Many of you have probably heard me talking about the importance of healthy diet for hormone health. But what constitutes a hormone-healthy diet? First, it’s important to understand that hormones are created from building blocks, with the primary starting block being cholesterol. The body creates cholesterol and then uses it to make hormones. When we starve our bodies of cholesterol and the healthy fats and real foods from which cholesterol is made, our bodies lack fuel to make the building blocks. As a result, over time, our hormone levels will plummet.
With the help of low-fat, low-cholesterol diets, hormonal problems now abound in the U.S. In an effort to lower fats and cholesterols in the diet, the food industry has concocted all kinds of “non-foods”–such as low-fat foods full of sugar to enhance flavor, partially hydrogenated fats, and irradiated and artificially enhanced vegetables–and they’ve convinced us we should eat these instead of the real foods we’ve been eating for thousands of years. And what’s happened as a result?
These non-foods, which deprive the body of cholesterol and healthy fats, are poison for male and female hormones and for the thyroid hormones. As our hormone levels plummet, hormonally related health problems skyrocket. Men with lowered testosterone levels are left frustrated, depressed, and libido-less. Women’s ovaries are starved of nutritional hormones, leading to polycystic ovaries and other painful hormone-related diseases, such as endometriosis and fibroids. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) arises with consumption of chlorine, fluorine, and soy. (The phytoestrogens in soy are now also known to cause immune problems as well.)
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT?
Eat the foods your grandparents ate, WHOLE, REAL foods including meat (red meat in moderation), fish, eggs, lots of vegetables, nuts and whole grains in moderation, and other whole foods in their natural state. Buy hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat and dairy. Use olive oil rather than margarine or vegetable oil for cooking. Forget foods with an ingredient-list that looks like the one on your shampoo bottle (leave the chemicals for your floor cleaners!).
“BUT!. . . BUT!. . . BUT! . . . !!!”
It’s natural to be worried that changing from a low-fat diet will make you gain weight. After all, we’ve been told for years now that low-fat diets will make us thin. But the truth is that they don’t! Whole foods are more filling than their “fake” counterparts, meaning you’ll need less of them to feel full. And there’s plenty of evidence that hydrogenated fats (like those in margarine and crackers) and other “diet” foods actually decrease metabolism and make you gain weight. Finally, hormone imbalance can cause weight gain. Getting your thyroid and hormones back in balance will likely help your body find its appropriate weight!
Remember what I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters–cut out the sugars and refined foods, and instead enjoy eating avocados, olives, goat cheese, butter, and salad dressings made with good healthy oils.
The information in this article cannot be substituted for medical advice about your unique body. Call for an appointment to discuss questions or concerns.