Soy And Your Thyroid: Actions Steps
If all we had were test tube and animal studies, it might be safe to say that we should start avoiding soy in our diets, but that is not the case.
What we do have are large studies, on humans, which show that soy does not affect the performance of the thyroid. And, that it does not contribute to the development of thyroid disease in any way.
On the other hand, we have seen plenty of instances where soy has proven to be beneficial for those who want to prevent plenty of other diseases .
There is direct benefit from having more soy in our diets, and there really is nothing concrete or evident that suggests it is hurting us.
Does Soy Consumption Affect Thyroid Health
July 24, 2021
There has been a lot of controversy over much a small legume as soy.
Is there any reason to be really worried about soy? Or do people only tend to believe rumors and write off the use of soy without any clear scientific evidence?
For many years now, people, especially hypothyroidism patients have been avoiding the use of soy.
But is there really a reason to do so?
What will follow, is an extensive discussion on the various effects, both positive and negative, of soy on our health, and especially the thyroid function and hypothyroidism patients.
Is Soy Bad For Your Thyroid
It might be a lot easier to ignore it, but the studies are there. If we ignore the test tube studies, the animal studies, and the general ideas, but instead focus on human research, studies, and outcomes, we might see a different picture being painted about soy.
The data is there, so lets focus on it.
There are three human studies that I have found, which I think are important to share with you. These are the studies which have suggested problems with soy relative to thyroid disease:
How Does Soy Affect Your Thyroid
The human body is a complex interaction of systems. This intricate relationship between systems can be understood easily by imagining it as a web of systems. One system has influence on the second system, second system on the third system, yet the third system on the second system, and also the first system on the third one. It is a mesh of connections making it unwise to state a clear cut phenomenon. In fact, it is better to understand the specific concept and find out the likeliest possibility. Think of this like a spider web on how everything is connected.
Are Soy Products A Problem For People On Synthroid
Levothyroxine is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the country. Approximately 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition, so perhaps we shouldnt be surprised that synthetic thyroid hormone is so widely used. There is significant confusion about the best way to take this medicine, however. What should people on Synthroid know about their drug?
Seaweed Contains Iodine Which Is Essential For Thyroid Function
Seaweed has a high concentration of iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. “Iodine is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormone,” Dr. Dodell explains. Seaweed, packaged as nori, wakame, and dulse, can be used in sushi, soups, and salads. Another plus: Seaweed offers nutritional benefits of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
It is possible to have too much iodine, which can worsen thyroid disease, Dodell cautions. However, according to the American Thyroid Association the likelihood of this is greater if you’re taking supplements that contain iodine. Be sure to talk with your physician before increasing your iodine intake.
How Does Hypothyroidism Affect Your Metabolism
The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest.
People with hypothyroidism make less thyroid hormone. This means they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest.
Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave you tired, increase your blood cholesterol levels, and make it harder for you to lose weight .
If you find it difficult to maintain your weight with hypothyroidism, try doing moderate or high intensity cardio. This includes exercises like fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing.
Research shows that moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise may help boost your thyroid hormone levels. In turn, this may help speed up your metabolism (
People with hypothyroidism usually have a slower metabolism. Research shows that aerobic exercise can help boost your thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, eating more protein may help boost your metabolism.
Several nutrients are important for optimal thyroid health.
Eating Right For Your Thyroid
There’s no evidence that any particular diet will improve thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism. That said, it’s still important to be mindful of what you eat. Be sure to follow a healthy diet that emphasizes fiber and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, nuts and complex carbohydrates, as well as lean protein. Choose foods with unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, fatty fish and seeds. Meanwhile, limit your intake of processed products and foods high in salt, sugar and unhealthy saturated fats.
Is Soy Milk Good For Losing Weight
Soy milk is indeed good for weight loss, the reason being that it contains fewer calories than dairy milk. It also has a lower sugar content compared to dairy milk.
Additionally, soy milk contains less saturated fat than dairy milk hence a lower caloric content.
A research study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that soy milk plays an important role in reducing waist circumference in obese and overweight women.
Soy And Thyroid Disease Management
If you use thyroid replacement medication, it is important to know that soy can prevent optimal absorption of your thyroid medication, resulting in inconsistent medication effects.
If you take thyroid medications, you should also be aware that several other components of your diet, including calcium and iron, can also prevent adequate absorption of your medication.
In general, it is recommended that you take your thyroid medication on an empty stomach to avoid irregular absorption. If you eat soy-containing foods, be sure avoid eating them four hours before and after taking your dose.
