Your diet matters — but to what extent? Whether it’s type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or hormone fluctuations, the foods you consume can play a significant part in dictating the outcome. But are there foods that actually lower your testosterone?
Yes — there are so-called testosterone-killing foods that have an indirect effect on your testosterone levels.
How? Diet is not just a building block for good health, it’s the foundation. Poor eating habits and poor overall health can contribute to an array of issues, including testosterone deficiency.
This is why your healthcare provider will ask you to work on your diet if he determines that you are testosterone deficient. And if you require testosterone replacement therapy, he will continue to remind you to follow a healthy diet and steer clear of certain types of food.
In the age of fast food, processed box dinners, and little time to prepare a home-cooked meal, what do you do? Do not worry! A lot of healthy foods don’t require much prep work if you have learned the ropes. You just need to understand which foods can lower testosterone and which foods can raise testosterone.
Because diet is a factor actively contributing to your health, you can find dietary patterns that are either favorable or unfavorable for testosterone health. With many testosterone-killing foods out there, particularly in light of worsening lifestyle and social habits, it’s important to understand which foods might indirectly aggravate or contribute to testosterone deficiency.
Researchers determined that men with a high intake of bread, pastries, and dairy products were more likely to develop low testosterone. Dairy products include yogurts, milk, cheese, and more.
They also found that eating sugary desserts was counterproductive, in addition to habitual eating out, generally leading to the consumption of higher quantities and unhealthier types of foods.
But besides presenting an array of testosterone-killing foods, researchers further noted that the insufficient intake of leafy greens wasn’t beneficial either and posed a higher risk of developing hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency).
So what are these testosterone-killing foods you should limit? Here are just a few for your reference.
(1) Refined Carbs
Put simply, there are two types of carbs: healthy complex carbohydrates and unhealthy simple carbohydrates — the latter which are digested quickly by your body. Simple carbs can cause a temporary spike in blood sugar and don’t actually fill you up properly — which means you will feel hungry again shortly after eating them.
Regular consumption of these refined carbohydrates can lead to weight gain, a higher body mass index (BMI), and obesity, which has been linked to low levels of serum testosterone.
Refined carbs encompass many types of foods, here are some examples:
- White rice
- White flour
- Breads and pastries
- Cookies and cakes
- Some sweetened beverages
If you’re looking to eliminate some of these testosterone-killing foods from your diet, start limiting your intake of refined carbs and work towards a healthy weight.
Friend or foe? We all know the answer to this one. Sugars make it high on the list of foods that can lower your testosterone levels — albeit their impact might play out behind the scenes.
But sugars are generally no supporters of your health, playing a crucial part in developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and impacting your cholesterol levels — all of which are risk factors for testosterone deficiency as well. Insulin resistance has even been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
A study that investigated the effect of sugar-sweetened beverages on adult males found that consumption strongly correlated with low testosterone levels. Researchers also noted that men with a body mass index BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 (normal is up to 24.9) were at an increased risk of low testosterone levels.
Sadly, processed foods, ranging from microwavable meals to snacks, biscuits, chips, and breakfast cereals are filled with sugars. Avoiding the consumption of excessive amounts of sugar can, therefore, be hard and may require slowly introducing one habit at a time.
Sugars can be found in:
- Desserts and cookies
- Processed foods
- Soft drinks
- Sauces (like BBQ and cocktail sauce)
- Condiments (like ketchup)
- Granola bars
The list of foods containing sugars is extensive with many everyday items containing unnecessarily large amounts of it.
(3) Dairy Products
Yes, we all grew up thinking that milk was critical to sustain a healthy calcium intake but is it possible that the dairy industry may have inflated some of these health statements?
Dairy products make up a huge category with cheese now served as a standard topping for many American dishes. Milk is added to many recipes to help coagulation and add that coveted creamy flavor.
Today, many concerns about excessive consumption of dairy products and milk have been brought forth, labeling them as an important source of saturated fat in the American diet, which can significantly contribute to the clogging of arteries.
The issue? High-fat diets, especially large intakes of saturated fats can increase the risk of heart disease — the leading cause of death in America.
Researchers also found that the intake of commercial milk obtained from pregnant cows led to increased levels of estrogen, which, in turn, led to the suppression of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and impaired the production of testosterone. This is one of the reasons why dairy is a type of food able to indirectly lower testosterone.
Below are some examples of the many dairy products available in our grocery stores:
- Sour cream
Even if we grew up believing that we absolutely need to drink milk every day, recent research indicates that it may be a good idea to limit the consumption of dairy products.
Time to Take Action: Say Bye to Testosterone-Killing Foods
Our way of life favors unhealthy foods, it’s true. Long work hours and a hectic back-and-forth make it a temptation to just pop some highly processed meal into the microwave, indulge in some cookies on the couch after a long day at work, and enjoy the bubbly sound of a soft drink.
Breaking habits takes time, but if you push through, you may be able to reap great benefits for your health and avoid many unpleasant conditions along the way.
The good news is that there are also foods that help raise your testosterone and that you should, in fact, eat more of. Try some leafy greens and pomegranate, and eat more bananas and avocados. Your body will thank you for this healthy transition!
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