Are there really 24 different foods that lower testosterone? The answer to that is yes & in reality far more! Learn what the main foods are here & the brackets they fall under. A fair few of them are going to shock you! If you want to find out a bit more about why you want to avoid these foods & the importance of testosterone production, check out my articles below.
Soy is an extremely popular source of protein for vegetarians & vegans. So if you’re worried about your testosterone I suggest avoiding all soy products. Soy contains phytoestrogens which have been shown to increase estrogen levels, which is not ideal if optimized testosterone production is your aim. Soy is also shown to damage your thyroid as your thyroid is important for the production of multiple hormones, including testosterone, any damage to the thyroid negatively impacts testosterone production.
Most soy products in the West are genetically modified which is never great for your health including testosterone production. The final thing is that if you are using as a main source of protein, it also doesn’t provide any cholesterol & cholesterol is the building block of T! So this a case of opportunity cost, you are missing out on an opportunity to support healthy testosterone production as well!
Lentils/ Beans/ Legumes
Another popular source of protein amongst vegetarians and vegans. Again they are low in fat and high in phytoestrogens, raising estrogen & you miss out on the opportunity to support testosterone production.
Flaxseeds are viewed as a super food as they are high in fibre, omega 3 oils and anti-oxidants. Their health benefits are legitimate but should be avoided as far as testosterone production is concerned. This is due to them being very high in lignans which mimic estrogenic activity & bind to testosterone, so it can’t be utilized. If you want a good source Omega 3, I suggest fish oil supplements or eating oily fish!
Both Pepper & Spearmint are shown to greatly reduce testosterone levels. It’s spearmint you need to be most wary of though; as it’s shown to reduce your T levels almost twice as much as peppermint does. So anything with mint in should be considered as being one of the foods that lower testosterone but be extra wary of spearmint.
Peanut butter is often part of a post workout snack for gm bros across the globe. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for those guys; but in reality peanuts are actually legumes & not nuts. As a legume they are very high in phytoestrogens & Omega 6, so increase estrogen levels & inflammation, meaning lower testosterone as well!
There a few different sweets which contain liquorice like dolly mixtures, there are also things like cough mix, sweets & herbal mixes which also contain liquorice. The reason that liquorice lowers testosterone is it contains glycyrrhizic acid. Which is shown to decrease testosterone production. They can lower Testosterone so much that one study reported your levels can be as much as halved after eating liquorice.
All alcoholic drinks lower testosterone production, some are far worse for your T levels than others. All alcohol is estrogencic but beers & ales are shown to be the most, while clear spirits like vodka & gin are shown to be the least. Studies also show that the more alcohol you consume, the more T production is restricted!
They contain gluten that can increase prolactin levels and & as a result reduce testosterone levels. Having a diet rich in dietary fibre can also lower testosterone. Additionally, most grains can suck out essential minerals from the body. So avoid eating grains if healthy testosterone production is your aim!
Soda/ Pop Drinks
Soft drinks contain excessive amounts of sugar, as you will see below in the foods high in sugar section, high amounts of sugar kill testosterone production. Then for the best part soft drinks come in plastic bottles & when you read the bottled water section. You’ll see plastic bottles expose you to other chemicals that lower testosterone, so not only is the liquid bad for T but the packaging is a well!
Tofu is produced from soy milk, as we’ve covered above, most soy products are genetically modified. This tends to lead to lower T & other health issues (GMO’s are covered in greater detail a bit further down). GMO’s are also naturally high in isoflavones which is a type of phytoestrogens. The same as soy & other soy products, I strongly recommend Tofu is avoided & is definitely one of the main foods that lower testosterone production!
Hummus is viewed by many as being a healthy snack. In reality though, it’s not as healthy as made out as it’s lacking in fats & quite often high in sugar. Something I’m frequently asked to clarify is “does hummus lower testosterone” & sadly the answer is more than likely yes.
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are extremely high in phytoestrogens with 993mcg per 100g, if you aren’t familiar with phytoestrogens, these can mimic estrogen in the body. As mentioned earlier, hummus is often high in sugar which inhibits testosterone & is lacking in healthy fats. So you also have a case of opportunity loss, those calories you are using on hummus, could be used on food that supports healthy testosterone production.
Tap & Bottled Water
While it may be tempting to reach for bottled water, just know what’s inside may be actually worse than tap water. Bottled water exposes to estrogenic compounds found in plastic like BPA, this is a chemical that disrupts your hormones balance on top of lowering testosterone production. Research has shown that 61% of bottled water samples induce “significant estrogenic response” when tested on a human cancer cell line.
That estrogen activity is three times as high when the water comes in PET plastic bottles when compared with glass. I actually advise you reduce your exposure to plastic due to the chemicals like BPA, as they are don’t just lower testosterone but can also cause a number of other very serious health issues! With regard to tap water, it contains all sorts of chemicals including fluoride which again are endocrine disruptors. They ruin the balance of your hormones including lowering testosterone production.
Now these should be included in every kind of list of foods that have a negative impact on your health. These negative impacts include reduced testosterone production. This is mainly down to trans fats being highly inflammatory. Inflammation prevents the body from working properly, including lowering testosterone. Check out my article going in to more details, as to why trans & polyunsaturated fats should be avoided below.
To give you an idea of what foods include Trans-fats, these are any food with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. So this includes most fast food, a lot of baked goods, most popular fast, crisps/ potato chips, donuts etc. So what many people would class as their treats or in some cases their standard diet. Limit your intake as much as possible to save your T levels & your wider health!
Pistachios and testosterone, just do not go together. Pistachios are the nuts with the highest concentration of phytoestrogens. So if you’re a nuts fan I’d recommend Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are ideal for supporting testosterone production. This is due to their high levels of selenium (just 2 Brazil nuts provides you with Selenium RDA), saturated and monounsaturated fats, they are an effective testosterone booster.
