We’ve long been told canola oil is healthy. After all, Whole Foods proudly displays it as an ingredient in all their prepared foods. But scientists have revealed a darker truth: Canola oil worsens memory and promotes amyloid plaque, a primary marker of Alzheimer’s disease. This means canola oil should be avoided by those with Hashimoto’s low thyroid, which also raises the risk of dementia.

People with Hashimoto’s low thyroid need to know that symptoms of poor brain health are frequently dismissed as Hashimoto’s symptoms by conventional doctors. As a result, you may not be told the importance of taking care of your brain.

The idea for this study came from a similar study using olive oil study. Researchers fed mice with Alzheimer’s rich in extra-virgin olive oil. Compared to the control group, these mice showed improved memory and reduced amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau, which creates the neurofibrillary tangles that cause the hallmark brain degeneration of Alzheimer’s.

They then did the same study except with canola oil, one of the cheapest and most widely used oils in the world.

After one year, researchers noted the following in the mice fed the equivalent of two tablespoons of canola oil:

  • They weighed much more than the control group.
  • They had impairments in working memory.
  • They had significantly reduced levels of a beneficial amyloid beta (amyloid beta 1-40), which acts as a buffer to the harmful amyloid beta 1-42. When amyloid beta 1-40 reduces, the 1-42 form is left unchecked to degenerate the brain.
  • They showed poor connectivity between neurons in the brain. Synapses are receptors on neurons through which neurons communicate with one another. They are important for memory formation and retrieval. Low amyloid beta 1-40 caused extensive synapse injury.

The scientists will do a follow-up study to see how soon neuron damage begins after regularly consuming canola oil, whether it impacts tau phosphorylation, and whether it promotes other brain degenerative diseases.

Given the increased risk of dementia in people with Hashimoto’s low thyroid, it’s not worth the risk consuming canola oil every day or regularly.

What fats to eat instead of canola oil

Granted, it’s difficult to find prepared foods that don’t contain canola oil, soybean oil, or processed vegetable oils, none of which are good for the brain. Especially make sure to avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which are also linked tp memory loss.

The brain is made mostly of fat and the fats you eat determine the structure of your brain cells and how well they fire with one another. Hydrogenated fats, for example, make cell membranes more rigid and less able to function properly.

Use extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and ghee for cooking fats and dressings. People with Hashimoto’s low thyroid should also avoid gluten, as it has been linked in studies with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Most Hashimoto’s patients need to avoid dairy as well, and possibly other foods depending on what triggers an inflammatory reaction that can further damage the thyroid.

Ask my office for more advice on the best diet to follow if you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.

How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid

book11Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.

About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine

Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine.  He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.