8 Surprising Foods that Kill Testosterone You Need to Avoid
June 22, 2023
It is true that testosterone levels decline in men as they age. After peaking in a man’s late teenage years or during their early 20s, a man’s testosterone level will drop by roughly 1% per year. Although age-related testosterone decline is natural, the rate of decline can be made much worse depending on the man’s lifestyle and habits.
As it turns out, diet plays a significant role in testosterone production and regulation. When a man does not consume a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet, the body can struggle to produce enough testosterone. Not only can the overall quality of a man’s diet impact his testosterone level, but regular consumption of certain types of food can also kill testosterone.
How Can We Help?
Given that low T can negatively affect a man's physical, mental, and sexual health in countless ways, you must improve the quality of your diet and ensure that you are avoiding these testosterone killing foods. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. This guide will explain which food items you should avoid if you want to maintain healthy testosterone levels, even as you grow older.
It's time to start making the right decisions in the kitchen to avoid low T levels!
8 Types of Food that Kill Testosterone Levels in Men
While it might surprise you, the oil that gives mint its distinct flavor has actually been shown to reduce testosterone production in the body. It is believed that this is because mint oil contains high levels of rosmarinic acid and certain flavonoids that disrupt testosterone production.
The potency of these testosterone-disrupting substances is particularly high in peppermint and spearmint, so they tend to have heightened anti-androgenic effects.
Don’t worry about chewing the odd piece of mint-flavored gum or mixing in a mojito here and there, but you should try to cut down on mint if you are worried about lower testosterone levels.
2. Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil
Although flax seeds are considered a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids, they also contain compounds that have an estrogenic effect on the body. In other words, consuming a high level of flax seeds and flax seed oils can increase estrogen levels in your body.
Excess estrogen can disrupt and lower testosterone production in men. Even though flax seeds are generally considered a healthy food item, you should avoid them if you are worried about low testosterone.
While it’s not technically a type of food, alcohol can negatively impact your body’s ability to produce testosterone. Excessive consumption of alcohol raises levels of cortisol in the bloodstream. If you are unaware, cortisol is a stress-related hormone that can suppress testosterone production.
While there’s nothing wrong with cracking a few cold beers with the boys occasionally, you need to practice moderation with alcohol to keep your serum testosterone levels where they should be.
4. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oils can be tricky to cut from your diet, as they are used to cook a wide range of food items, especially those purchased from fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, many vegetable oils, including corn, soybean, and sunflower, are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Regular consumption of these types of unhealthy fats is known to lower testosterone levels in men. Polyunsaturated fatty acids interfere with cholesterol synthesis, an essential step in producing more testosterone.
Rather than rely on vegetable oils, try cooking with healthier alternatives. It’s also a good idea to only eat fast food and other overly processed food items in moderation.
Pure licorice root contains a unique compound called glycyrrhizin. This compound is known to inhibit the enzyme that deactivates cortisol. As we explained above, cortisol is a hormone that prevents your body from producing testosterone.
This gets a bit complicated, but when high levels of glycyrrhizin are present in the body, the body cannot produce the enzyme that switches cortisol off, so cortisol remains activated. This also means the natural cortisol in your body will interfere with testosterone production.
For this situation to occur, you need to eat pure licorice root, which means the fake stuff found in red licorice will not disrupt your healthy testosterone level. Instead, avoid the pure licorice root found in real black licorice.
6. Full-Fat Dairy Products
Unfortunately, dairy products that are high in fat can disrupt your body’s ability to produce and regulate testosterone. This is because high-fat dairy products are rich in saturated fats.
Digesting high levels of saturated fats can increase the levels of a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). This protein inhibits the effectiveness of testosterone in men by subduing it. Even if your body is producing testosterone properly, this protein can make the male hormone less potent, so, in effect, your testosterone is not doing what it should be doing.
You don’t have to cut out cheese, butter, and cream completely, but you need to be a little picky about how much you eat, especially if you are worried you might have low T.
7. Sugar-Filled Processed Foods and Junk
Foods that are high in sugar tend to trigger an insulin response. This can cause inflammation and even insulin resistance. Unfortunately, these conditions can interfere with your body’s ability to produce enough testosterone.
These unhealthy foods also tend to be high in calories but low in nutrients, contributing to unhealthy weight gain and obesity. High body fat levels also inhibit testosterone production, which explains why maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most effective ways to increase your testosterone naturally.
Avoid high sugar and high trans-fat foods. If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy candy and soda or just love fast food, try to reserve these items for special occasions or treats. By cutting down on junk, you can raise your testosterone levels significantly.
8. Soy-Rich Foods
Foods containing high amounts of soy, like soy milk, can have a disastrous impact on your testosterone levels if eaten in excess. This is because soy contains a unique compound called phytoestrogen, miming estrogen when digested.
Since the body recognizes the compound as estrogen, it slows testosterone production. While you don’t have to become paranoid about avoiding soy in your diet, it is a good idea to cut down on food items that are soy-based if you want to increase your testosterone levels.
Far too many men ignore the impact their diet can have on their testosterone levels. Before you rush out and sign up for testosterone replacement therapy, take a long, hard look at the food you're eating and your current activity levels.
Cleaning up your diet and avoiding the food items highlighted above can boost your body’s testosterone levels naturally and sustainably.
If you are looking for other ways to boost your testosterone, we recommend Titan Male Enhancement. This unique supplement blend contains natural ingredients that combine to boost your testosterone levels by as much as 17%.
For more information on testosterone's role in the male body, we recommend checking out High Testosterone in Men – Top 6 Health Benefits of Testosterone Boosting.
If you want to know more about the lifestyle factors that could cause low testosterone levels, you need to read What Lowers Testosterone? – Factors that Affect Men’s Health.