Smart Fats are simply one of the BEST and tastiest solutions for stalled weight loss because they go far beyond the call of duty. Alone or with synergistic help from additional vitamins, minerals and herbs, these savvy fats can kick up thyroid function and/or stimulate calorie-burning brown fat (a special tissue that disperses surplus calories for heat instead of fat storage). And, that's just for starters!
They also reduce the body's ability to store fat for energy by controlling the enzymes that release fat from the cells into the bloodstream. Many are so satisfying that they enable long-term appetite satisfaction so you are not tempted to overindulge.
The Thyroid Connection
But, first things first. You cannot fix a broken metabolism until you address thyroid dysfunction. After all, your thyroid is the body's key metabolic driver. With a sluggish thyroid, your body may produce too much insulin and trigger low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), along with intense cravings for carbs.
The thyroid secretes two major hormones, T3 and T4, which regulate the burning of calories for energy. Thyroid hormones control body weight, body temperature, muscle strength, heart rate and menstrual regularity. In fact, the thyroid connection to sex hormone imbalance is not surprising to women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
Estrogen-induced thyroid dysfunction mimics underperformance of the thyroid gland. My friend, the late Dr. John Lee, observed that many perimenopausal women exhibit symptoms of hypothyroidism with normal thyroid levels. He theorized that estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency might be the cause. Raising progesterone levels through the use of natural progesterone cream often normalizes thyroid activity without any other treatment.
Furthermore, a diet devoid of Smart Fats but heavy in commercial polyunsaturated vegetable oils also sabotages the production of thyroid hormones. Without enough thyroid hormone, estrogen rises and acts as a fat trap especially as we grow older and progesterone levels take a nosedive.
The actual number of hypothyroid patients is highly underestimated. According to the American Thyroid Association, nearly 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder—a number that could easily be much more. I highly suspect, after working with so many individuals for the past three decades, that more than 60 percent of the population have some degree of thyroid dysfunction but are not being diagnosed properly.
Besides stubborn fat that won't budge, other low thyroid symptoms include depression, hair loss, poor eyebrow growth—especially the outer third of the brow, aching wrists, fluid retention, constipation, a coarse voice, diminished sex drive, infertility, premature graying of the hair and lack of muscle strength.
This tiny powerhouse-regulating metabolism controls the health of just about every organ in the body, including the heart. That's why it is so alarming that Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a type of autoimmune hypothyroidism, is growing by leaps and bounds as is Grave's disease, another kind of autoimmune condition characterized by hyperthyroidism.
Normalizing thyroid activity is a fundamental "must" if you want to restore metabolism and help your body rebuild itself. Smart Fat supplementation will go a long way in re-establishing equilibrium. But, when it comes to a comprehensive thyroid treatment plan, it is only one of many key factors.
To speed up fat burning and heal the immune system overload that often accompanies thyroid dysfunction, you will have to take into account insidious thyroid thieves like hidden dental or sinus infections, gluten, goitrogens, lack of protein, adrenal burnout, dwindling probiotics, fluoride, bromine and chlorine overload plus several vitamin, mineral and amino acid deficiencies, which are necessary to make thyroid hormones work; and then there's underlying virus, especially Epstein Barr.
No wonder thyroid disease is rampant! There are so very many seemingly diverse factors, which are likely to be contributing causes of dysfunction.
Sneaky Thyroid Saboteurs
Let's take a more in-depth overview at how each of these sneaky saboteurs do their damage. Fasten your seatbelts because this promises to be a VERY bumpy ride.
Hidden Dental Or Sinus Infections
Your mouth is the repository of a tremendous amount of bacteria that can impact different areas of your health. That's why individuals with a heart condition are recommended to take an antibiotic before a routine dental cleaning. Dentists who practice holistic dentistry and biological dentistry believe that each tooth is connected to an organ. If that tooth has a root canal, is decayed (even under a crown that X-rays don't pick up), is an implant, or even has been pulled, leaving behind a cavitation (hole in the jawbone), you can experience a whole host of health challenges in the associated meridian line of that tooth.
Many unresolved health problems might be associated with the anaerobic bacteria seeping into your system from root canals, implants and cavitations remaining from pulled teeth. ALL of this has to pass through your thyroid! This can depress or accelerate metabolism. Sinus infections can do the same if unresolved.
