Nutrition

4 Hormone Harming Foods and Products to Avoid at the Grocery Store

The array of side effects due to hormone imbalance for both men and women is an endless list of what we try our best to steer clear of: mood swings, weight gain, anxiety, decreased sex drive, lower confidence levels, memory loss, poor sleep, lack of energy and so many more. With this in mind, we all want to do everything in our power to maintain healthy hormone levels.

But did you know that the foods you’re eating on a regular basis may be inadvertently placing your hormones out of whack? In fact, hundreds of common grocery store items that you may be purchasing have been known to negatively affect hormone levels. If this all seems like too much to navigate, don’t worry. We’ve put together a short list of categories to avoid that will help you eat smarter and keep your hormones on track at your next trip to the grocery store.

Here are four foods and products to avoid due to their ability to influence hormone imbalance in men and women:

1. Processed Meats

Processed meats like bacon, sausages, and deli meats often contain additives, preservatives, and high levels of saturated fats. They may also contain synthetic hormones used in animal farming, which can disrupt your own hormonal balance. 

Opt for lean, organic, and hormone-free meats. Look for products with minimal additives and preservatives. Better yet, consider plant-based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, or legumes, which can be excellent choices for hormone health.

2. Dairy Products

Conventionally produced dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, often contain synthetic hormones given to cows to boost milk production. These hormones can end up in the dairy products you consume and potentially affect your hormonal balance. Though eggs aren’t a dairy product, they can be added to this list for similar reasons.

3. Highly Processed Foods

Foods high in refined sugars, trans fats, and artificial additives can disrupt hormones. Sugary cereals, packaged snacks, and sugary beverages can contribute to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances over time. We know that in men, disruption in insulin production leads to lowered testosterone. 

4. Non-Stick Cookware and Containers

Non-stick cookware and food containers may contain perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can disrupt hormone function. When these products are heated, they can release harmful chemicals into your food.

In addition to avoiding these hormone-disrupting items, consider incorporating hormone-balancing foods into your diet. These include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon and flaxseeds), fiber (such as whole grains and vegetables), and antioxidants (found in colorful fruits and vegetables).

If this article got you thinking about your hormones, then read Carissa’s companion post:

Understanding Hormone Health As You Age
And if you’d like to learn more about our Functional Medicine Program, we have the resources and welcome you to reach out to us personally.

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