There is no doubt, the environment that we live in is toying with our hormonal system. From cosmetics to household items to the air we breathe, all are composed of chemicals that influence our hormonal pathways. The result…increase in diabetes, stress, early menopause and extreme perimenopause, weight gain, cancers and other disease states. It is our job as healthy citizens to minimize our exposure whenever possible since you cannot always control the factors present in the environment, a great starting point is to eat foods that boost your hormonal health and avoid the common busters. The top five hormonal busters are…
- All Sugar – yes we all know this, sugar is bad. From a hormonal perspective, sugar will directly influence insulin. Each time sugar enters the blood, insulin is called upon to assist the sugars metabolism into energy. Insulin has many jobs, and each time it has to support the sugar overload, it’s other jobs pay the price, one major job is fat burning, not to mention your potential increased risk of type 2 diabetes! All sugars (honey, brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup) will need the support of insulin to be metabolized. We are not about to promote the use of artificial sugars, yes they may not use as much insulin but they are linked to so many disease states. One sugar that poses the biggest threat to your insulin is FRUCTOSE (especially high fructose corn syrup), consumption of fructose will lead to a fatty liver and ultimately insulin resistance. Read labels and stay away from Fructose, commonly found in dressings, sodas, baked goods and fruit products.
- Conventional beef – go meatless or clean and lean. An average conventional slab of beef will be injected with 6 different hormones by the time it enters your mouth. These hormones will make their way into your system and disrupt your system. If you are not willing to purchase organic meats, then go meatless. If however, you are willing to go clean, don’t forget lean – keep in mind that toxins reside in fat, so the fattier the meat, the more toxins you are ingesting. Artificial hormones will offset your natural hormones and can lead to estrogen dominance and symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances
- Alcohol – funny, since the time a woman craves alcohol, is at a time when her hormones start to fluctuate! If you are over 40 you have been there, end of the night, need to settle down, kids are in bed, and a glass of wine would be the perfect nightcap! Alcohol is a sugar, and a greedy one at that, where it will instantly disrupt your blood sugar, calling on insulin to take charge. Researchers have found that alcohol consumption also increases the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is a nasty hormone when it’s chronically elevated, it turns away from managing stress to causing stress, reducing muscle mass, increasing body visceral fat and water retention.
- Food Additives – the list for additives is very long, so I am going to keep this simple, foods from a box, a can, a plastic bottle, vegetable oils, conventional meats – all have additives. Additives are considered endocrine disruptors, that means they single handed will influence the function of the glands and hormones of the endocrine system.
- Unhealthy Soy – not sure where to begin here, because I think a little healthy soy can be a good thing – this is organic tofu, edamame beans and fermented sources such as Miso. However, the majority of soy consumed in North American is genetically modified – soybean oil, vegetarian soy products, and sugar-filled soy milk – and these pose a risk to your health. The confusion about whether soy is good or bad for cancer risk stems from the fact that soy isoflavones can mimic estrogen in the body and can bind to estrogen receptors. Evidence also suggests that soy can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb a synthetic thyroid hormone often used to treat hypothyroidism – so those with an unhealthy thyroid need to make this precaution and consume soy at least 4 hours from medication. Because the evidence flip flops so often, it is suggested to proceed with caution, choose the healthy soy products and consume in moderation.
MCC a hormonal balancing diet plan, to learn more how to fuel your hormones so they can work for you and not against you – click here