Before we start I want you to make it clear that eating or avoiding these foods doesn’t make that much of a difference, as you are working out regularly and taking a proper nutritional diet. But if you want high-performing testosterone, it’s best to avoid them.
- Trans Fats
So the first in this list is Trans fat. There are few ingredients in the food that are highly unhealthy.
Generally, we term unhealthy food because they are not nutritious and it may start dominating your diet and develop deficiencies as a result.
Well, Trans fats are highly unhealthy and we should avoid them.
It promotes systemic inflammation in the body as studies concluded that each 4% increase in calories from trans-fats was associated with a 46% increase in cardiovascular disease risk.
Also, trans-fats decrease the amount of “good” cholesterol which is the main component in building testosterone synthesis.
And a high intake of trans-fatty acids is associated with lowered sperm counts and testosterone levels in male rodents and humans.
The foods you can commonly find them in are fast foods, snacks that have a long shelf life, and margarine and vegetable oil spread:
- High-PUFA Vegetable Oils
Secondly, high PUFA vegetable oils.
A well-done study in 1997 looked at how different types of fat affect testosterone levels in males and found this:
Nearly all vegetable oils are mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids. And the worst choices of all are those that are mainly comprised of omega-6 fatty acids.
This is because the human body operates best if we keep the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio somewhere around 1:2 or 1:3. The average American now has this ratio at 1:15 which increases oxidative stress and systemic inflammation.
We recommend you limit the use of vegetable oils in general and when you use them, go for olive oil, palm oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil as it also causes cholesterol and related health issues.
Drinking alcohol has a boosting impact in lowering testosterone levels.
It is well known that chronic alcoholics tend to have much higher estrogen levels and much lower testosterone levels when compared to their non-alcoholic peers.
However – low alcohol consumption is not that bad for male hormone production. In one study, two glasses of red wine produced a decrease in testosterone of only 6%.
So if your goal is to increase testosterone you should avoid drinking alcohol frequently and in high quantities. You don’t have to give up on it completely.
- Soy Products
After several human and animal studies, it has been shown that a high intake of soy (in fact soy protein extract) can suppress both testosterone and DHT.
Whereas, many studies showed that increased soy consumption does not correlate with lowered testosterone levels.
First of all, soybeans contain a high amount of phyto-estrogenic isoflavones (genistein, glycitein, daidzein). In-vitro research shows that these substances can activate estrogen receptors and regulate androgen receptors. Other than isoflavones, soy is also considered to be highly “goitrogenic”, i.e. it can disturb the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland.
The suppressed activity of the thyroid is considered to be one of the leading causes of the low count of testosterone.
The third possible “hormonal problem” with soy consumption is an anti-androgenic compound called equol, which forms in the gut when the gut bacteria metabolize daidzin.
According to research, this only happens in 40-50% of men, due to the fact that not everyone has the “right” intestinal bacteria to create equol.
This explains why Asian men eat tons of soy and don’t have any problems.
So the research is still incomplete, but just to be sure, we recommend you avoid eating soy products.
And the last in this list is Flaxseed products. Flax products are incredibly dense in compounds called “lignans” – approx 800-fold over that of most other foods.
Lignans are highly estrogenic and also increase the level of sex hormone-binding globulin which binds into free-testosterone molecules making them “inactive” for the direct use of the androgen receptors.
Several studies showed that when men take 15g of flaxseeds per day, in one month their testosterone went down by 5 to 10%.
I’m pretty sure you don’t eat a lot of flaxseeds, but anyways from now keep avoiding them.