Foods That Kill Your Testosterone
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. L2 Strength & Conditioning Coach.
Do you feel like you don't have energy in the morning to wake up? Lack libido? Are you lacking the strength to plan out your day? You cannot focus on your work nor are you able to have a good time with friends and family?
All of these are signs of low testosterone more commonly known as low T.
It is nothing to worry about as most of us don't understand that simple things like daily stress and the food you eat can affect your testosterone levels in the body. You might be filling your body with food that harm your hormone levels.
This article covers the following key points:
- What's testosterone?
- Testosterone killing foods
- How to naturally boost testosteorne
What is testosterone (T)?
Testosterone is a human hormone found in humans and animals. It is made by Leydig cells in testicles in males and by ovaries in women.
The quantity is much lower in women as compared to males. It is a primarily male androgen hormone that is responsible for the development of male characteristics during puberty.
It is also associated with sperm production and sex drive in males along with their role in red blood cell production, fat storage in their body, and their bone and muscle mass.
What happens if testosterone levels are low?
Low T levels can manifest as several symptoms like:
- Depression is also experienced by men suffering from low T.
- Weight gain is seen in males who have low levels of testosterone.
- Low sex drive is an adverse effect of the decreased hormone.
- Mood swings are a common finding in men deficient in testosterone.
- Decreased energy to carry out daily tasks and overall willingness to work is low.
- Less hair is noticed on the bodies of men who have low T hormone.
- Thin weak bones will low density is a known demerit of low testosterone which can also manifest with joint pain.
- Erectile dysfunction is also seen in a large number of cases.
- Reduced lean muscle mass
- Low self-esteem is often experienced by these men.
Although as men age their testosterone levels keep decreasing subsequently, surely, other factors also contribute to lowering the levels of testosterone like:
- Chemotherapy for cancer
- Metabolic disorders like hemochromatosis
- Dysfunction of the pituitary gland
- Stressed lifestyle
- Injury to testicles
But for low T levels in the prime age of men causes many problems for them. One of the most common causes is eating foods that kill the production of testosterone in your body.
A poor diet results in lower levels of testosterone in the body but some foods downright kill this hormone if taken in excess.
If your dietary pattern leans towards a western diet, you might be the enemy of your testosterone production.
Western pattern diet refers to the consumption of prepackaged and highly processed foods which can lead to the development of chronic diseases.
It consists of refined sugars, meat sodas, and canned goods. All of which are high in Trans fats, PUFAs, and phytoestrogens.
Foods that kill testosterone
Some of the foods notorious for decreasing testosterone levels are:
Fats are very important for our body as they are the main source of energy and carriers of fat-soluble vitamins.
They also provide fatty acids and lipids for the structural components of cell membranes and act as precursors for different hormones in the body. One of those hormones is testosterone.
But with all the benefits there is a certain type of fat that you should avoid if you want to increase your testosterone production. These are trans fats or hydrogenated fats which can increase inflammation.
The type of fats you put in your body directly affects the level and function of testosterone in your body.
Consuming too much omega -6 affects the testicles and reduces their size and ability to produce this hormone.
They are also full of PUFAs which are detrimental to testosterone levels. Many studies have been carried out in this regard which suggests that although eating fats is beneficial but trans fats are not particularly good for your T levels.
They lead to many issues like low serum testosterone levels, low sperm motility and if the problem is not stopped in its path it leads to testicular degeneration and spermatogenesis.
A study conducted on the effects of licorice on the human body showed that licorice roots of licorice supplements were causing low testosterone production both in men and women.
High levels of glycyrrhizin acid found in licorice give it the sweet, delicious flavor we all love but unfortunately, it is the same component that affects the testosterone directly, decreasing its level in the body.
It works by inhibiting the enzyme hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which stimulates the conversion of androstenedione to testosterone.
If you are already worried about low T levels you should start thinking about cutting alcohol from your life.