Radioactive iodine therapy is used for some types of thyroid disease, and the radioactive iodine must enter into your thyroid gland for this treatment to work. If you are receiving radioactive iodine, you need to steer clear of soy and other goitrogens and follow a special diet to ensure that your therapy will be effective.
How To Add Soy Milk To Your Diet
Soy milk can be found in grocery stores, health food stores, and restaurants around the country. You can also make soy milk at home.
Soak ten ounces of soybeans in water overnight. Then boil these beans in twelve cups of water for ten minutes. Blend the water and soybeans together until smooth, then simmer for another forty minutes. If you like, you can add a pinch of salt or sugar to taste. When you finish simmering the soybeans, strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove solids. You can store the soymilk for up to a week about as long as dairy milk lasts.
Here are some ways you can include soy milk in your diet:
- Add soy milk to a smoothie
- Use soy milk in your coffee
- Eat cereal with soy milk
- Use soy milk in baked goods
- Make a bechamel sauce with soy milk
- Use soy milk in curry
Soy Free Protein Options
Many vegetarian protein powders contain a soy isolate, and although convenient and cheaper, there are many other protein powders that do not contain soy. Rootcology has great protein powder options which you can add to your daily meals and smoothies. I created them to be free of harmful fillers, as well as soy, dairy and gluten, so that they would be safe for people who have Hashimotos!
Of course, there are other options out on the market, so when looking, make sure yours is free of soy, as well as gluten and dairy .
Should People With Thyroid Problems Avoid These Foods
Soy: If you have hypothyroidism, yes. Eating too much soy causes problems only for those with hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones, Dr. Nasr says.
The main problem is that soy may hinder absorption of the hormones that such patients take.
Some studies show that if you eat a lot of soy, or drink a big glass of soy milk, within one hour of taking a thyroid hormone, it might affect absorption, Dr. Nasr says. Many individuals depend on a consistent absorption of those hormones to achieve a steady state.
Generally, expertsrecommend that people who have a borderline thyroid one thats a littleunderactive but youre still trying to preserve thyroid function do not toconsume large amounts of soy every day, he adds.
Turnips and rootvegetables: No. These vegetables aresometimes thought to cause thyroid problems, but thats not the case, Dr. Nasrsays. They are good for your diet, regardless of any thyroid issues.
One root vegetable that is the exception is cassava, a common staple in certain parts of Africa. This plant is known to produce toxins that can slow an already underactive thyroid, especially in the presence of an iodine deficiency, Dr. Nasr says. But thats not relevant here in the United States, unless you cook cassava and you eat it every day.
Let Me Clarify: What Does Sugar Mean
To make things simple, let me clarify what I mean when I say sugar. Because I’m not just talking about white cane sugar although that’s certainly included.
Sugar is the umbrella under which all sorts of refined, glucose-spiking foods fall:
- boxed breakfast cereals, granola bars, and energy bars
- candy, gummy treats, even health food store treats
- almost all pre-made snack foods, including cookies and chips
- sodas and energy drinks even natural ones
- refined rice and pasta
- high fructose corn syrup
- commercial salad dressings and condiments
- and even whole sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar for those with serious thyroid and/or blood sugar problems
Be Cautious About Selenium
Selenium is necessary for a healthy thyroid but skip the supplement unless it’s recommended by your doctor. Taking too much of this essential element could make you sick. The recommended daily value for those age 14 and older is 55mcg . In the U.S. however, the average adult is getting about twice as much as they need, making selenium deficiency rare.
And remember: Selenium-rich foods are all around us “â tuna, tofu, pork chops and nuts. In fact, just one chopped-up Brazil nut sprinkled onto your smoothie or oatmeal will give you roughly 90mcg, or more than a day’s worth.
This article originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
Major Disadvantages Of Soy Milk You Should Know
Dairy milk is one of the richest foods that exist. It contains a wide range of essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins A, D and B12, among others.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, not everyone can drink dairy milk. Some people are lactose intolerant; some are vegan, while others dislike it.
If you fall within any of these categories of non-dairy-milk-drinkers, the good news is that you can drink soy milk in its stead.
Soy milk is a wonderful alternative to dairy milk. It contains some nutrients that are also found in dairy milk such as protein, vitamin A and potassium.
Drinking soy milk is linked with health benefits such as improved heart health, lower risk for gastrointestinal cancers and weight loss.
Despite its purported benefits, soy milk is one of the most controversial foods. There are several science-backed health concerns regarding the consumption of soy milk.
If you want to find out more about these disadvantages of soy milk, get comfortable and read on, will you?
