Soybean Oil Is Bad For Your Liver
Another animal study which was investigating the adverse effects of soybean oil on body weight in mice found that soybean oil induced “significant fatty liver.”
The other oil in the study which was found to do this was peanut oil.
MCT, olive oil, and tea oil did not produce significant fatty liver.
KEY POINT: Researchers have discovered through animal studies that diets rich in soybean oil can induce fatty liver disease.
Soybean Oil May Increase Your Chances Of Developing Cardiovascular Disease
As just mentioned, the trans fats in soybean oil are bad for cardiovascular health.
A few studies have looked at whether vegetable oils like soybean oil can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some have found no significant relationship , while others have found the increased risk to be significant.
Plus, there is the high omega-6 fatty acid content of soybean oil to consider.
This following graph is from a study where the omega-6 level in the blood was compared to the likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease :
As you can see, the United States sits at the top right, with the highest Omega-6 AND the greatest mortality rate from cardiovascular disease.
This study shows only correlation, but it makes sense since inflammation is a contributor to these diseases.
Reducing ones intake of omega-6 fatty acids and increasing ones intake of omega-3 fatty acids is a key step to preventing cardiovascular disease.
That means abandoning the use of soybean oil and others with a similar omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid profile in favor of those which are higher in omega-3s and lower in omega-6s.
KEY POINT: The trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids in soybean oil can potentially increase your chances of cardiovascular disease.
Best Food For Thyroid Patients
There are other foods, aside from some specific fruits and vegetables, that are good for your thyroid, though. Following an overall healthy diet will help keep your thyroid healthy by supplying all of the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Harvard Health Publishing recommends eating a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds and lean proteins like fish and beans. In addition to essential vitamins and minerals, fruits, vegetables and beans will also provide you with fiber, which keeps your digestion running smoothly.
But its not just about what you should eat its also about what you should avoid. Limit simple carbohydrates, like sugar and white flour, which can negatively affect the thyroid, as well as trans fats, which are often found in processed foods and commercially-baked foods.
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What Are Essential Fatty Acids
Many of us grow up to think of dietary fats as bad for our health. Those of us who grow up in a household that purchases low-fat foods at the market may have engrained the idea that all dietary fat is harmful. And indeed, some fats are detrimental to health. However, some fats are necessary for overall wellbeing.
Before looking at the different types of fats, it is essential to understand why fat is good. Fat is an energy source. When food is scarce or we are severely ill, our bodies can survive off the energy stored in fat tissues. Fat is a crucial component of building and repairing cell membranes and is necessary for vitamin and mineral absorption. It is also high in caloric content, meaning that foods high in fat have more calories than other food types.
There are specific fats necessary to have in your diet for long-term health. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the “good” fats. Monounsaturated fats are typically from plants and research finds that they decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include:
- Vegetable oils
- Nuts and nut butters
Again, what makes essential fats so valuable is their benefit to our overall health and wellbeing. We need to obtain them by eating the right foods.
- Animal fat
- Oils that are solid at room temperature
- Dairy foods high in fat content
- Fried foods
Soybean Oil Can Contribute To Diabetes
The same study referenced above reported that, “a diet high in soybean oil is more detrimental to metabolic health than a diet high in fructose or coconut oil.”
Glucose intolerance and insulin resistance are both made worse by consuming soybean oil.
This means that soybean oil can be classified as diabetogenic.
And needless to say, if you are already diabetic or pre-diabetic, consuming soybean oil is not going to do anything to help your condition. It will only make it worse.
KEY POINT: Soybean oil can contribute to the development or worsening of diabetes.
For that reason, it is particularly important to avoid it if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Even if you are not, however, there is no reason to take avoidable risks with your health.
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Foods That Contain Soy:
If you are affected by soy intolerance, or if youve identified soy as a cause of your flare-ups, talk to your medical health care practitioner or nutritionist to find an alternative foods.
If you eat soy, remember to take your medication at least a few hours apart, as soy products can interfere with the uptake of thyroid hormones.
If youre trying a soy-free diet, track it in BOOST Thyroid app to help you understand if your symptoms improve. In order to discover if soy is your trigger, try the diet for at least ten days to feel the first effects and dont change your other dietary routines.
Messina M, et al. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature, 2006
Fitzpatrick M. Soy formulas and the effects of isoflavones on the thyroid, 2000
Doerge DR, et al. Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones, 2002
Sathyapalan T, et al. The effect of soy phytoestrogen supplementation on thyroid status and cardiovascular risk markers in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study, 2011
Messina MJ. Legumes and soybeans: Overview of their nutritional profiles and health effects, 1999
US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28, 2016
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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Sugary Foods Like This Delicious Chocolate Cake
Hypothyroidism can cause the bodys metabolism to slow down, Frechman says. That means its easy to put on pounds if you arent careful. You want to avoid foods with excess amounts of sugar because its a lot of calories with no nutrients, she says. Its best to reduce the amount of sugar you eat or try to eliminate it completely from your diet.
Soy Intake And Thyroid Health
Is Soy bad for my thyroid function? This is one of the most commonly asked questions from my patients. In the following paragraphs, I hope I can help to shine some light on this topic of confusion.