Long periods of heavy drinking can bring testosterone levels down sufficiently in men. Alcohol works by reducing testosterone levels in the following ways:
- Men who are heavy drinkers are found to have high levels of estrogen contributing to lowered levels of testosterone. This happens when estrogen decreases the amount of NAD+, a coenzyme that is responsible for producing testosterone in testicles and the liver.
- Excess alcohol consumption also leads to conversion of testosterone into estrogen and dives rise to the amount of serum cortisol which is a stress hormone and very active in destroying serum testosterone.
- Chronic drinking also induces insomnia which affects your body's ability to produce testosterone.
- Beer belly, a consequence of heavy drinking, also causes inflammation that further decreases the level of testosterone.
To avoid problems related to decreased levels of testosterone, low sex drive and other issues avoid drinking alcohol in large quantities over longer time periods.
If you are looking for ways to increase your testosterone, giving up dairy-based products would be a step in the right direction.
The animal feed contains hormones like fat-soluble estrogen that also become a part of their milk. These hormones can adversely affect the level of testosterone hormone in the body when milk is consumed.
Studies have shown that men who consume more dairy products have a hormone known as estradiol. This can lead to a decrease in testosterone level which results in high pitched voice and erectile dysfunction among other problems in males.
Meat from intensively farmed cattle
It is a common practice nowadays to give cattle food injected with high levels of steroids. These cattle, to increase certain traits, are also injected with high doses of estrogen hormones, which are consumed by us when we eat their meat.
Xenoestrogens are found in high quantity in animal fat of cattle farmed for food. This steroid is known to have a negative effect on the levels of testosterone in the male body.
Furthermore, human fat stores these hormones and they continue to interfere with the production of the T hormone.
Soy and soy-based products
Soy and tofu both contain phytoestrogens that are very similar to estrogens in structure and function.
These food compounds increase the estrogen level in the body subsequently reducing the testosterone level. These phytoestrogens interact with androgen receptors and decrease their activity, which disrupts the T levels.
Soy not only reduces the production of testosterone but also suppresses the effect testosterone might have on your body, hence affecting it in a two-pronged manner.
More research is happening in understanding the link between these foods and the effect they have on the human body concerning these hormones.
Dry fruits and nuts
Nuts are known to be a great source of very essential nutrients like good fats, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, and selenium.
But nuts, especially walnuts and almonds are also known to increase the levels of SHBG in the human body. These are hormone-binding globulins that carry all the hormones, including testosterone, around the body.
The higher the levels of SHGB, the more it will bind testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, making it unavailable for the body to use these hormones.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are also found in a high quantity in these nuts. They also decrease the T hormone by increasing oxidative damage to the storage tissues.
Phytosterol is also another compound found in abundance in almonds and walnuts.
It lowers the serum cholesterol level so much that it hinders the production of many steroids that use cholesterol as their precursor, ultimately lowering the level of testosterone.
Not all nuts are bad for your testosterone levels. It will be unfair to say that all dry fruits are harmful to male hormones and should be avoided.
The nuts that play role in affecting the levels of the hormone are mainly four:
Almonds: almonds raise SHBG levels in the human body leading to a decrease in serum testosterone.
Walnuts: they aid in making the testosterone in your serum inactive by proving binding sites of SHBG.
Pistachios: contains a large number of phytosterols that affect the level of the T hormone exponentially.
Peanuts: they contain a high amount of beta-sitosterol that inhibits the enzymes required to catalyze the production of testosterone.
The menthol in mint is said to have a very drastic effect on levels of testosterone in the body.
Although its effect is dependent on the amount you intake, still, it would be smart to steer clear of products that have mint as their main ingredient.
Sugar is the arch-enemy of our health and to know that it also plays a detrimental role in the production of the T hormone.
As you intake any food that contains a high amount of sugar, it immediately causes the testosterone level to take a dip due to a surge of insulin in the body.
The males who consume a large amount of sugar in any form are at a greater risk of lower T levels as compared to those who abstain from it.
Sugar also increases your BMI, which adversely affects the hormone testosterone level in the body, along with noticeable loss of muscle, low concentration level, low sex drive, weakness, loss of libido, and motivation.
