Avoiding unhealthy foods is one of the great ways to increase testosterone levels.
As we all know, eating foods like egg yolks, spinach, and tuna can all boost your testosterone levels. Similarly, certain foods that, if you are regularly eating, can even lower your testosterone levels.
Low testosterone in men can lead to several negative side effects, including loss of muscle mass, high body-fat level, low sex drive, hair loss, and so on.
In this article, I’m going to share with you ten foods that lower testosterone levels, including other factors that influence and help improve your T levels. So, let’s dive in!
10 Foods That Lower Testosterone in Males
Eliminate the following foods to boost your testosterone levels and get a healthy sex life naturally.
1. Soy Products
This is a debatable topic. In general, soy and soy-based products may negatively affect testosterone levels in men. Reason?
Because soy contains many phytoestrogenic isoflavones, which can activate estrogen receptors and stop testosterone from doing its job. (1)
And also, soy can disrupt the uptake of iodine in the thyroid and impede the production of thyroid hormones linked to impaired hormonal health and lower testosterone levels. (2)
However, not all research shows that the effects of the paper transfer on human beings. For example, a meta-analysis showed that soy does not affect reproductive hormones in men. But there some studies that find negative effects.
So, what is safe?
If we want to be on the safe side, we have to limit our intake of soy-based products like soy protein powder, tofu, soybeans, and soy milk.
Alcohol leads to a terrible headache and can cause a decrease in testosterone levels.
But the good news is drinking half a gram of alcohol per kilogram of body weight or about a quarter of a gram of alcohol per pound body weight can slightly increase testosterone. So, the key is to when you drink, keep it in moderation. (10, 11)
There’re two herbs in the mint family called spearmint and peppermint — both the ingredients are responsible for the negative impact on testosterone levels.
However, the 2010 research with 42 women shows that drinking spearmint tea two times a day for 30 days results in a significant drop in testosterone levels.
4. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil or other oils like soybean and corn oils are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, aren’t great for high-temperature cooking, and can harm our overall health.
These oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can negatively affect or lower testosterone hormone production. Because nowadays we are getting too much omega-6s from other sources than omega-3s.
So, It would be best to replace the vegetable oil with healthier options like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil, which are good for your testosterone levels and overall health.
Surprising, right? Yes, in the last few years, flaxseeds are one of the most popular products in the market, and some called them one of the healthiest foods.
Even though flaxseeds are very high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, they aren’t great for producing male hormones because they are loaded with lignans.
A 2014 study shows that flaxseeds are very high in lignans which is not good for testosterone because they increase the female sex hormone called estrogen.
So, if you want to maximize your testosterone levels, it’s better to go with other omega-3 sources like salmon, tuna, and chia seeds.
6. Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in trans fat, which has been a major cause of low testosterone and consistently eating them can ruin your overall health.
A 2019 study concluded that fried-processed foods negatively affect testosterone levels and increase impaired kidney function severity. However, veg seafood and dairy grain are found to be beneficial for T levels.
So, the consumption frequency is the key, and whenever you eat, it would be best to choose a veg-seafood or grans option, which may increase your testosterone levels.
Nuts are very healthy food as they contain a good amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. However, that’s may not be good for the testosterone hormone.
Because one study found that nuts are increased the levels of SHBG, which binds to testosterone and can affect the T production levels, also nuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acid, which can decrease our testosterone levels. (15, 16)
However, a small study suggests that combining a healthy diet with mixed nuts can improve our erectile and sexual desire. But this is debatable in the studies.
So, if we want to be on the safe side, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and peanuts can be a better option than walnuts, almonds, and cashew nuts, which can cause increased estrogen levels.
I think you guess it before. Sugar isn’t only hurting our testosterone levels but also negatively affect our overall health.
A 2018 study found that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is significantly linked to low testosterone levels in 20-39 years men.
For example, 75 grams of sugar consumption causes a 25% drop in testosterone levels for up to 120 minutes, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.
So, when looking for a healthy testosterone level, it would be best to avoid sugar or make the two sugar consumption times as wider as possible.
The next food is licorice. Licorice provides a unique sweet taste and helps in certain scenarios, such as reducing heartburn, and containing anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
But the downside is it also contains glycyrrhizic acid, which may lower testosterone levels.
Researchers found on rats that regular consumption of a certain amount of glycyrrhizic acid can significantly decrease testosterone production. (17)
Another study found that just 7 grams of licorice (in the form of candy tablets that contained about half a gram of glycyrrhizic acid) were given to a group of men for four days. Surprisingly, results in the average T levels drop from 21 to 15.9 nanomoles per liter.
10. Dairy Products
Studies have found that dairy products are directly linked to rising estrogen levels and decreasing testosterone levels in males.
For example, a 2010 research on seven men, drinking 600ml of cow milk before bed for 21 days significantly increased estrogen levels and decreased testosterone in men.
However, dairy products like cow milk can be beneficial for female sex hormone (estrogen) and help enhance breasts’ development in females that concluded in the 2005 study.
So, when we look for higher testosterone levels, it would be best to avoid dairy products.
Because some cow milk contains synthetic or natural hormones that hurt T levels in males, but if you prefer milk, go for its low fat or skim version, packed with vitamin D without getting lots of saturated fat.
Other Factors That Effect Testosterone
Beyond food, many factors can influence our testosterone levels, including:
- Your age
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Secondary lifestyle
- Consumption of alcohol or other drugs
- Certain medication and illness
These factors are a part of our life, and maybe some of them aren’t you have. Beyond foods, certain ways can boost up your testosterone levels naturally, such as:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce stress level
- Speak to a doctor about testosterone levels
So, be patient and keep following these points on your daily lifestyle, and over the weeks or months, you’ll definitely feel some positive impact on your testosterone levels.
Eliminating the bad foods/nutrition from your diet is a great way to boost or maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Avoid the foods that lower testosterone levels, include some healthy foods to your diet and keep following the other effective way to boost your T levels naturally.
I hope this article helped figure out the foods that decrease your T levels. If you have any questions regarding testosterone, feel free to ask in the comments section below!