First, a brief general overview of the Soybean: Soybean is species of legume native to East Asia. Soybean is composed of protein at 40% and oil at 20%. The remainder consists of 35% carbohydrate and about 5% ash. Soybean contains significant amounts of essential amino acids required by the human body which our bodies are unable to synthesize.
Soybean also contains isoflavones which are organic chemicals with weak estrogenic effect . The two main isoflavones present in Soybeans are Genistein and Diadzein. Genistein, the major soy isoflavone, has a weak estrogenic effect in women as well as the ability to effect thyroid function, an activity independent of estrogenicity.
There are long standing debates as to whether or not soy is safe for thyroid function. Soy products are currently heavily marketed to women in the menopausal age group to help with symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. The potential anti-thyroid effect of soy might be more relevant because these women represent the age group in which overt hypothyroidism and sub-clinical hypothyroidism are most likely to occur.
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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.
If You Eat Soybean Oil You Will Increase Your Exposure To Trans Fats
Previously I talked about how there may be more trans fats in the soybean oil you see on the grocery store shelves than is listed on the labels.
This study examined the fatty acid content of soybean and canola oils.
The researchers found that trans fats accounted for anywhere from 0.56-4.2% of their fatty acid content.
Trans fats can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer , so it is worth it to stay away from them, even if that means buying other more expensive oils to cook with.
KEY POINT: The trans fats in soybean oils are harmful to your health.
Labeling law loopholes allow manufacturers to be less than transparent about trans fats, so many consumers are not even aware of what they are introducing into their bodies when they purchase soybean oil products.
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Coronary Heart Disease And Soy
Having a diet rich in soy foods is linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and coronary heart disease.
Oestrogen may protect women against heart disease during their reproductive years, but rates of heart disease increase after menopause.
Soybeans have been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, both known risk factors of heart disease.
An analysis of clinical trials suggests 14g to 50g of soy protein can significantly reduce total blood cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while moderately increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
The United States Food and Drug Administration also found adults who include at least 25g soy protein daily in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce LDL cholesterol by about 34%.
Whole soy products have a greater effect on improving cholesterol levels than processed soy products. It is not known how this happens it could be phytoestrogens or soy proteins working alone or together. Other factors, such as soys high-fibre or low saturated-fat content may play a part.
Another reason could be, the amount of animal protein in the diet may be reduced and indirectly improve our blood cholesterol levels.
However, studies also show that eating soy protein without isoflavones results in only small cholesterol reductions, and isoflavone supplements alone have minimal cholesterol lowering effects.
Does Soybean Oil Have Any Nutritional Benefits
With soybean oil having so many disadvantages for health, you may be wondering whether it has any nutritional value at all.
There are some studies which show potential benefits to consuming soy-based products.
In the interest of fairness, lets take a quick look at them now.
- Soy may reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease, but the research is mixed .
- A couple of observational studies indicate that there is a chance that men who consume more soy have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer .
Remember, if you are going to eat soy products, it is best to stick with fermented soy since it contains less phytic acid .
But you should know that even fermented soy products contain isoflavones.
That means that they still act as endocrine disruptors, so they are not necessarily a “safe” choice.
KEY POINT: There are some studies which show that soy may have some benefits.
Nonetheless, that does not mean that soybean oil is good for you.
The drawbacks greatly outweigh the possible benefits.
If you plan to eat soy products at all, you should stick with those which are fermented – and you should moderate your intake of those as well, since they can still disrupt your hormones.
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Oysters And Other Seafood
Oysters are one of the foods with the highest zinc content.
Zinc is another essential mineral needed for the thyroid to function properly and deficiency of zinc is the major reason for a low thyroid condition.
How is zinc in oysters improves thyroid dysfunction
Zinc controls thyroid hormone production by regulating deiodinases enzymes. Zinc is also involved in conversion of T4 hormone to T3 hormone. The important thing to remember is that T3 hormones is the active form of thyroid hormone.
Studies have shown that zinc deficiency has been correlated with low T3 levels in patients.
Other seafood like a cooked lobster, king crab also has a good amount of zinc in them.
The good part about seafood is that they are low in calories and are packed with nutrients.
Oysters also have other nutrients like vitamin C, Vitamin E, fatty acids that help with inflammation and improve immunity especially in the current scenario where we need to boost our immunity this could be a good way.
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What About Going Gluten
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 . 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.
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Soybean Oil Could Potentially Increase The Chances Of Developing Eczema Or Asthma
This study was focused on the presence of omega-6 fatty acids in breast milk and the impact on infant health.
The researchers discovered that children who were exposed to more omega-6 fatty acids this way were more likely to develop asthma and eczema.
So if you are pregnant or nursing, you should be aware that dietary choices like soybean oil can have a negative impact not just on your own health, but on that of your children.
While more research is needed in this area, it is also worth wondering whether the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids can also increase the chances of developing respiratory or skin issues as an adult.
KEY POINT: The omega-6 fatty acids found in soybean oil are associated with higher risk of children developing asthma and eczema.
Genetically Modified Soy Products
Some people do not wish to eat genetically modified foods. Soy products imported from the United States are the main source of GM ingredients in food sold in Australia. Some soybean crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to herbicide, but they are otherwise identical to non-GM soybeans.Genetically modified soy is found in primary soy products , but it can also be found in a wide range of other foods . It is mandatory in Australia for approved GM foods and ingredients that contain novel DNA or novel protein to be labelled with the words genetically modified.
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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.