The Truth About Soy + Hypothyroidism
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.
May Reduce The Risk Of Other Types Of Cancer
Soy-rich diets may also help lower the risk of other types of cancer.
For instance, studies suggest that high intakes of soy isoflavones may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer by around 19% (
On the other hand, men eating soy-rich diets may benefit from a lower risk of prostate cancer .
Finally, one recent review of 23 studies linked diets rich in soy foods to a 12% lower risk of dying from cancer, particularly cancers of the stomach, large intestine, and lungs .
Soy-rich diets may improve heart health and lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. They may also improve fertility, reduce symptoms of menopause, and protect against certain cancers. However, more research is needed.
Nutritional Content Of Soy Milk
The nutrients found in 8 ounces of soy milk include:
- Calories, 101
- Vitamin A, 499 international units
- Vitamin D, 120 international units
For vegans or a lacto-ovo vegetarians, you also want to make sure your soy milk has the essential amino acid methionine. The way some soy milk brands are processed may weaken this complete protein.
Read more:Soy Milk Nutritional Information
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How To Manage Iodine Intake When Switching To Almond Milk
Every person with Hypothyroidism is different and does not respond the same way to goitrogens. For some people, almond milk may be like poison when it comes to Thyroid function, but others may consume this milk without any significant adverse reactions. In such a case, it may be appropriate to have almond milk instead of cows milk but the issue regarding iodine still exist in such case.
Fortunately, there are ways to increase iodine intake without having to go back to cows milk. Supplements are one way to go not many supplements do include iodine, but some research would reveal options available int he local area.
When it comes to natural sources, switching regular salt for iodized salt is one potential option. Iodized salt is not, however, available in all countries. Seaweed is another good source of iodine, but should be consumed in moderation as the iodine levels in seaweed is quite high. Other important sources of iodine include prunes, eggs, tuna, shrimp, and cod.
Can Soy Worsen Your Hypothyroidism
Research by the American Institute of Cancer Research shows that up to three servings of soy a day is thought to be safe. A cup of soy milk is counted as one serving.
However, if you are consuming soy products rather than dairy products, there may be a risk that your body is not getting enough iodine which has an adverse effect on the overall production of thyroxine.
I wrote about this is two different posts. About milk alternative drinks and how about the dangers of low levels of iodine in a vegan diet
So in this instance the problem of hypothyroidism may not actually be down to the consumption of soy but to the lack of iodine as a consequence of the dietary preferences of those most likely to be eating soy
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Can Diet Affect Thyroid Function
Can soy cause hypothyroidism? Can a vegan diet cure hyperthyroidism? Find out the truth about these theories, and if certain foods really affect thyroid function at all.
Thyroid conditions can occur for many reasons, including an autoimmune disease in which the bodys immune system attacks its own normal thyroid tissue. The Western diet has taken a lot of heat as a possible cause behind a myriad of health conditions. It isn’t usually related to thyroid conditions, however, and radical alternatives to the typical Western diet can’t reverse most thyroid problems either.
Beany Taste Of Soy Milk
Some say soy milk tastes beany and that it can cause gas, which is one reason Chinese parents typically didn’t feed it to their children. Researchers in the 1930s cooked the beans longer and added sugar to help with the gas and the taste. But it took a while for the public to accept soy products.
Flavor researchers at Cornell pinpointed the culprits of the flatulence and bad taste. This research, along with research from the University of Illinois, Loma Linda University and several manufacturers, resulted in an improved flavor and reputation for soy milk. By the 1990s, when scientists published early research in the New England Journal of Medicine about its health benefits, soy milk became even more acceptable and available.
What We Know Today:
As with all foods, experts still dont know everything there is to know about soy. But research in recent years suggests that moderate consumption of minimally processed soy foods not only isnt bad for you, it probably has some benefits. Heres what we can say about soy today:
Soy may decrease your risk of certain cancers, among other chronic diseases.
How did soy even get linked to cancer risk in the first place? Stephanie Clarke, RDN, a dietitian based in Washington, D.C., says it has to do with processed grocery products. Soy protein isolates, a highly processed form of soy used in cereals, protein bars, and snacks , may contain more soy isoflavones, which are organic compounds that can also be considered endocrine disruptors in high amounts. Elevated levels of this kind of soy may lead to unbalanced hormone levels, which can play a factor in cancer risk.
The majority of recent, high-quality studies, however, have found that unprocessed soy doesnt increase breast cancer risk, and very high consumption could even offer some protection.
Eating soy could help protect against other types of cancer, too. Findings show that soy consumption may slightly lower the risk for gastrointestinal cancers and have a protective effect in prostate cancer survivors. Eating a high-fiber diet is also tied to lower colon cancer rates, and soy foods like edamame and tempeh both have plenty of roughage.
Soy might improve fertility and help with hot flashes.
How Nutritious Is Soy
As is often the case when it comes to nutrition, the answers arent black and white. But for the most part, “Soy-based foods are some of the best foods you can eat on the planet,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN. “Soybeans provide a plant-based protein source a slew of vitamins and minerals crucial for reducing risk of chronic disease and fiber that helps you fill up and feel satisfied.”
To drill down on some popular item’s nutritional facts:
- Tofu: A half-cup of raw, firm tofu has 94 calories, a little over 10g protein, 5g of fat, and 227 mg of calcium.
- Tempeh: A half-cup has about 110 calories, about 15 g protein, and 9g of fat, depending on brand.
- Soy milk: One cup has 110 calories, 8g protein, and hardly any fat .
- Miso: A paste made from fermented soybeans, miso has about 33 calories, 2.2g protein, and just 1g of fat.
While some small, poorly designed studies have led to inflammatory headlines about soy’s health risks over the years, its important to think about all foods in context. Eating plant-based foods in their closest-to-nature form? Super nutritious. But taking supplements made with the compounds in soybean? Not so much.
