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Of the over 20 million Americans suffering from thyroid disease, I’m sure most don’t think about their thyroid at the supermarket or their favorite restaurant…
Yet those are EXACTLY the places where, I daresay, thyroid health is most vulnerable.
Because within your beloved comfort food crackers or favorite restaurant salad dressing lurk the very foods making your thyroid sick.
If you already know about your thyroid problem, or if you’re already aware that thyroid disease runs in your family, has your doctor discussed diet with you at all? Unfortunately, allopathic and conventional medicine is typically content to throw pills at symptoms — rather than peeling back the layers to treat the heart of the problem.
Of these 7 foods that are making your thyroid sick, a few are found on this list as well: 5 Foods That Are Compromising Your Immune System. And it’s no wonder! Thyroid disease is almost always autoimmune in nature.
Every cell in the body depends on thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.
So if your thyroid is sick, your entire body will suffer.
7 Foods That Are Making Your Thyroid Sick
Nourishing your thyroid is a wonderful first step; however, you must also avoid the foods that make your thyroid worse. As you add foods that nourish the thyroid into your life, remove these foods too.
Food #1 — Soy
Years ago, Americans were urged away from tropical oils like coconut and palm oils and encouraged to begin using soy. It was touted as a health food — a perfect protein that could take the place of meat — and caused a rise in unhealthy vegetarian and vegan soy-based diets.
As a result, the soy movement began. And as is ever the case, money was behind it. Coconut palm trees simply don’t grow easily in the United States, so financial incentives were provided to soybean growers.
Soybean oil, texturized vegetable protein, tofu, margarine, shortening, soy milk, and cheap soy sauce flooded the market. Then, much to the demise of thyroids nationwide, saturated fats were demonized. Low-fat/unsaturated fat products and propaganda prevailed for several decades.
Their [polyunsaturated oils] best understood effect is their interference with the function of the thyroid gland. Unsaturated oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. When the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is generally exposed to increased levels of estrogen. The thyroid hormone is essential for making the ‘protective hormones’ progesterone and pregnenolone, so these hormones are lowered when anything interferes with the function of the thyroid. The thyroid hormone is required for using and eliminating cholesterol, so cholesterol is likely to be raised by anything that blocks the thyroid function. — Dr. Ray Peat.
Is Soy Still Around Today?
Absolutely. From restaurant food to breakfast cereal to bottled salad dressings to bread, it’s in everything. Look in protein bars, children’s snack foods, infant formula, mayonnaise, hummus, and potato chips — it’s there too.
Perhaps most disgustingly, soy is still proclaimed a healthy protein source. Upon walking into almost any health food store, one can find soy masquerading as chicken, cheese, sausage, and hot dogs.
Infants suffer from autoimmune thyroid disorders, leaky gut syndrome, and liver and kidney problems when they eat solely soy-based formula (source).
Soy can adversely affect thyroid hormone production as well as interfere with the uptake of synthetic thyroid hormones. Not to mention, almost all soy on the market nowadays is genetically modified, so it’s not even good for those with optimum thyroid function.
Like sugar, soy hides in places you’d never expect. For this reason, we always encourage you to make your own salad dressings and condiments, mayo, and other foods that contain soy when purchased from the store.
Action Step: Diligently read labels on every pre-made food you purchase. Place it back on the shelf if it contains soy in any form. Learn how to make your own healthier versions at home to save money and your health.
Food #2 — Grains, Especially Gluten
Grains provide the foundation of the modern American diet. Simply refer to the former USDA Food Pyramid and the current and slightly better My Plate, and you’ll quickly see that our government promotes a diet heavily comprised of wheat, corn, pasta, bread, rice, and other whole grain products.
Most of these products contain gluten — and there is strong evidence to support the link between gluten sensitivity/celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid diseases. The body recognizes gluten as a foreign invader, sends antibodies to attack it, and those antibodies attack the thyroid in the process. (Source.)
Hashimoto’s is one such autoimmune thyroid condition where gluten, and indeed most grains, are a big no-no.
Since most triggers of Hashimoto’s disease are dietary, most people if not all who have Hashimoto’s have increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome and impaired blood sugar metabolism. The best way to allow the intestine to heal, eliminate blood sugar swings, and to lose body fat is by avoiding all grain products and sweets. (Source.)
What About Going Gluten-Free?
Often, going “gluten-free” isn’t enough since so many gluten-free products are still highly refined and because many foods are cross-reactive. The body perceives these cross-reactive foods as it perceives gluten. Even though these foods are gluten-free, their protein structure is so similar to gluten that the body sends antibodies to fight them.
Gluten cross-reactive foods include coffee, dairy, milk chocolate, tapioca, soy, hemp, potato, and eggs. These grains are cross-reactive too: corn, oats, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, teff, and rice (source). All of those foods are technically gluten-free, yet the body reacts to them with an autoimmune response as if they were wheat, rye, spelt, or kamut.
Action Step: When giving up gluten doesn’t produce a drastic improvement in health, examining cross reactivity and eliminating ALL grains is the next step. In either case, grains should never be the foundation of anyone’s diet, especially someone with a thyroid condition.