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Top 10 Testosterone Killing Foods: List of Foods That Destroy T-Levels and How To Boost It


Obese men with hamburgers - testosterone killing foods

Healthy testosterone levels are essential for keeping physically active, having a great sex life, managing stress better, and feeling move driven and motivated to pursue your goals. 

Modern nutritionists suggest that the recent decline in testosterone levels may have to do with higher levels of stress and less physical activity. Still, one often neglected aspect is how your foods can negatively affect T levels. 

Below we will explain the top 10 testosterone-killing foods and what dietary and lifestyle changes you can implement to improve testosterone production. 

Key Takeaways: Testosterone Killing Foods 

  • What affects testosterone production – Your body’s ability to produce a healthy amount of testosterone can be affected by how much you sleep, how much and what types of food you eat, physical activity, how much stress you are exposed to, sun exposure and whether you are exposed to certain chemical compounds. 
  • Which diet is ideal for high testosterone levels – A diet rich in healthy fats, which provide you the cholesterol needed to produce testosterone, is ideal. Furthermore, a balanced diet should include foods rich in vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and other crucial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 
  • What are the testosterone-killing foods– Certain foods, like processed foods, sugary treats, vegetable oils, alcohol, dairy, and tobacco, negatively impact testosterone levels and should be avoided altogether or at least consumed in moderation. 
  • What are testosterone-killing foods – These foods that put your body under intense stress, such as baked, processed, and sugary foods, spike up insulin, leading to lower T-levels. They can also tip the scale toward more estrogen production, which reduces testosterone, as with alcohol, flaxseed, sesame seeds, etc.
  • Why testosterone is essential – Testosterone is a crucial hormone for sexual health, including semen production, erections, sexual desire, and male arousal. Both genders need motivation, mental clarity and concentration, higher energy levels, and bone and muscle growth. 

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Can testosterone boosters improve your libido

Testosterone Killing Foods – Can Diet Affect Testosterone Levels and Testosterone Production?

Your diet can significantly impact your body’s testosterone production and, subsequently, your overall testosterone levels. 

In men, a low-fat diet, in which most of the fats were unsaturated, lowered serum and free testosterone levels[1]. 

However, these effects may vary from person to person. Further research showed that decreasing testosterone due to low-fat dietary choices is more significant in men of European descent, which could be because people in Western nations eat more highly processed foods. The correlation is seen in clinical trials, but the underlying reason remains unclear [2].

Bread, pastries, dairy, and processed foods also fall into foods that kill testosterone production and lower testosterone levels [3].

10 Testosterone Killing Foods

Top 10 testosterone killing foods include:

  1. Processed foods
  2. Sweet treats and baked goods
  3. Mint
  4. Licorice root
  5. Vegetable oils
  6. Sugar
  7. Alcohol
  8. Flaxseed
  9. Some types of nuts
  10. Diary

There is no doubt that your diet and lifestyle choices can affect your body’s testosterone production and T levels. However, some foods may do so much faster than others. 

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1. Processed Foods

Processed foods that kill testosterone levels include:

  • Fried foods, including fried chicken and fish, donuts, fries, and chips [4]
  • Processed meat like sausages and bologna [5]
  • Foods with higher concentrations of trans fats [6]
  • Diet soda containing aspartame [7]

Processed foods often contain large amounts of sugar and trans fats, making them one of the biggest testosterone killing foods. These ingredients can cause an increase in your body fat due to a calorie surplus. High percentages of body fat are directly linked to reduced testosterone levels, especially in men.

2. Sweet Treats and Baked Goods

Sweets and baked goods that could lead to reduced testosterone levels and production include: 

  • Cakes and cupcakes 
  • Croissants and other sugary pastries
  • White bread
  • Desserts like ice cream and other sweet treats
  • Muffins

Baked goods, especially white or other processed grain breads, can lead to weight gain and loss of muscle mass [3]. This usually indicates an increase in body fat percentage, which negatively affects your body’s testosterone production and causes your testosterone levels to drop [8].

