Dairy alternatives

Most supermarkets have a wide range of dairy-free and dairy alternatives. Some may be suitable to use while following the LID but you should always check the label or nutrition panel for ingredients. For example, many milk alternative drinks such as oat drink, soya drink, and almond drink are fortified with iodine (may be labelled as potassium iodide or iodine). Yogurts and desserts often contain carrageenan and lithothamnium (seaweed derivatives which are high in iodine) which is used as a thickener and a source of calcium. Always try to check the labels carefully for suitable products that do not contain these ingredients.

Can I have soya products as part of the LID?

Even though soy does not contain iodine, there is some evidence that soya can interfere with the effectiveness of radioactive iodine. Therefore soy products (soy sauce, soy milk, tofu) should be avoided.

What is the advice for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet?

If you usually follow a vegetarian or vegan diet there are lots of plant-based options in the list of foods, such as pulses, rice, grains, and vegetables, that you can eat. However, some plant-based alternative products (e.g. milks, yogurts and deserts) are fortified with iodine and so iodine-fortified products should be avoided.

Can I eat a plant-based fish substitutes?

Fish substitutes (e.g. fishless fillets and fingers that are made using plant-based foods) are often made with seaweed powder (which is added for taste) so should not be eaten as part of the LID.


If you have coeliac disease and have been advised to follow a gluten-free diet you should choose from the list of foods you can eat on the LID. If you eat gluten-free substitute foods (like gluten-free breads) you should check the label or the nutrition panel to avoid products that may have added iodine. 

How to read a nutrition panel

When looking at food labels to find out if iodine has been added, you can check for the following ingredients: iodine, potassium iodide, potassium iodate, carrageenan, and lithothamnium. Iodine may also be listed in the nutritional information table if the product has added iodine.

When I look online many websites advise that it should be a no-salt diet? Why?

In many countries, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, and many parts of Europe, salt has iodine added to it. Therefore the advice for people following a LID in those countries is to avoid salt and food that may contain it. But in the UK salt is not iodised (unless stated on the label) so it is not necessary to avoid it. 

Can I have milk in tea and coffee?

It is preferable to avoid cow’s and goat’s milk but a small quantity (up to a maximum of 25ml per day, which is about 5-7 teaspoons) may be used as this would not provide a large amount of iodine.

LID suggested meals