Is Soy Bad for Low Thyroid & Belly Fat?

Connecting Beans & Gas, Low Thyroid & Soy Protein, Lose Weight, Belly Fat

Belly Fat

I love beans, but I hate the gas as does my household. I am cooking beans as I read your beans without gas report and found it extremely interesting. I will add some herbs to my beans as they cook and see how that works.

My reason for writing is in regard to hypothyroidism. I have low thyroid, have been trying to lose weight and using soy protein twice a day and not doing very well.

In fact, I have lost some inches, but I still have my belly fat which I am trying to lose. I exercise 4-5 times a week for 30+ minutes.

Can you tell me more about soy protein and low thyroid? I would like to research this more. I am also going to contact my protein source and see what they can tell me.
Help!! Thanks, BJC

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Congrats on losing the inches! I’m going through the same process, working to get fitter and trimmer. I also find the belly fat very persistent!

Re Beans & Gas: For some people it takes a while to build up a good tolerance for beans. It helps to eat them mashed up, with grains and veggies, in soups, in small amounts to start.

Plus go for lentils and small beans – they are more easily digested, according to Ayurvedic dietary theory (which can be opposite to modern science).

Keep in mind that other foods cause gas too - the cabbage family, onion family, dairy for the lactose intolerant (that’s most people apparently), processed food etc.

One theory about beans that makes sense to me: Beans are high fiber and act like brooms to clean your digestive system, with attendant gas.

Low fiber processed foods and animal foods clog your digestion and leave behind undigested food waste. So that’s what’s being cleaned out. After a while, the gas does go away. And you’ll find varieties of legumes that you tolerate better than others.


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Re Soy & Low Thyroid: It does have a goitrogenic function, according to Michael Greger MD. He recommends upping your iodine intake to balance the influence of soy, and limiting soy intake to several times a day.

The woman in this advice letter was on synthroid and gained weight when she ate a lot of soy because tofu is high calorie and the estrogen mimicking hormones depressed her thyroid.


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This article, Soy Truth, shows that soy is safe but hints that if you have a thyroid problem, it could be iffy. The author, Virginia Messina is a vegan RD who co-wrote Vegan for Life with Jack Norris RD.

I consulted Virginia Messina about a similar letter.

Virginia says about soy & thyroid:

“…many people who are taking synthetic thyroid hormone medication do continue to eat soy. Soy foods have compounds that can very slightly raise your need for thyroid medication. But the key is to be consistent, by eating about the same amount of soy every day and then working with your doctor to adjust your thyroid medication accordingly.”

The plant based nutrition experts are very big on soy as a plant protein source, but my experience is that you can get plenty of protein from legumes, whole grains, nuts & seeds – eaten daily. My Ayurvedic doctor Vaidya Mishra, says no soy at all.

I compromise with eating tofu 2 – 3 times a week, even though usually I find that after I eat soy, I need a nap, which isn’t a good sign.

Try smaller helpings of soy, less often – and persevere with the beans and lentils. They are low fat, high in protein, and not goitrogenic! :-) Nuts and seeds are great too. Even though they are high in fat, you don’t need more than a handful a day, and they’re SO good for you!

And of course, consult your doctor about any dietary changes.

All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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3 Responses to “Is Soy Bad for Low Thyroid & Belly Fat?”

  1. Roxann Higuera says:

    If you’re going to eat soy, it would be a good idea to stick with organic soy or products labeled “non-GMO.” The vast majority of soy grown in the USA is GMO. If in doubt, it likely is GMO.

  2. mary says:

    You may also need a digestive enzyme if you cant digest beans well

  3. Vicki Berry says:

    Hi Judith, Love this article – it’s yet another reason not to eat soy! I’ve been cautioning people for years about it. Thanks for posting, definitely have shared this on FB and Twitter!
    Hope your holidays are wonderful!
    Vicki

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