What to know about sugar when you have Hashimoto’s For optimal health, women should consume less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, a day of added sugar. Men should consume no more than 9. Yet the average rate of sugar consumption in the United States is almost 20 teaspoons a day! That also does not include grams of sugar from fruit juice, which rivals soda in sugar content. If you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid, eating too much sugar can increase inflammation, provoke autoimmune thyroid flares, throw blood sugar out of balance, create dysfunction in gut health and gut bacteria, and create hormone deficiencies and excesses. All of these things make it more difficult to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid. How did such a dangerous ingredient become so widely abused? Sugar lobbyists with big budgets have funded research minimizing the effect of sugar on health. As a result, it is creating some of the sickest, most chronically ill populations on the planet. Recent research shows that about 50 years ago the sugar industry funded studies that blamed fat for heart disease and deflected attention from sugar’s role. Of course, now we know excess sugar is a primary contributor to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. The inflammation sugar causes also predisposes one to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Sugar industry’s sickly sweet sales and marketing
Here are a couple of examples of what sugar-funded science looks like. A study funded by the grape juice industry showed grape juice is good for the brain, despite 36 grams of sugar per 8 ounces, more than what you should consume in an entire day! The truth is sugar is very degenerative to the brain, prompting some scientists to call Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes. Coca-cola spent millions on research to assert exercise is more important than diet in weight loss. While exercise is of course very important, more substantive research shows a link between the obesity epidemic and soda consumption. Perhaps the most alarming study was the one funded by the National Confectioner’s Association concluding that children who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t. Even one of this study’s own scientists admitted it was weak research, yet it was nevertheless published. Investigation into these studies show they are often poorly designed, incomplete, and only highlight the positives while ignoring the negatives. Unfortunately, however, the average journalist is not trained in how to screen good studies from bad and bad science often makes good headlines. To create an example of this, one science writer conducted a hoax study that concluded eating chocolate causes weight loss. The study was garbage but it went on to garner plenty of press.
Be mindful of fad science when learning about nutrition
Plenty of good research still happens and it’s important to discern fad science from legitimate science when learning about how to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid. Good guidelines are based on numerous solid studies. Many functional medicine protocols to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid are backed by hundreds of peer-reviewed studies. It’s important to remember some nutritional foundations that have stayed the course over the years when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid:
Eat a whole foods diet (avoid processed foods)
Avoid or minimize sugars, junk foods, sodas, and juices
Eat plenty of a wide variety of vegetables every day
Stick with healthy fats, like olive oil
Avoid food intolerances, especially to gluten and dairy if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Engage in physical activity every day
Nurture positive experiences, habits, and thoughts
One of the main goals at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is to work with patients to improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center team is passionate about helping ailing patients achieve optimal health, and we truly care about the success of each and every patient.
RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physician(s) more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies. This way, patients can learn to manage their symptoms more efficiently. We have developed rewarding relationships with many prescribing physicians across the country, and we strive to continue to building relationships with MDs, DOs, NPs, and NMDs. When health professionals can work together for the benefit of the patient’s health, it becomes a win/win situation for the one who matters most—the patient.