“Thats where weve seen health risks,” London explains. “In fact, its not uncommon to see research reflecting consuming compounds in supplement form rather than eating the foods themselves.” Those supplements are linked to increased disease riskwhile real, whole foods are linked to decreased disease risk.
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Be Cautious About Selenium
Selenium is necessary for a healthy thyroid but skip the supplement unless its 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 days worth.
This article originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
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 Hashimotos. 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 cant imagine sugar as a regular part of my lifestyle when Im 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.
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May Lower Blood Pressure
Soybeans and foods made from them are generally rich in arginine, an amino acid believed to help regulate blood pressure levels .
Soybeans are also rich in isoflavones, another compound believed to offer blood-pressure-lowering benefits.
In one study, eating 1/2 cup of soy nuts daily was found to reduce diastolic blood pressure by around 8% in some, but not all women .
Other studies link daily intakes of 65153 mg of soy isoflavones to blood pressure reductions of 36 mm Hg in people with high blood pressure .
However, its unclear whether these small blood-pressure-lowering benefits apply to people with normal and elevated blood pressure levels.
Some studies suggest both may benefit, while others suggest only people with high blood pressure would experience this effect .
Clearly, more research is needed on this topic, but for the time being, the blood-pressure-lowering effects of soy, if any, appear to be very small.
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.
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Recipes For Breakfast Lunch And Dinner
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened or vanilla soy milk
- 1 cup ice
- 1 package tempeh, sliced into 1/2 cm slices
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil for cooking
- 8 slices of your favourite whole grain or sprouted grain bread, toasted
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
Homemade Soy Milk Recipe Variations
I always keep my homemade dairy-free milk recipes down to the bare minimum. However, plain soy milk isnt really to everyones taste buds as its quite a strong flavor. To combat this, and in general just jazz up this soy milk recipe, you have a few flavor options.
The first thing to address is sweetness. I like to keep these recipes refined sugar-free and suggest using Medjool dates or maple syrup to sweeten your homemade soy milk naturally.
You can also add a variety of spices/ add-ins including homemade vanilla extract, cinnamon, cacao powder, etc.
For the full plethora of dairy-free homemade milk, feel free to browse through the DIY section of my blog or search milk in the search bar for options including rice, flaxseed, almonds, oats, pistachio, etc.
If you have any questions about this soy milk recipe, then feel free to leave them in the comments below. Also, I love to see any recreations so you can tag me on Instagram .
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May Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Diets rich in soy have also been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers.
For instance, one recent review of 12 studies suggests that women with high soy intakes prior to receiving a cancer diagnosis may be at a 16% lower risk of dying from the condition, compared with those with the lowest intakes .
High soy intakes pre- and post-diagnosis may also reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in postmenopausal women by up to 28%. However, this study suggests that premenopausal women may not experience the same benefit .
On the other hand, another study suggests that both pre- and postmenopausal women eating soy-rich diets may benefit from a 27% lower risk of cancer.
However, the protective benefits of soy were only observed in Asian women, while Western women appeared to experience little benefit .
Based on these studies, a proportion of women eating soy-rich diets may benefit from a lower risk of breast cancer. Still, more studies are needed to determine which women may benefit the most.
How Do Soy Products Affect Your Thyroid
By | Submitted On July 23, 2008
How Soy Products Affect an Underactive Thyroid
Hypothyroidism is a common medical condition that stems from having an under-active thyroid. With the correct diet, this condition can be effectively ridden. However, there is some speculation as to what the right diet may consist of. Soy has been known to be a highly regarded health food in recent decades, but in the case of an under-active thyroid, this is certainly not the case.
With many essential bodily functions resting on its health, the thyroid is a gland located just below the Adam’s apple in the neck. Aspects such as body weight, vision, mental function, bone formation, heart rate, and menstrual regularity are all affected by the thyroid and a poorly functioning thyroid is certainly a cause for concern.
Why not to Eat Soy
Although soy foods are, in general, healthy for the human body, when plagued by an underactive thyroid, avoid these foods at all costs. Foods derived from or containing soy also contain a chemical that reacts with iodine, a vital element in the production of the thyroid hormone. So when suffering from hypothyroidism, make sure to keep food items such as soy milk, soy flower, and tofu off of the grocery list.
Visit our website to learn more about hypothyroidism and soy Progressive Health Inc provides supplements that help replenish nutritional deficiencies caused by various health conditions such as Hypothyroidism.
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Whole Soy Vs Processed Soy
Not all soy products are created equally.
As we discussed before, some research shows no effect on health with the consumption of isolated soy isoflavones.
Some of the best evidence we have comes from populations who consume large amounts of soy, and these populations are eating whole or minimally processed soy products as opposed to the soy found in dietary supplements, oils, or protein substitutes here in the US.
Studies show that 80-90% of the beneficial isoflavones found in soy can be lost in the processing or refining of products like isolated soy protein.
Your best bet is to consume things like soybeans, aka edamame, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and miso.
Fermented products are specifically beneficial for anyone with digestive issues.
Whole soy contains prebiotic fibers known as oligosaccharides which are digested by our gut bacteria in the colon. While this is a natural, benign process, it can cause bloating and gas for people with GI conditions like IBS.
Consuming fermented soy products however, like tofu and tempeh, can decrease this effect.
Too Much Is Dangerous
Nielsen says this myth stems back to the misconception that it disrupts thyroid or hormone function. At normal levels of intake, there is absolutely no cause for concern and there actually seems to be a lot of benefits, says Dr. Nagra.
So, in essence, the internet is really, really wrong, adds Nielsen. You can feel good about consuming in all of its forms, multiple servings a day.
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