Foods That Lower Testosterone – The Big List

In this article we’re going to look at a number of the foods that lower testosterone production & why, if you want to find out a bit more about why you want to avoid these foods check out my articles here on Testosterone And Health to gain an understanding of the importance of having healthy/ higher T levels.

Soy

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. Most soy products in the West are genetically modified which is never great for your health, secondly Soy contains phytoestrogens & third due to be unlike non vegan/ vegetarian sources of protein it’s also very low in fat & fat aids testosterone production.

Lentils/ Beans/ Legumes

Another popular source of protein amongst vegetarians and vegans, again they are’re low in fat and high in phytoestrogens, raising estrogen & lowering testosterone.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are viewed as a super food as they are’re high in fiber, 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. If you need Omega 3, I suggest supplements or opting for oily fish!

Mint

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.

Peanuts

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’re very high in phytoestrogens & Omega 6, both drastically lower Testosterone production.

Licorice

There a few different sweets which contain licorice like dolly mixtures, strawberry pencils & laces. So be aware of these as well! The reason they are lower T is the main compound in licorice which is called glycyrrhizic acid decreases testosterone. They can lower Testosterone so much that one study reported your levels can be as much as halved after eating licorice.

Alcohol

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!

Whole grains

They contain gluten that can increase prolactin levels and & as a result reduce testosterone levels. Having a diet rich in dietary fiber can also lower testosterone. Additionally, most grains can suck out essential minerals from the body. So avoid eating lots o grains if increased T 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 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

Tofu is produced from soy milk, as we’ve covered above most soy products are genetically modified which tends to lead to lower T & other health issues (GMO’s are covered in greater detail a bit further down) & they are’re naturally high in isoflavones which is a type of phytoestrogens. The same as soy & other soy products, I strongly recommend Tofu is avoided & should be strongly marked in your mind as one of the main foods that lower testosterone production!

Hummus

Often viewed as a healthy snack & as a whole hummus is healthy but the problem due to mainly being made from chickpeas they are’re extremely high in phytoestrogens with 993mcg per 100g!

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 and 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 are ruin the balance of your hormones including lowering testosterone production.

Trans-fats

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 high in Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA’s) & these lower healthy HDL cholesterol which aids testosterone production. Check out my article going in to more details as to why Trans & Polyunsaturated fats should be here: Foods That Lower Testosterone – Omega 6 & Trans Fats

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

Pistachios are the nuts with the highest concentration of phytoestrogens. So if you’re a nuts fan I’d recommend Brazil nuts. Due to their high levels of selenium, saturated and monounsaturated fats, they are’re an effective testosterone booster.

Walnuts

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

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.

Processed Foods

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.

These additions to your food have an adverse effect on testosterone production & even more so at a young age, which is a problem as highly processed foods are often a hit with kids. These foods should never be consumed, ever but especially reduced to an absolute minimum for those early in life & still developing.

So not only are they are foods that lower testosterone but they are 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 saturated & monounsaturated fats for testosterone production & secondly to make these meals taste appealing, they are 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 but also a drop in human growth hormone (required for muscle gain) * in extreme cases it can lead type 2 diabetes & obesity!

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

Milk on paper has a great nutritional profile for testosterone production due to being high in fats. 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, to avoid this problem you will have opt for organic.

The next issue is most people drink skimmed & semi-skimmed milk & it’s the fat that contains most of the nutritional benefit including increasing testosterone.

So at best case if not drinking whole milk you may not see a T increase and at worse case due to the hormones and non organic feed cows are given it lowers testosterone production!

GMO’s

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 keep an eye out in particular if using these! 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 produce, they are 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!

Condiments

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 in their own right and 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 in to 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 are negatively impact T in my article Foods That Lower Testosterone: Why you should avoid vegetable oil

Foods high in vegetable oils include margarine, ready to use dough, pre made baked food, 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 at all times; but it should help you with the choices you make 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 article on Foods That Boost Testosterone Production – The Big List to get a feel for the foods you should be including in your diet. If you have any question in regard to this article, foods that lower testosterone as a whole or want to request a topic you’d like me to cover, just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

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30 thoughts on “Foods That Lower Testosterone – The Big List

  1. Hey Nate, interesting read. I had no idea that so many foods and drinks we enjoy lower our testosterone, I have to ask, how important do you think is testosterone to the human body, do you think we’d be more or less better off without it? I love Soda and I love Milk so its hard to imagine that either of those can lower testosterone but the proof is there as I’m looking at it so it definitely makes a valid point about which food and drinks to avoid. Interesting read. 