Those consuming a poorer diet had significantly lower total testosterone than those eating better

testosterone level according to quartiles of dietary pattern score chart

3. Mint

Forms of mint that may decrease testosterone levels include:

  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint tea

Regularly consuming products containing spearmint or mint, including sweets and gum, could harm your body’s testosterone production. Peppermint tea can also stimulate the increase in concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels [9]. 

4. Licorice Root

Licorice root products that may lower testosterone levels include:

  • Licorice root supplements
  • Skincare products
  • Candy and black licorice sweets

Licorice consumption has been shown to considerably lower testosterone levels in both men and women [10]. 

How licorice reduces serum testosterone in women Chart

5. Vegetable Oils 

Vegetable oils that can lower testosterone levels include: 

  • Canola 
  • Sunflower 
  • Soybean 
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Margarine
  • Butter spreads

Trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are hydrogenated, like when producing margarine.Consuming large quantities of trans fats could majorly decrease your body’s ability to produce testosterone and negatively affect your total and free testosterone levels. 

Trans fat is one of the most damaging to your cardiovascular system and may cause heart disease if used extensively or in large quantities [11]. Another study showed that men who consume polyunsaturated fatty acids also experienced a drop in their testosterone levels [12].

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6. Sugar 

Foods containing large amounts of sugar that could lead to lower free testosterone levels include:

  • Sweets and candies
  • Sodas and sugary beverages
  • Fruit juices
  • Desserts
  • Chocolates

Foods high in glucose and other sugars have a negative effect on your body’s testosterone levels [13]. Reducing your candy and sugar-sweetened beverage intake can help bring this unwanted testosterone-killing effect to an end. 

7. Alcohol 

Alcohol consumption may have opposite effects on the testosterone levels of men and women. Drinks that contain alcohol and may affect T levels include:

  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Liquor
  • Spirits

Acute alcohol intoxication has been shown to increase the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, leading to a reduction in serum testosterone levels in men and a slight increase in women [14].

Other hormone levels are also affected by alcohol, especially luteinizing hormone in men. For more information on the interaction between alcohol and testosterone, check out our comprehensive article on the topic.

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8. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is an ingredient in other foods that lower testosterone levels, including:

  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Whole-grain bread 
  • Crackers
  • Muesli
  • Energy bars

Although flaxseed has many dietary benefits, the food can decrease total serum testosterone levels in both men and women when consumed regularly [15].

the effects of flaxseed supplementation on testosterone in women chart

Flaxseed significantly reduced serum testosterone within four months 

For more information on the interaction between flaxseed and testosterone, take a look at our article on the topic.

9. Some Types of Nuts

Nuts that could result in reduced free testosterone levels include:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds

Despite many nuts containing healthy fats and other beneficial nutrients, some nuts may increase the levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which binds to testosterone and can cause a decline in free testosterone levels [16]. 

10. Dairy

Dairy products that may cause a drop in testosterone levels include:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Cream

Several derivatives of cow’s milk may contain natural or synthetic hormones that could interfere with your body’s testosterone production

Many of these animals have a diet heavily reliant on soy, leading to elevated estrogen levels in their milk and negative effects on total T levels, making milk potentially one of the worst testosterone killing foods[17].

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Testosterone Killing Foods – Is Soy Bad for Men?

Many articles claim that consuming any type of soy product or soy milk can have devastating effects on your testosterone levels, marking them as one of the worst testosterone killing foods.

Soybeans and their products typically contain chemicals known as isoflavones or phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens share similarities with the structure of the estrogen hormone. They have been suspected of affecting androgen receptors and may trigger estrogen receptors to produce a feminizing effect in men consuming soy products. 

However, these effects are very weak and will require unthinkable amounts of soy products to be consumed before affecting your body’s testosterone levels [18]. 

Studies claiming soy to be harmful are done on mice and rats, not humans. However, the few studies on soy that do involve humans show no change in testosterone, SHBG, or free testosterone levels caused by the food group. 

Testosterone Killing Foods – Which Food Increases Testosterone the Most?

