By Josh Redd, DC on November 21, 2017
Are counting carbs to lower inflammation, lose weight, or manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid? If so, researchers say to look at carbohydrate density instead. Carbohydrate density measures how many carbohydrates are in each 100 grams of food. Low carb density foods are better for you because they don’t raise inflammation and trigger Hashimoto’s low thyroid flares.
Studies shows removing dense carbohydrates from your diet improves health, prevents disease, and can even improve dental and gum health.
While most diets revolve around how many calories or how many grams of carbohydrates you should, the carb density diet focuses on grams of carbohydrates after you subtract the fiber.
Aim for foods under 23 percent carb density. Avoid carb dense foods such as breads, pasta, or white rice. People with Hashimoto’s low thyroid must also avoid gluten — studies show it triggers Hashimoto's flares.
Foods with low carb density? Meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
High density carb foods? Flours, sugars, breads, chips, rice cakes, granola bars, French fries, popcorn, and processed foods.
Basically, if it has been processed it’s carb dense. Follow a whole foods diet as much as possible when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
What is carb density
Low carb density foods contain the carbohydrates inside the cell walls. In these foods, carb density won’t reach higher than 23 percent.
In carb dense foods — flours, sugars, and processed grains — processing breaks the cell walls. This allows the carbohydrates to be more concentrated and spike blood sugar more quickly. Destabilizing blood sugar in turn triggers inflammation and Hashimoto’s low thyroid flares.
Why high carb dense foods make us sick and fat
Humans were not designed to eat processed foods in which carbohydrates have busted out of cell walls and concentrated.
Carb dense foods overwhelm cells in the body with too much glucose, or sugar. This makes cells resistant to hormones that regulate blood sugar.
This in turn causes obesity, inflammation, advanced brain degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid — in essence, the root causes of so many chronic diseases today.
Why diets don’t work and the kinds of foods you eat matter
Abundant research has demonstrated why diets fail most people. Calorie counting, exercising more while going hungry, extreme diets — these diets work in the short term but can't win against the body's survival mechanisms and are often metabolically and psychologically damaging.
A diet that of healthy meats, fats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts quickly balances hormonal responses to food. As a result, this reduces cravings, increases energy, and reverses inflammation that causes Hashimoto’s low thyroid. Also, people feel so good on the diet they don't feel deprived. Many also find processed foods make them feel awful.
Ask my office for more advice on how you can manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid through diet, lifestyle, and functional medicine protocols.