    1. Hi R.J.

      Thanks it is shocking the amount of things in our diet lower our testosterone production.

      Testosterone is very important for the human body and especially for men. It’s literally the hormone that makes you masculine, lack of testosterone can lead to reduced muscle, increased fat loss, lowered sex drive. It can even lead to severe illness like diabetes, heart strokes & potentially cancer! 

  2. This is an absolutely well written article.  Its obvious how much time you have put into this.  Im , however going to ask a question.  Exactly why is it so important to lower the testosterone.  I am a diabetic, so would that be any kind of a factor?  I am going to watch for your answer as I will do most anything to stay healthy.

  3. WOW,very interesting post! First of all i have a question,is it bad to women to consume food or drinks which lower testosterone ? I ask this question because i know testosterone is the hormone which is produced in men’s body.Thank you for sharing such important content with us ;sometimes we take food or drinks without knowing the bad effect they can cause to our body.

    Be blessed

    1. Hi Julienne, 

      Both men and women need a hormonal balance which includes testosterone, men do need a lot more T than women; but that being said a lot of women suffer from too little testosterone/ too much estrogen so it is something you need to consider.

      Thanks

  4. Thank you for this article, my husband is trying to boost his testosterone naturally and I want to support him by making dinners that are “Testosterone Friendly” This is a wonderful list of foods to avoid.  It will be especially hard avoiding whole grains and Hummus as those are a couple of things we love. I see also that you have an article about foods that boost Testosterone so I will read that next.  Thank you for helping me to be able to prepare meals that are healthy for my husband while keeping his Testosterone production up.

  5. This post is a good complement to your earlier article, “Foods that Boost Testosterone Production.” This is another great lesson; it was an eye opener for me, as I had no idea that the foods you had named would have a negative effect on the male hormone. You’ve obviously done your homework, once again. For example, I wouldn’t have thought that mint reduces T levels, and that one particular type would have such a negative impact on T production. And this is another amazing fact: “Research has shown that 61% of bottled water samples induce “significant estrogenic response” when tested on a human cancer cell line.” I was amazed, when I read that. Again, a lot of great detailed information. Thanks for posting. 

    1. Hi Kevin,

      I’m glad you found this useful!

      Yeah it’s shocking how much of the standard daily diet are foods that lower testosterone. It’s starting to become a real issue as low T leads to a number of health issues, testosterone and health are strongly linked, you can find out more on this article – testosterone and health

      Thanks

      Nathan

  6. This was really new to me. I had heard of plastic water bottles affecting hormone balance but some foods rewgarded as “Healthy!, nuts and soy etc., seem to have an adverse effect on T.

    I was reading through the article and saying to myself: “OK but what CAN I eat?” Then I saw your note at the end regarding foods good for T production.

    Soy beans, mint, whole grains, these are things we regards as being healthy. So now I need to cut back on some of these that I eat a lot.

    I think you are right, there needs to be a balance and reducing the foods rather than cutting them out altohetjer.

    Very helpful article this, I look forward to the next one about foods we CAN eat to boost T.

    1. Hi, 

      I’m glad you found this article useful !

      Yes unfortunately a lot of misinformation has been spread over the past two decades with regards to what foods we should eat in the west & our health. 

      Yes check out this article – foods that boost testosterone production – This will help you with foods that you should focus on for increased T.

      It’s also worth checking out this article on how low T effects your health: Low Testosterone & Health

  7. I found the article, “Foods that lower Testosterone – the Big List” extremely helpful, but it was at the same time very shocking. There are a few things that I personally was not aware of: Firstly, that the levels of men who are supposed to be testosterone dominant lowered drastically during the last two decades. Secondly, that so many food types (mostly my hot favorites) are the culprit for lowering the production of testosterone.

    Personally, I already struggles with high blood pressure and also to loose abdominal fat. This is an eye-opener for me. I am sure that especially men would regard this article as extremely important and informative. It will undoubtedly assist them make new and responsible choices with regard to food. It is therefore important to also read the article on food that on the other hand boost the testosterone production. This article is a must read. Thank you, Nate.      

    1. Hi William

      I’m glad you found this article useful, yeah unfortunately is the not the only contributor but one of the major ones for lowered testosterone.

      To look at ways to increase your testosterone with your diet check out Foods That Boost Testosterone Production – The Big List

      Increasing your T will help you with lowered blood pressure & losing abdominal fat, check out these other posts that will help you increase your T levels.