So if you value your health subtract sugar from your food. More importantly, if you are already dealing with low testosterone levels you should treat sugar as a poison.
It not only decreases the T hormone level further but also puts such men at risk of developing diabetes.
Processed foods are full of PHOs or partially hydrogenated oils. These artificial trans fats wreak havoc on the level of testosterone in your body and lower them immensely.
They raise your blood sugar level, which also plays its part in lowering T levels in your body.
Processed foods include:
- Fried foods: anything fried soaks up all the PUFAs from the oil e.g. chips, chicken, or any type of fried dessert.
- Diet sodas containing aspartame.
- Processed meats like sausages or bologna
- Any food with a high concentration of transfats.
The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in these vegetable oils are connected to the lowered level of testosterone in our bodies.
The oils used regularly in our kitchens to cook food are not very T hormone friendly.
They contains a large amount of omega 6 fatty acids as compared to omega 3 fatty acids, which affect the testosterone levels in the body directly.
It also causes low-grade inflammation in the body, which plays its part to stop testosterone production leading to low sperm count and viability.
Vegetable oils are also full of PUFAs which as we already know decrease the amount of testosterone in the body.
So it is advised to use them as little as possible or find their substitutes if you want to maintain a good level of testosterone in your body.
Although flaxseeds are the rage nowadays in the wellness industry. One thing they do is reduce the level of cholesterol in the body which is good for your overall health but it is bad news for hormones that use it as a precursor one of which is testosterone.
It is advised for men to take a step back and avoid using the seeds rich in Lingnan, a component that after research has shown to lower the level of testosterone in males quite drastically.
They also inhibits testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone, a very potent androgen that enhances the effects of hormone T in your body.
Flaxseeds are also full of omega 3 fatty acid which, although is better than omega 6 but taken in large amounts seems to decrease the level of testosterone in the body.
Sweet and baked products lead to an increase in body fat and a high level of sugar in the blood. Both of which are not very good for maintaining a high level of testosterone in the body. Baked goods like:
- Cakes or cupcakes
- Loaves of the bread of any type.
Negatively affect the T hormone in your body so it is best to avoid them. They have a high level of sugar in them, which is, already established, very harmful for our body and in this case specifically testosterone production.
Baked items also contain trans fats that are known enemies of testosterone levels. All these ingredients work together in de-voiding the body of testosterone.
How to boost testosterone levels naturally
If you are looking to increase the level of the hormone testosterone in your body, make sure to stay away from the foods mentioned above.
Replace them with foods that boost testosterone production. Find out more ways to boost the level of testosterone in your body naturally.
Some of the natural ways to boost the level of testosterone in your body are:
- Doing exercise and strenuous physical activities daily such as deadlifting
- Incorporate proteins, carbs, and good fats into your diet
- Minimize stress in your life
- Maintain good hydration levels
- Work towards lowering cortisol levels in the body
- Take a vitamin D supplement of a sufficient amount
- Take plenty of sleep
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Take a supplement containing urtica diocia to inhibit estrogen development
Consume foods and nutrients that boost testosterone levels naturally like:
Testosterone levels not only play an important role as sex hormones, but they also provide you with the strength and drive to do strenuous activity.
They provide an overall sense of well-being if they are at an optimal level in your body. It stimulates muscle mass production and makes working out more efficient and fruitful.
No matter what you do as you pass your 30s 1% decrease in your testosterone level every year is inevitable.
If your levels show a severe decrease with clinical complications, you should evaluate your lifestyle and adop the use of a natural testosterone booster.
Diet and lifestyle modification play a vital role in maintaining the level of testosterone in the body.
Avoiding foods that kill the hormone in conjunction with changing your habit can have a very positive effect in this regard.
It is important to maintain healthy levels of testosterone in the body for men as it keeps them fit and optimally functional.
If you feel like your T levels are dropping, you should get a test done and go to your doctor.
Follow their instructions and consult them to take the testosterone booster we offer, which is safe to use, legal, and improves testosterone levels without impacting the other hormones in your body.