As Mina Viscardi Johnson scrolled through her social media feed, her heart sunk. “A friend was having a milestone birthday party and all of my friends were there — except me. I was never invited. I don’t know if I was excluded because of how I looked, because I didn’t fit in with the rest of the crowd, or because I wasn’t as mobile as they were, but I was pretty sure it was about my weight. I was devastated.”
Overweight since childhood, Mina says when she became a wife and mom, the weight forced her to take a backseat. “My husband would take my daughters bike riding and do all the sports because I physically couldn’t,” she recalls. “When my husband and I would go for a walk, he would always suggest we take a different route because he knew I couldn’t do the hills.”
Although Mina always felt invisible, in recent years as she continued to pack on the pounds, anxiety and depression set in, and in 2016, she hit rock-bottom. “I finally went to my doctor and she diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,” Mina recalls.
“She immediately prescribed thyroid medication and told me I had to lose weight.” Mina did some research and learned that eating healthy foods could make her feel better, so for 60 days, she eliminated grains and dairy and focused on whole foods.
She then consulted a naturopath to find out if there were certain vitamins she should be taking. “She mentioned that I should be adding more healthy fats into my diet, which surprised me because I had always heard that fat was bad,” says Mina. After doing some more research on DietDoctor.com, Mina learned that a keto-alkaline diet, which focuses on alkalinizing foods and healthy fats, would satiate her and help her lose weight.
She began loading her plate with alkalinizing foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes, and healthy fats like olives and avocado. Within a month, Mina lost 22 pounds, and by eight months, she was down 100 pounds. After six months, Mina’s thyroid hormone levels had returned to normal, and after a year, she no longer needed to take medication for diabetes.
“My doctor was shocked and she even asked my permission to show my results to her other patients so they could see what was possible!” Mina says consistency, perseverance, and vulnerability were the keys to her success and newfound joy. “When I turned 50, I was thrilled — I was surrounded by people I love and who love me. I’m so grateful for my journey and for getting my life back!”
How Keto Heals the Thyroid
The thyroid pumps out hormones crucial to regulating everything from mood and memory to breathing and heart rate. The gland is best known as the thermostat of your metabolism, determining how quickly you turn calories to energy.
“A typical high-carb diet causes chronic inflammation inside the body that triggers many health problems and is particularly hard on the thyroid,” notes osteopathic physician Adam Nally, D.O., author of The Keto Cure ($18.89, Amazon). And for the millions of us who’ve begun to develop problems with insulin function, “every time you eat carbs, you increase inflammation by up to 50 percent,” he explains.
This makes it harder and harder for the thyroid to function normally. But a keto diet is extremely good news for your thyroid, assures Dr. Nally. “A keto diet removes sugar and processed carbs that drive inflammation, helping to restore healthy thyroid function.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.