Foods That Lower Testosterone
As men age the hormone testosterone, which is necessary for sexual function, building muscle mass and day-to-day energy, naturally decreases. It is estimated that by the age of 40 more than 45% of men experience low hormone levels, or low T. There are several things that men can do in order to increase their testosterone levels. One thing that all men should do is avoid foods that can lower testosterone. Take a look a some of the foods that can further lower testosterone levels in men as they age.
- Alcohol: Many studies show that regular consumption of alcohol can play a major role in low T. The alcohol itself, along with the high sugar content in many alcoholic drinks like wine and mixed drinks can cause T levels to plummet. As an added bonus, many couples report that skipping the alcohol greatly improves their sex lives.
- Ice Cream: This sugary treat is packed with calories and can lead to fatigue, often referred to as a sugar crash, which is no good if you are already experiencing the fatigue of low T. If you need to indulge, choose frozen yogurt as a healthy alternative.
- Pasta: Pasta is a high calorie food that is loaded with carbohydrates. While it will provide you with a quick burst of energy, you will not be able to burn off all of those calories right away and your body will store them as fat.
- Processed chips and crackers: While they are a delicious, savory snack chips and crackers are loaded with refined carbohydrates which can cause your blood sugar to spike, and your body to inflame. Couple that with the fact that the salt in many of these snacks can cause you to bloat, and your looking at some major chronic inflammation if you turn to these snacks regularly. Try replacing your daily snack of potato chips with veggies and dip, or a handful of nuts.
- Breakfast bars and granola bars: While many of these are marketed as healthy snacks, most contain lots of sugars and processed grains, both of which can cause inflammation and blood sugar spikes.
- Your “Game Day” favorites: You go-to game day nachos and deep fried chicken wings are not going to do anything for your low T levels. These foods are loaded with unhealthy fats and are packed with calories. Not only can they increase your waistline, but they can also contribute to high cholesterol levels if you eat them regularly.
- Low-fat diets: Eating the fats that are found in fried foods can be detrimental to your health, however, you don’t want to cut out fat all together. The key is including the right kinds of fat in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and avocados, are essential to your health and to normal testosterone levels.
- Flax: While flax does contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it also contains compounds known as ligands. Ligands are a class of molecules that have estrogen mimicking properties, and estrogen can reduce the amount of available testosterone in the blood stream.
- Soy: Soy, just like flax, can mimic estrogen. In soy it’s not ligands, rather compounds referred to as isoflavens, that are the culprit. These compounds are so efficient at mimicking estrogen that studies have found that diets rich in soy have effects on the body akin to taking a birth control pill each day.
- Licorice and Spearmint: These herbs are refreshing and are found in many teas. While they do help to reduce stress and calm nerves, they also contain high levels of estrogen like compounds.
- Beer: Sadly beer is a bad thing for men’s health on all levels. Not only is it high in empty calories and carbohydrates, it is also made with hops and hops have been found to have estrogenic effects.
- Beans and legumes: While these foods are a great source of plant-based protein, they also contain phytoestrogenic fiber, which can lower two types of testosterone.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are often marketed as heart-healthy foods, yet most contain gluten. Gluten can reduce T levels by increasing prolactin. The good news is that nowadays there are many gluten-free options on the market. So, if you must buy bread or pasta, opt for gluten-free whole wheat products.
- Soda: Soda is bad for your health on so many levels. It is filled with sugar and empty calories. Many health care professionals consider soda the leading cause of the obesity epidemic in the United States. Soda are also filled with synthetic chemicals that can mess with your hormonal balance and throw your testosterone levels off.
- Fast-food: It’s not a coincidence that fast foods are so cheap. They’re cheap because fast-food chains use the lowest quality meats on the market in their foods and the worst fats in their fry pans. The meats served at fast food joints come from animals that have been injected with hormones and antibiotics their whole lives. The sunflower and soybean oil, found in fast food fry baskets are a significant contributor to low T.
- Cheese and dairy: All dairy and cheese come from livestock, which at some point have been given antibiotics and possibly hormones. If you must buy cheese or dairy, opt for organic. Organic products prohibit livestock from receiving antibiotics or hormones.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fats. This class of fats have been shown to lower T levels.
So, if you’re a man experiencing the negative effects of low T, the first step that you can take is to clean up your diet. Avoid these foods, eat plenty or fruits and vegetable, and then speak with your doctor is you don’t see your testosterone levels begin to rise.