01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: Kale's Fall From Grace

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kale's Fall From Grace

Overconsumption of a ‘super food’ is not a super idea.  Honestly, I like kale.  I eat it a few times  a month  but it’s just a leafy green vegetable.  It’s not chocolate.  Luckily, no studies show that chocolate is going to give you hypothyroidism…Diabetes? Possibly, but my thyroid is clear to go.

You have to eat a lot of kale for it to be ‘bad’ for you over a respectable period of time but kale has been in everything: juicing, smoothies, salads, and sandwiches to name a few. 

It’s popular because it’s virtually calorie-free, high in fiber, iron, and other micronutrients. 

It also has crummy goitrin which according to the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information site: “Very high intakes of cruciferous vegetables have been found to cause hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) in animals.” 

Apparently, a little grandma was in a coma from severe hypothyroidism after consuming 2-3 lbs. of raw bok choy for several months. 

Now, let’s think about things.

This is one study.  It uses the term ‘animals’, currently, we are not testing humans who eat 3 lbs. of kale per day for several months.  So if you eat about 1-2 lbs of kale per month the world is probably not ending.  If you eat 1-2 lbs. of kale and also have hypothyroidism, you’re not making yourself skinnier. 

Also, cruciferous vegetables also include broccoli and cauliflower.  Back in my undergrad days, we learned that you just need to steam cruciferous vegetables or roast.  Heat practically kills goitrin so you can enjoy the health benefits of some of these foods. 

What do take away from this?

1.        If you eat 2 lbs. of any one vegetable or anything there’s probably some side effect we have yet to discover.

2.       One study doesn’t always result in a cause and effect analysis.  If I eat one salad, I will not be skinny.  If I eat one pint of Ben and Jerry’s I will not be fat.