Just as some foods decrease your testosterone levels, certain foods may boost testosterone and your body’s hormone production. These foods may also provide additional health benefits aside from boosting testosterone levels. Those foods that increase testosterone levels naturally the most include:

  • Honey: Honey can increase serum testosterone levels in old or young healthy men [19]. High-quality honey also contains many antioxidants, including flavonoids [20]. 
  • Garlic: Garlic can increase testicular testosterone production [21]. The herb also has antimicrobial and cardiovascular properties [22].
  • Vitamin D is an essential compound required to boost testosterone levels [23]. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include:
    • Fish, like tuna, salmon, and sardines
    • Milk fortified with vitamin D
    • Egg yolks
    • Fortified cereals
    • Oysters
    • Shellfish
    • Beef

Overweight and obese men may experience lowered vitamin D levels and therefore reduced testosterone levels. For a complete list of foods that increase testosterone, take a look at our comprehensive article. 

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Low Testosterone: Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis

Low testosterone levels can cause various adverse symptoms in men and women. 

Symptoms of low testosterone levels in men: 

  • Decreased libido
  • Loss of body and facial hair
  • Increased body and belly fat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased bone density
  • Erectile dysfunction
    Symptoms of low testosterone levels in men infographic

Symptoms of low testosterone levels in women:

  • Reduced sexual desire 
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Decreased bone density 
  • Weight gain 
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Reduced lean muscle mass

Causes of Low Testosterone

The causes of low testosterone generally include aging, dietary and lifestyle choices. In men, there may be other factors involved, including [24]: 

  • Hypogonadism
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Steroid and drug use
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Trauma causing an interruption of blood flow to the testes

Low Testosterone Diagnosis

Reduced testosterone levels can be detected and diagnosed through a blood test evaluating your total and free testosterone concentrations. 

Several measurements may be taken throughout the day to identify an accurate overall concentration. For each gender, there are specific normal ranges for various age groups. Anything below the normal range may be taken as a testosterone deficiency. 

Testosterone Killing Foods – How To Boost Testosterone Naturally 

There are many ways of boosting testosterone levels naturally. The two most common avenues include taking dietary supplements or making lifestyle changes, as discussed below. 

Dietary Supplements

T-boosters are a popular way of increasing your testosterone levels, although they are not FDA-approved as they are classified as dietary supplements. If you are wondering, which is the best testosterone booster, some of the most popular options include:

Testogen

Testogen claims to be a natural testosterone booster that provides various benefits like:

  • Aiding muscle development
  • Reducing the occurrence of erectile dysfunction
  • Increasing energy and stamina

Other key facts about Testogen include:

  • Ingredients: Zinc, magnesium, red ginseng, and various vitamins
  • Side effects: Bloating, diarrhea, headaches, muscle pain
  • Dosage: Four capsules taken at the same time
  • Pros: Free shipping, improves sexual function, and all-natural ingredients
  • Cons: Four capsules have to be taken at the same time
  • Price: $59,99 for 120 capsules, which will last you a month, or $119,99 for three months worth of Testogen 

Test RX

Test RX is another T booster that offers benefits including:

  • Improved physical strength
  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Improved mood stability
  • Enhanced libido
  • Weight loss

Other key facts about Test RX include:

 Ingredients: Zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, fenugreek extract, vitamin D3, among others

  • Side effects: Insomnia, headaches, dizziness, trouble breathing
  • Dosage: Two capsules in the morning and two in the evening
  • Pros: All natural ingredients, affordable, and easy to use
  • Cons: Only sold online and not vegan or vegetarian friendly
  • Price: $79,99 for retailers, and $69,99 if you uy from the official website

Testo Prime

Testo Prime offers similar benefits to other T boosters, including:

  • Increased energy
  • Lean muscle mass gain
  • Improved focus and cognition
  • Weight loss
  • Increased overall strength
  • Improved sex drive

Other key facts about Testo Prime include:

  • Ingredients: Sarsaparilla powder, pumpkin seed powder, nettle powder, cayenne pepper, L-arginine, garlic extract, and ginseng
  • Side effects: May worsen sleep apnea, acne, and nausea
  • Dosage: Four capsules taken at the same time
  • Pros: All natural ingredients, completely GMO-free, and vegan-friendly
  • Cons: Must be taken with testosterone boosting foods and regular exercise
  • Price: $59,99 for one month, $199,99 for three months along with free shipping 

Ascorbic Acid Treatment

Taking regular doses of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, may help increase your body’s serum testosterone levels. Ascorbic acid treatment also enhances sperm quality [25].

