Having spent a significant amount of time in Japan as a youngster, I learned to love Edemame early on. Edemame are soybeans! They are delicious steamed then served, hot or cold with a little salt. Soybeans are super simple to grow but because of that they have been hijacked by Monsanto and destroyed.
By destroyed I mean genetically modified.
While you might think, o that’s no big deal, you might want to think again…
Soybeans, though not usually consumed directly, unless you are a fan of Edemame, find their way into much of our food supply by means of animal feed, the myriad of names it goes by in food flavor enhancers and in oil.
Here is a brief explanation of why and how GMO soy is being engineered.
Given soy’s centrality to our food and agriculture systems, the findings of a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry are worth pondering. The authors found that Monsanto’s ubiquitous Roundup Ready soybeans, engineered to withstand its own blockbuster herbicide, contain more herbicide residues than their non-GMO counterparts. The team also found that the GM beans are nutritionally inferior.
In the study, the researchers looked at samples of three kinds of soybeans grown in Iowa: (1) those grown from GM herbicide-tolerant seeds; (2) those grown from non-GM seeds but in a conventional, agrichemical-based farming regime; and (3) organic soybeans, i.e., non-GM and grown without agrichemicals. [read the full article here]
Soybeans used to be considered a “health food” but since Monsanto got involved the only type of soybeans one should be consuming are either homegrown from non modified seeds or fermented products like:
Dr. Mercola has this to say about these fermented products:
Natto is actually a phenomenal food. It’s a fermented soy product that can be a bit challenging to locate, but you can usually find it in Asian food stores. It’s very high in vitamin K2, which is a phenomenal vitamin, much like vitamin D.
Together, vitamin K2 and vitamin D provide a large number of significant health benefits, such as improving bone density and reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer, just to name a few. Natto has probably the highest concentration of vitamin K2 out of any food.
Miso and tempeh do not contain vitamin K2 but they are also fermented forms of soy that are excellent sources of health-promoting natural probiotics.
The fermentation process is what makes the soy a healthy addition to your diet, as it breaks down the goitrogens, isoflavones and other harmful elements in the soy. It’s important to realize that tofu is NOT a fermented soy product, and should not be consumed if you want to avoid the health problems associated with non-fermented soy.
It is also important to understand that while fermented soy is healthier for you, it is not wise to consume it in large quantities because it is still loaded with phytoestrogens, like isoflavones, which can cause detrimental feminizing effects.
They found residues of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) and aminomethylphosphonic acid, or AMPA, the compound glyphosate breaks down into as it decays, on all 10 of the GM samples—and in none of the non-GM and organic ones.
Soybeans are a goitergens – foods that promote the growth of goiters. They also inhibit the uptake of iodine in your body as well as having been found to interfere with thyroid medication.
Tips on Eating Soy for Thyroid Patients
Until we have definitive, rigorous, high-quality studies on soy toxicity and the effects of soy on thyroid function, we can’t assume that soy is universally safe for thyroid patients. But if you feel it’s necessary to include soy in your diet, here are some guidelines.
- Be sure that you are not iodine deficient. This is tricky, however, because the only way to really determine if you are deficient in iodine is to have a urinary iodine clearance test. (The process of how to assess iodine deficiency is described well in Dr. David Brownstein’s book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It). Don’t supplement with iodine without clearly establishing that you are deficient, because just as iodine deficiency can trigger a thyroid problem, excess iodine can also aggravate and worsen thyroid problems. If you are iodine deficient, however, proper iodine supplementation may help your thyroid function, and minimize potential risk soy may have to your thyroid function.
- If you have elevated thyroid antibodies or autoimmune thyroid disease that is not being treated, be aware that soy may be a trigger for developing hypothyroidism.
- If you are a thyroid patient with optimized thyroid treatment, and you’re still suffering from hypothyroidism symptoms, consider eliminating the soy from your diet to see if that helps relieve symptoms.
- If you are eating soy foods, you may want to avoid genetically-modified soy, until the debate over their safety has been resolved.
- If you are going to eat soy, select fermented and food forms of soy, for example tofu, tempeh, and miso. Avoid processed soy products — including soy powders, protein shakes, and other processed forms of soy.
- Don’t overconsume soy. It’s probably safe to include some soy in your diet — but a daily diet of soy milk, edamame, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy burgers, soy bars, soy ice cream, soy protein shakes and such is likely going overboard. Generally, you’ll want to limit soy and isoflavone consumption to less than 30 mg per day, at most. The negative effects of soy have most often been observed when consumption levels exceed 30 mg.
- Do not use soy or isoflavone supplements. (These tend to have very high isoflavone levels.)
- Do not eat soy foods within three to four hours of taking your thyroid hormone replacement medication, to avoid any interference with your thyroid medication.
- Be careful about the overall quantity of goitrogenic foods that you consume raw, especially if they are in addition to soy foods, which are known goitrogens.
The bottom line is for those of us who suffer from hypothyroidism symptoms, GMO soybeans hidden in our foods is could be one of the culprits causing road blocks for feeling better and loosing weight with thyroid issues.