      Things That Lower Testosterone & Alternatives That Won’t Part 1

      Foods That Lower Testosterone & Alternatives Part 1

  8. Well as a vegetarian this was a little earth shattering… Do you have any recommendations for vegetarians/vegans on what foods provide the best testosterone boosts? My poor beloved pistachios man. Would you recommend completely eliminating these foods from my diet or try to just minimize or balance them out with foods that are more test promoting? 

    1. Hi Rich, 

      I’d advise having as much organic dairy as possible, cook with coconut oil, eat organic eggs, There are a number of fruits & cruciferous vegetables that all help increase testosterone so all is not lost!

      Check out this foods that boost testosterone production & foods that lower testosterone & alternatives articles for an idea of food replacements and what to include in your diet.

      For me it is about balance, for example don’t down handfuls of pistachios, lots of beer and lentils all in one day!

  9. Since I’m over 50, I think I should raise my testosterone. When I saw this list, I got a little confused. It turns out that many products I like even lower T levels. I guess I’ll have to review my menu. Especially the fact that Pistachios and Walnuts and are on this list which I like very much. Thank you.

  10. That’s very comprehensive and well thought article. The list of food seemed unending while I was reading because I’m always eating a couple of them every day and it kind of scares me. Whiles I find your article interesting and an eye opening, is there any scientific research paper or article covering these list of foods? I would be grateful to have a look at that because I need to know more about this. Thanks for the information. 

    1. Hi DerrAd,

      There are several studies covering the effects of these different foods on testosterone production. Unfortunately there are way too many different studies for me to list them all for you, however if you google studies, you will find plenty!

  11. Wow! Very interesting information. As an older male, I struggle to keep my T levels up as I believe that it’s important to maintain balanced, healthy levels of our hormones as we age. I had no idea I was doing the opposite by eating these types of foods, which otherwise are healthy and most of which I absolutely love to eat. I’ll check out your posts on alternatives and foods that boost testosterone.  Thanks for the article. 

    1. Hi David, 

      Yeah your testosterone levels do start to lower as you age, particularly once you pass the age of 30. Yes keeping your testosterone levels healthy is important, check out these article on testosterone and health to get a feel for why it’s important.

      Yes please do check out those articles, they will help give you a good idea of what foods you ideally want to include in your diet.

  12. Hi Nate,thank you for this detailed explanation. I didn’t know that all of that has influence on the level of testosterone. I love pistachios, peanuts and walnuts. I always have them ‘beside’ me when I work on the computer. I read how great they are for brain and some other parts of the body. I never presumed that they could lower test. level. After reading this article, I will consider eating them less. Fortunately, I don’t use too much of other food you listed – sometimes I take chocolate milk with breakfast or bread when I lunch, but I tend to buy rye bread or the one without gluten. My sister is a vegetarian, but she rarely uses soy, she said that probably its GMO, although its still not as much contaminated here as in the USA. It’s great that you put all this info, I will read about products and food more next time, to get the whole picture.Best wishes,Strahinja 

    1. Hi Strahinja,

      I personally believe it is all about balance when it comes to testosterone production. Pistachios do lower T production but if you don’t eat other foods that lower T, it shouldn’t be that bad. I do recommend checking out this foods that boost testosterone production article to make sure you are getting enough in your diet that also increases testosterone to counter the few things you eat that lowers it.

  13. I’m quite shocked about the foods we can’t eat, because it lowers testosterone. I follow a ketogenic diet, with no grains, no sugar, no GMO foods, no vegetable oils, but I did include nuts and seeds (50 gram in total per day). Do you think I need to remove these amounts as well from my diet and rather get my fats from other sources like avocado, fatty fish, olives, olive oil, bacon and eggs? Or should i just lower the amount? I’m doing keto to prevent diabetes type 2.

    1. Hi Reader39, 

      The keto diet is actually a very effective one for increased testosterone production, it’s hard to say with the nuts as essentially the rest of your diet is great for increasing T. I would recommend perhaps swapping some nuts out for avocado, oily fish etc. – I’d also advise you check out this foods that lower testosterone & alternatives that won’t article to check out my recommended nuts that don’t lower T

  14. What an impressive list you have here. I know only about soybeans and tofu that are a no-no, but your list opens my eyes. I have to share with my husband as he likes pistachios and milk. But what to do with tap and bottled water? When you travel, especially by plane, the bottled water is the only option. According to the foods list, legumes and vegetables are not for men, so from the few available options, meat, but not from the processed foods, is the only option. Thank you for an informative article.

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