that celery is a no-no. The soup I made has a bunch of celery ��

    1. Hi. Thanks for your note. It seems physicians around the country have different food lists for the LID. Your should follow your physician's listing. My husband's physician used the THYCA website recommendations-
      I think it is important that you have a comfort level with your physician's protocol and just follow that. It's frustrating that there are so many variations in the LID ingredient listing around our country.
      Wish you good health and a successful LID. Sonya

  27. Hi this is a treasure chest of info ...........I found out that I am allergic to iodine and cannot eat foods that have it ........my throat closes if I accumulate tooooo much ..... great ideas here thank you....