Inhibition Of The Thyroid Hormone Actions
In addition to interfering with iodine entry into the thyroid gland, soy may also inhibit the action of thyroid hormones in the organs of the body. Some studies in humans have documented changes in thyroid function in response to soy, but the mechanism by which these changes occur is not clear. A 2016 study published in Public Health Nutrition, for example,concluded that the chances of having high TSH were quadrupled in people who ate two daily servings of soy foods versus those who didn’t eat any at all.
Most of the studies that have identified an association between soy and thyroid disease have shown that women are far more affected by this link than men are. The reasons for this different response between men and women is not clear.
The Truth About Soy + Hypothyroidism
December 12, 2017
Welcome to the third and final post in our series on SOY!
Oh, poor, misunderstood soy, will it ever get its rightful respect?
As we saw in the last two posts, there is a mountain of research supporting soys benefit for cancer prevention and treatment and no good research suggesting that it is harmful to male and female fertility, PCOS, or acne.
However, our next topic is a little dicier. Today were talking about soy and thyroid health, and specifically, whether soy causes hypothyroidism.
Complete Idiots Guide To Thyroid Disease
When I first wrote the Complete Idiots Guide to Thyroid Disease, I argued that I did not see much evidence saying that soy was a bad thing for those who had thyroid disease. I could not find any, so I did not see it as fit to argue the case that it was.
Over the years, though, the fervor against soy intensified both in general and in the world of thyroid health.
It seemed as though people were vilifying soy, and the growing opinion was that it should be avoided. Between now and the writing of Healing Hashimotos I had made two assumptions based on this public sentiment:
For these reasons, I went along with the discussions that suggested avoiding soy entirely. I thought there was a possible risk of having soy in your diet, and that there was not any real harm in avoiding it.
Key Insight: I fault myself for not diving deeper into the primary research around soy. Since then, I want to share with you the information found to date on this meaningful topic.
Why Soy Is Controversial
Lets take a trip back to the 1990s, when soy foods first started really hitting it big. At the time, many experts believed that soy had the power to fight problems like obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. After all, people in Asia eat a ton of soy, and studies showed that these populations had significantly lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and breast cancer compared to people in the U.S. Clearly, soy was the miracle food, right?
Not necessarily. Those studies only looked at associations, not causation. Just because people who consume a lot of soy also happen to be healthier than people who dont eat soy doesnt automatically mean that soy is the key to their superior state. Countless other factors including genetics, lifestyle and the rest of their diet could also play a role.
When researchers began taking a closer look to find out what made soy so healthy, they ran into some surprises. Soy, it turned out, contains estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones. And some findings suggested that these compounds could promote the growth of some cancer cells, impair female fertility and mess with thyroid function. Some health experts also trash-talk soy because of its potential to be an endocrine disrupter meaning it can mimic estrogen in the body, which may lead to a hormone overload.
How Does Almond Milk Affect The Thyroid
It is already commonly known that individuals with existing Thyroid-related problems need to watch what they eat and drink as there are numerous foods that can alter the function of the Thyroid gland. While someone with a healthy Thyroid may not experience significantly noticeable side-effects when they eat food that can increase or decrease Thyroid hormone production, a person with a condition like Hypothyroidism may experience aggravated symptoms in such a case.
Almond milk is quite an interesting topic when it comes to looking at the connection between this health drink and the function of the Thyroid gland. The truth is, switching from cows milk to almond milk completely may not only be bad for some people who have existing problems with their Thyroid, but could possibly cause issues among individuals with a healthy Thyroid. To understand why we have to look at the important role that iodine plays in the Thyroid.
Iodine is essential for human life. Even though popularly known as an effective disinfectant, this is actually a micronutrient that plays a vital part in the wellbeing of the Thyroid. In fact, cells of the Thyroid gland are the only cells in the entire human body that can utilize iodine and without an adequate supply of this micronutrient, the Thyroid is unable to produce hormones to support metabolism in the body.
Food #7 Vegetable Oils
Though the rise in heart disease and obesity correlates with the rise in vegetable oil consumption and decrease in consumption of saturated fats, vegetable oils are still promoted as healthy fats. And people still believe it.
Vegetable oils canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, and peanut were non-existent until the 1900s when new technology and government subsidies provided these cheap fat substitutes.
How are vegetable oils made? I love this oversimplified description from Thank Your Body:
Find some canola seeds. Oh wait, they dont exist. Canola oil is actually made from a hybrid version of the rapeseed most likely genetically modified and heavily treated with pesticides.
Heat the rapeseeds at unnaturally high temperatures so that they oxidize and are rancid before you ever buy them.
Process with a petroleum solvent to extract the oils.
Heat some more and add some acid to remove any nasty wax solids that formed during the first processing.
Treat the oil with more chemicals to improve the color.
Deodorize the oil to mask the horrific smell from the chemical processing.