As the late Dr. Hal Huggins, biological dentist and mercury pioneer told me himself, "How many people know the consequences of housing the 40 anaerobic bacteria in implants, the 60 in root canals, or the eight in cavitations?"
Goitrogens are possible thyroid-suppressing substances found in raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.
Add to this the heavy metal burden of precipitating mercury and/or copper from high amalgam fillings and you have one lethal mixture that your thyroid is up against.
Many grains contain gliadin, which is the protein found in gluten and most concentrated in wheat, rye, and barley. Grains are fairly new to the diet—the trail-blazing orthomolecular medicine physician, Dr. Richard Kunin, says it best: "Grains are really Jonny-come-latelies on the nutritional scene. Meats, fruits, beans, nuts and vegetables have had a considerably longer historical alliance with the human gut. Almost as if to make up for lost time, grain has deluged man's diet and this excess increasingly appears to have something to do with common major and minor ailments."
Cardiologist and author of "Wheat Belly," Dr. William Davis, couldn't agree more. Moreover, to add insult to injury, he suggests that today's "Frankengrain" is nothing like what went into your grandmother's bread. Modern wheat contains 10 times more gluten than that of 50 years ago. Today's gluten is high in gliadin, a protein that is foreign to our bodies. It highly resembles a crucial enzyme known as transglutaminase, which is concentrated in the thyroid. As the immune system attacks the gliadin, antibodies also attack the thyroid. The immune system can then go into overdrive, damaging the thyroid, sometimes for up to six months. And that's all thanks to gluten.
But, that's not all the bad news to report, folks. Gliadin is a shameless appetite trigger. People can consume nearly 400 extra calories per day when manufacturers add it to certain food products. Food sensitivities trigger a kind of toxic shock to your system, which leads to addictions and binging. Partially digested components of common food allergens function like morphine-containing opioid drugs. They heighten appetite and decrease metabolism.
Gluten-containing foods like bread, crackers, chips and cookies are so highly addictive because of gliadin. Similar to the casein in milk, gliadin has a drug-like effect on your brain. The gluten in grain probably affects just about everyone in this day and age. The trouble is that nearly 100 percent of gluten intolerant individuals are unaware of this because gluten's negative reactions typically occur a good 12 to 24 hours after consumption.
If you decide to give up gluten, you may also want to give up all sugar and yeast, too.
These three substances, in addition to dairy, account for about 80 percent of all food sensitivities. They damage metabolism through an inflammatory response that can pack on 10 pounds or more of water weight and they can make you fat from heightened cravings to reactive foods or hormonal disruption of your metabolism.
Lack of Protein
Protein is a wonderful normalizer for overall thyroid function. It acts as an escort to transport the thyroid hormone to all bodily tissues.
Healthy thyroid function is intimately related to the adrenal glands. They both work synergistically to keep you functioning. When you are under stress, your adrenals secrete cortisol, which can block the thyroid's T4 to T3 conversion. When active T3 is suppressed, more cortisol comes to the rescue to rev up metabolism, creating a vicious cycle. The adrenals can make more cortisol from the hormone progesterone, which ultimately decreases available progesterone for other tasks. Diminishing progesterone levels trigger the thyroid to pinch-hit to make enough adrenal hormones. Long term, this process creates burnout for both the adrenals and the tired thyroid.
Gut flora is also dependent upon your thyroid. At least 20 percent of thyroid function relies on a healthy amount of quality beneficial bacteria. One strain in particular has been found to protect against the toxicity of gliadin, which is so problematic for thyroid patients. That strain is B. lactis BI-04 and comes from the Bifidobacterium family.
Fluoride, Bromine and Chlorine Overload
These chemicals compete with iodine for uptake in the thyroid, negatively impacting metabolism. They are contained in water, toothpastes, hot tubs, non-organic foods, soft drinks, teas, commercial breads, some medications and brominated vegetable oils.
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS
Visionary health expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. With millions of followers nationwide, she has the uncanny ability to pinpoint major health concerns and provide solutions years ahead of anybody else.
Highly respected as the grande dame of alternative health and award-winning author of 30 books, she single-handedly launched the weight loss/detox revolution in her New York Times bestseller The Fat Flush Plan. A Connecticut College and Teachers College, Columbia University graduate, Dr. Ann Louise was recognized as one of the top ten nutritionists in the country by Self magazine and was the recipient of the American Medical Writers Association award for excellence. She has been a popular columnist for First magazine since 2003.