One of the biggest causes of weight gain (and difficulty losing the weight) is hormonal imbalance. This can include reproductive hormones, thyroid hormones, blood sugar and stress hormones. Several foods contribute to these imbalances.
Sugar is an obvious contributor to hormone imbalance. Not only does it mess with blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance, it also can raise cortisol levels and contribute to imbalances in estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.
Bread is one of the worst offenders here. Not only are the carbohydrates in bread quickly digested, leading to blood sugar imbalances, but many people are intolerant to the gluten in wheat. This leads to gut inflammation and can also raise cortisol levels.
This also applies to other carbohydrates that you may think of as healthy like potatoes. The carbohydrates in potatoes are also digested quickly leading to blood sugar imbalances. Women who eat a lot of potatoes are more likely to develop diabetes and be overweight.
Processed foods usually contain lot’s of sugar and starchy carbohydrates so all of the above applies to them. But there are several other ways processed foods are bad for your hormones.
Many processed foods are packaged in plastic, or in packages lined with bpa containing plastic. BPA mimics hormones, so it causes imbalances of your naturally occuring hormones.
Processed foods also have artificial ingredients and colours added to make them look and taste more appetizing, and to improve shelf life. These additives also disrupt your hormones.
Unfermented soy products
Soy contains antinutrients that can limit your ability to absorb the nutrients in soy. These can also cause inflammation in the gut and other digestive issues. Fortunately fermenting soy makes it easier to digest and makes the nutrients in soy more readily available.
If you take medication for hypothyroidism, you should not have soy at the same time as your medication since it can affect absorption.
Dairy products can cause issues with hormones in two ways.
Dairy products contain hormones. These may be present naturally or they may be fed to cows to increase milk production. Hormones present in dairy products include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and insulin like growth factor. The addition of these hormones to your diet can disrupt your hormones.
Intolerance to dairy products is also common. When someone intolerant to dairy products consumes them, this leads to gut inflammation which has a detrimental effect on your hormones, especially the stress hormone cortisol.
Artificial sweeteners are often recommended for people with blood sugar imbalances, but they can actually make the imbalance worse. The sweet taste of artificial sweeteners can result in increased insulin production and eventually to insulin resistance.
These sweeteners can also cause issues with your gut bacteria, resulting in a less diverse microbiome, which is associated with several hormone imbalances.
Factory farmed meat
While meat and poultry are excellent sources of protein, factory farmed meat can contribute to hormone imbalances.
Factory farmed animals are often given antibiotics and growth hormones. This can impact hormones in humans.
It can also contain contaminants that can cause hormone disruptions.
Compared to grass fed meat, factory farmed meat is low in Omega 3 fatty acids help to maintain blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.
Caffeine containing foods
You might want to rethink your morning coffee if you want your hormones to be balanced. Caffeine can directly raise cortisol levels. It also contributes to excess inflammation and disrupts your sleep. Both of these can disrupt any of your hormones.
If you have coffee with sugar and cream you could be causing blood sugar imbalances and more inflammation.
You might be looking at this list of foods and thinking, but what CAN I eat?
If you are suffering from a hormone imbalance that’s keeping you from losing weight, I can provide you with personalized nutrition plans and support so you can balance your hormones and start dropping the pounds. You will see results in as little as 3 days and feel amazing to boot!
Vicki Witt | Clinical Nutritionist | Holistic Coach | Reiki Master | Certified LEAP allergy therapist Over 25 years of successfully helping you achieve optimal health and weight loss 🍏 | www.vickiwittweightloss.com
Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.