Of course, if you want to take your vegetable oils one step further, just hydrogenate it until it becomes a solid. Now you have margarine and all its trans-fatty wonder.
Do Soy Foods Negatively Affect Your Thyroid
A Look at the Downsides of Soy
It seems that theres isnt a newspaper, magazine or news program that hasnt recently featured a story on the amazing health benefits of soy food products and soy/isoflavone supplements. Soy is promoted as a healthy alternative to estrogen replacement for some women, as a possibly way to reduce the risk of breast cancer, as a way to minimize menopause symptoms, and as a healthier, low-fat protein alternative for meats and poultry. But what all the positive stories fail to mention is that there is a very real but very overlooked downside to the heavy or long-term use of soy products.
Soy products increase the risk of thyroid disease. And this danger is particularly great for infants on soy formula.
This is not information that the powerful and profitable U.S. soy industry wants you to know. The sale of soy products is big business, and the increasing demand for soy protein products, soy powders and soy isoflavone supplements is making that an even more profitable business than ever before.
Researchers have identified that the isoflavones act as potent anti-thyroid agents, and are capable of suppressing thyroid function, and causing or worsening hypothyroidism. Soy is a phytoestrogen, and therefore acts in the body much like a hormone, so its no surprise that it interacts with the delicate balance of the thyroids hormonal systems. High consumption of soy products are also proven to cause goiter,
The Dangers of Soy Formulas
Does Quitting Sugar Seem Impossible To You
In this revealing article, Sarah Wilson, author of the book I Quit Sugar, shares her story of battling Hashimoto’s. She says,
Quitting sugar, quite frankly, is mandatory if you have an autoimmune disease. Sugar causes leaky gut . Sugar inflames and mucks with the entire endocrine system and insulin spikes destroy the thyroid gland. In addition to the damage caused by insulin, a compromised thyroid gland will slow the removal of insulin from the bloodstream.
So if you have a thyroid disease and you earnestly want to heal, you MUST give up sugar in all its forms. You must be diligent to read labels in any prepared foods you buy because, truly, sugar is lurking everywhere.
If this seems impossible, believe me, I thought it was too. Until I did it. Now I can’t imagine sugar as a regular part of my lifestyle when I’m enjoying so many foods and even sweets without it! Here are some posts you may find helpful as you choose to heal naturally. Quitting sugar is a GREAT first step!
Action Step: Begin phasing sugar, refined carbs, high-glycemic foods, and processed foods out of your diet. Read labels on any pre-made foods you buy and watch out for sugar in all its forms. Try if you desire something sweet.
Should Patients With Hypothyroidism Use Soy In Their Diet
When you are struggling with thyroid issues, it can be quite tricky to figure out which foods you should eat and which you should definitely avoid.
For example, consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is more than recommended, on the other hand, consuming dairy products and gluten is considered to only do you harm, by increasing the already present inflammation in your thyroid gland and worsening your present symptoms.
So, what happens with soy? Should you forget about its existence altogether or should you continue using it as before?
Patients with hypothyroidism are usually advised against the use of soy and any soy products as a part of their diet.
If soy lowers the TSH levels in your body, and with that, causes your already low thyroid hormone levels to continue reducing no positive effects are expected to happen. In fact, what it is expected to happen, is your symptoms getting worse, and with that, your overall health.
Soy can also prevent your thyroid hormone replacement medication from getting absorbed in your body. Soy, along with calcium, iron, gluten, and lactose, is one of the many compounds able to interfere with the absorption of your thyroid hormone replacement medication and cause you to require a larger amount of the medication over time.
What Beverages Can Those With Thyroid And Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions Consume
Most people who are eating well realize that they should avoid unhealthy beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and even cows milk. And while many people have no problem drinking water as their sole beverage, other people want more variety. And so I decided to put together an article which lists some other things besides water that you can drink. In addition, Ill also list a few beverages that are healthy, yet controversial, and Ill discuss if its fine to drink these for those who have a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition. Im not going to discuss in detail the beverages that you should avoid, although Ill list some of them towards the end of this article.
Beverages Most People With Thyroid and Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions CAN Drink:
Green tea. There are numerous health benefits associated with green tea, and I discussed many of them in an article I wrote entitled Green Tea and Thyroid Health. In the article I discussed how most of the health benefits of green tea is due to polyphenols, and the catechin EGCG has numerous health benefits, including preventing and calming down the autoimmune response. I drink green tea on a regular basis, and I commonly recommend it to my patients. However, those with adrenal problems should consume an organic decaffeinated green tea, and then once their adrenal health has improved they can switch to a caffeinated form of green tea .
- Soy milk
- Other alcoholic beverages