Effects of ascorbic acid on testosterone in rats chart

Both medium and high doses of ascorbic acid increased testosterone in rats

Lifestyle Changes

If you’re not interested in taking T boosters or supplements, lifestyle changes can help boost your testosterone levels naturally. 

Diet

As proven in this article, your diet can significantly affect your body’s testosterone production. Eating healthy foods rich in vitamin D and avoiding processed or sugary foods could help your testosterone levels balance out once more. Avoid testosterone killing foods as much as possible; if necessary, consume them in moderation and not frequently. 

Exercise

Although some forms of exercise may boost testosterone levels more than others, simply just moving your body and elevating your heart rate could be enough to give your testosterone levels a boost [26]. 

Stress Reduction

Stress hormones can cause a drop in your testosterone levels [27]. Reducing your stress levels could help boost your testosterone production. 

Weight Loss

Losing weight through dietary changes and regular exercise could significantly boost your T levels.

Sleep

Lower sleep quality can affect your body’s testosterone production. Getting enough good quality sleep could also help boost your T levels.

Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time in the sun could help your body produce its own vitamin D. Exposing your skin to the sun for a couple of minutes every day could subsequently raise your testosterone levels as well. 

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Testosterone Killing Foods – FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the effect of your diet on testosterone levels and production and which products may be testosterone killing foods. 

What Are the Testosterone Killing Foods That Cause the Most Harm?

Testosterone killing foods that reduce T-levels the most include: 

  1. Processed foods
  2. Sugar
  3. Alcohol
  4. Licorice root
  5. Flaxseed
  6. Vegetable oils
  7. Sugary drinks

What Lowers Testosterone the Most Other Than Testosterone Killing Foods?

Unhealthy habits that lower testosterone the most include not sleeping enough, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, and drinking too much alcohol. 

How To Lower Testosterone in Women?

Testosterone in healthy levels benefits men and women, but some females may suffer from too high testosterone levels, which give them masculine characteristics they want to remove. If you are wondering how to lower testosterone in women, here are a few tips:

  • Lose weight 
  • Eat more healthy foods rich in estrogen-like flaxseeds, sesame seeds, peaches, soy in large quantities etc
  • Use plant and herbal extracts like spearmint tea, nettles, licorice, peony, and reishi mushroom 

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Do Tomatoes Lower Testosterone?

Yes, tomatoes may temporarily reduce your testosterone levels, although this effect is not significant enough to warrant not eating them or classifying them as testosterone killing foods [28].

Do Eggs Lower Testosterone?

No, eggs don’t reduce testosterone levels, and no clinical studies have shown such a result. On the contrary, their richness in omega 3s, vitamin D, protein, and healthy cholesterol may correlate with higher testosterone levels. 

Do Bananas Lower Testosterone?

No. An enzyme known as bromelain in bananas and pineapples may help increase your body’s testosterone levels, which means they are not testosterone killing foods [29].

Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?

No scientific evidence shows that masturbation decreases testosterone levels, although abstinence from the act may increase your T levels marginally in the first seven days. Although after the first week, T-levels stabilize, so at best, it’s a slight short-term increase. However, there is no scientific consensus on the decision. 

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Conclusion

Diet and other lifestyle factors can be essential in increasing or decreasing your body’s testosterone levels. 

Avoiding testosterone killing foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining a low-stress living environment could help boost low testosterone levels and regain your libido and energy levels. It’s especially important to focus on foods that boost testosterone, which provides essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

Using natural and evidence-based testosterone boosters can also be an effective solution, especially if your diet is not enough to provide a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals. 

However, they are a measure of last resort or should be done alongside an active effort for healthy lifestyle changes, like getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and reducing stress sources. 

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Related Articles:

References

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