Walnuts are in fact one of the healthiest nuts and as a whole good for your health. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case if you’re focusing on increasing testosterone. This is due to them being rich in our old friend phytoestrogens.
Peas make an ideal side dish if you’re looking for an increase in estrogen. This is due to them being a high source of phytoestrogens & as we know these increase estrogen & lead to lower testosterone.
The number of processed foods available on the market is now bordering on the ridiculous. In the majority of cases this “process” involves pumping foods full of hormones, preservatives, sugar, trans fats & antibiotics (processed meats especially). These additions to your food have an adverse effect on testosterone production & even more so at a young age.
This is a problem as highly processed foods are often a hit with kids. These foods should never be consumed but should especially be reduced to an absolute minimum for those early in life & still developing. So not only are they foods that lower testosterone, but they can cause other health issues including problems with the brain & the body as a whole. So opt for organic or zero-additive foods when grocery shopping. It just might save your life.
Low-Fat Meals/ Food
Low-fat meals (think diet food) are awful for testosterone production, first off you need healthy cholesterol, saturated & monounsaturated fats for testosterone production. Secondly to make these meals taste appealing, they are usually laden with sugar. Having high amounts of sugar in your diet absolutely kills testosterone levels and you will find out more about this below!
Food High in refined sugar (sweets, fizzy drinks, low fat, ready meals etc.)
High amounts of sugar in your diet is one of the biggest enemies of testosterone production. This is because eating refined sugar makes blood sugar go very high up and then very low down. The body reacts to these extreme fluctuations by lowering your insulin sensitivity. This means higher & higher insulin is having to be released to deal with all the sugar.
A decrease in your insulin sensitivity will lead to not only a significant drop in testosterone production. It also leads to a drop in human growth hormone (required for muscle gain) eventually it can lead to pre-diabetes & type 2 diabetes. High amounts of sugar in your diet really does ruin your health. While it needs to be recognized as one of the foods that lower testosterone, the risk sugar poses is far wider & grater than just lowered T!
Milk on paper has a great nutritional profile for testosterone production due to being high in fats. In many ways, it should be considered as one of the foods that lowers testosterone & the problem is two fold. The first is most milking cows are given a number of hormones which leads to them having increased estrogen production. This ends up in the milk & more research is needed, but it may increase serum estrogen levels.
You can opt for organic milk as a way to avoid this issue. The next issue is most people drink skimmed & semi-skimmed milk. They think being lower in fat, it’s healthier. Which in reality is inaccurate anyway, but then it’s also the fat that contains most of the nutritional benefit. This includes aiding with testosterone production. So best case scenario is you drink organic milk that isn’t full fat, you may not see an increase in testosterone production.
The worse case scenario is drinking regular milk with added hormones which can potentially increase serum estrogen levels. Either way neither scenario is an option that you want. I’d recommend keeping milk intake minimal & opting full fat & organic when you do have it.
GMO’s or genetically modified foods in the most basic terms are food that have had an insecticide gene implanted into their DNA. This is usually done to allow them to be resistant to the effects of pesticides, this allows farmers to use more pesticides without killing the crop. The list of GMO foods is increasing daily but at present the main ones include corn, canola, soy, sugar beets & cottonseed oil.
So if you are using any of these, you need to stop! The most common issue that comes from consuming GMO foods is an increase in gastrointestinal, immune disorders and its shown to be toxic to testicular cells which leads to a disruption in testosterone synthesis. In short this means less testosterone is produced. They can also cause stomach issues & potentially serious illness! GMO’s shouldn’t just be looked at as foods that lower testosterone but foods that are bad for your wider health!
Now I’m not saying that all table sauces are evil but I do suggest you check the ingredients. A number of condiments contain Soy & an even larger number are very high in sugars, as we’ve covered in this article both are included as foods that lower testosterone. Both high amounts of sugar & Soy have a negative impact on your testosterone levels!
Non Organic Fruit & Veg
The pesticides that are sprayed on non organic fruit & vegetables are shown to be endocrine disruptors. That means these chemicals disrupt the balance of hormones including lowering testosterone production. Again like the insecticides inserted into GMO’s these chemicals can also cause a number of other health issues!
Foods High in Vegetable Oils
The most common vegetable oils include sunflower, soybean, canola, peanut cottonseed & corn oil. Vegetable oils are extremely high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s). PUFA’s wreak havoc on your hormonal health and are directly related to lower T-levels. You can find out more about vegetable oils and how they negatively impact testosterone levels & production in my article below.
Foods high in vegetable/ seed oils include margarine, ready to use dough, pre made baked foods & fried foods. All of these should be considered foods that lower testosterone production and should be avoided wherever possible!
Final Thoughts & Future Articles
I hope you’ve found this article on foods that lower testosterone useful, I don’t expect people to eliminate everything in this list from their diet immediately. Hopefully you can eventually remove them all, as they all negatively impact testosterone production & wider health. I appreciate you probably won’t eliminate everything all the time, but this list should enable you to make good choices on a daily basis.
For example opt for organic produce wherever possible. If you know you’re going to be drinking alcohol one day, try lowering your sugar intake so your testosterone levels don’t suffer too greatly! Keep an eye out for my future articles and check out my below article on foods that boost testosterone production.
This will give you an overview of the best foods to include in your diet for increased testosterone production.
If you have any questions in regard to this article, or foods that lower testosterone, just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you. Please share this article with anyone else you think may find it interesting. You can follow me on my social media as well. I provide plenty more tips on foods that lower testosterone, so you know what to avoid and ways to naturally boost testosterone production.