A Vegetarian Diet may do more harm than good

Now, don’t go crazy on me yet. I’m not attacking your kale or baby carrots or anything.  I absolutely adore farm animals and have respect for all of the animals on the planet; including the human ones.  And, I have nothing but love for healthy vegetarians since a vegetarian diet can do amazing things for a healthy person.  But, if you’re not healthy (i.e. you have a thyroid or autoimmune disorder), a vegetarian diet may not be supportive enough for you…especially a vegan or raw foods diet.

I want to start off by reminding everyone that not all bodies are the same.  If you are reversing your thyroid disorder and feel great on a vegetarian diet, stick with it!  You’re doing what works for YOUR body.  However, if you are not experiencing relief of your symptoms and you are eating a vegetarian diet, you may want re-think that diet for now.  Let’s take a look at why.

It’s not a vegetarian diet per se that could be keeping you from healing.  It’s what a vegetarian diet has become in our modern society.  First of all, many vegetarians lack sufficient iron and try to compensate for that by eating a lot of soy, lentils and beans.  Now, you know from Mistake #2 why soy is a no-no.  But also, these plant proteins are not readily available for use in our bodies.  Many plant proteins fail to contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs in order to properly utilize the protein.  It’s crucial to thyroid health to be absorbing the appropriate amount of protein and iron since many thyroid patients suffer from issues of low iron already (raise your hand if you’re one of those!)

In addition, vegetarians frequently rely on many nuts, seeds, grains and beans to round out their diets.  These can be fine in the diet if they are prepared properly.  However, frequently they are not.  When nuts, seeds, grains and beans are not thoroughly prepared, they contain large amounts of phytic acid which inhibits digestion and proper nutrient absorption when eaten.  Oftentimes, when you have thyroid issues, you already have a difficult time absorbing nutrients, you don’t need anything inhibiting it further.

Sadly, a vegetarian diet has become synonymous with eating lots of processed foods.  Eating a nourishing vegetarian diet requires more food preparation and eating whole foods.  In our society, there isn’t a lot of emphasis placed on the importance of making time to prepare REAL food, whole food, not something that comes in a box or package.  The amounts of chemicals and hard to digest ingredients in processed foods takes a toll on your thyroid.

Finally, eating a raw, vegetarian diet has been shown to exacerbate a leaky gut.  Tomorrow, we’ll go in-depth into how a leaky gut contributes the poor thyroid function but for today, what’s important to know is that eating a vegetable only diet is not supportive to healing a leaky gut.

Now, I advocate including a lot of vegetables in your diet.  In fact, I believe that 75-80% of every meal should consist of vegetables.  However, to help your body heal a leaky gut, absorb nutrients and balance out your hormones you need to eat the right kinds of vegetables in conjunction with healthy fats and animal proteins.

ACTION STEP: Fill your plate with a combination of 75-80% cooked, raw and fermented vegetables at each meal (including breakfast!) 🙂

You are gonna feel soooo good, once you do this regularly.  See ya tomorrow!

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