Testosterone is a male sex hormone that plays several key roles in the body. Healthy levels of testosterone are needed to improve male sexual function, masculine appeal, muscle development, and strength levels. The body regulates testosterone on its own. However, external factors like poor diet may lower testosterone inadvertently.
Low testosterone levels have been associated with some serious health risks including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart issues. Well, here are 5 foods you may want to avoid if you want to maintain the right testosterone levels in your body.
1. Vegetable Oil
This may come as a surprise but vegetable oil is not good for your testosterone. Most vegetable oils contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Although these fatty acids can be a great and healthy source of dietary fat, they may have some adverse effects on testosterone.
Some studies have backed this observation as well. For instance, this Japanese study involving 69 male test subjects found that regular consumption of polyunsaturated fats significantly lowered testosterone levels among the study participants.
2. Foods High In Trans Fat
Several studies have also linked the high consumption of unhealthy trans-fat to low testosterone levels. One study even linked high consumption of trans fat acid to lower sperm count among healthy young males. Foods containing high levels of Trans fat are therefore a big NO. We are talking about fast foods and processed foods here. Tran fat has also been linked with a higher risk of heart disease and other serious health issues.
Although nuts have so many great health benefits, they may reduce testosterone levels in men. Nuts like almonds and walnuts have been known to trigger the production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or SHBG. This hormone can bind to testosterone, reducing overall levels in the body. Nuts are also very high in polyunsaturated fats which have also been linked to lower levels of testosterone.
The debate about alcohol and health is always heated, especially when you consider that there are so many studies showing conflicting perspectives. While some researchers have argued that the occasional glass of wine can have positive health benefits, other studies, some even relatively recent, claim that no amount of alcohol is good for you.
However, there is a very direct link between alcohol consumption and lower testosterone levels. This research, in particular, found that consuming 2 to 3 standard drinks each day reduced testosterone among study participants by 6.8% over three weeks.
Nonetheless, the effect of alcohol on testosterone is still in a grey area. Not many studies have been able to replicate their results. We have also had a few other human and animal studies showing that alcohol may increase testosterone levels under certain conditions.
Alcohol has always been a divisive subject when it comes to health but there is one thing we can agree on. Excessive use of alcohol is bad for your health, and may also negatively affect your testosterone as well.
5. Soy and Soy-Based Products
Soy and soy-based foods may also reduce testosterone levels. These foods are high in phytoestrogens which are plant-based substances that may cause estrogen-like effects in the body. This then alters hormonal balance which may adversely affect testosterone levels. However, the extent of the effect of soy on testosterone is still unclear. While some studies have suggested that soy may reduce testosterone significantly, others have found the effect to be very negligible.
6. Dairy Product
Dairy products like milk may also contain several synthetic hormones that may affect the production of testosterone. There is some research linking the consumption of milk to high levels of estradiol in men. Estradiol is a female hormone that has been known to inhibit the production of testosterone among men. Some nutritionists have also argued that cows fed using soy-based products may produce milk rich in estrogen. The estrogen, just like estradiol, is a female hormone that may negatively affect testosterone production.
Maintaining healthy levels of testosterone can have some very positive health benefits. A proper diet is key in this. As you avoid the foods listed above, you may also want to focus on adding a few extra testosterone boosting foods in your diet as well.