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What Foods Boost Testosterone Levels?
Avoid These Four

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: November 29, 2021

It’s great to see more men paying attention to their T-levels and being aware that it’s directly linked to many health issues that can creep up over time.

Natural aging is something none of us can avoid, but boosting testosterone levels doesn’t have to mean some sort of medical treatment.

To help our clients, we teamed up with a dietitian and nutritionist to help us create a testosterone diet.

We’ve tested this out with several clients, and with some adjustments along the way, we’ve come up with simple meal plan ideas that you can start implementing immediately.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone production decreases every year in men over age 30, and the average man today has 30% less testosterone than their fathers and grandfathers [1].
  • Testosterone levels are vital to manage weight, increase muscle mass, and maintain healthy bones and heart performance. 
  • With the right healthy diet, every man may easily reverse the negative impact of lower testosterone levels and anabolic hormones. 
  • Consuming more fish, beans, legumes, lean meat, and healthy fats are just a few things you should consider.

A Diet Plan For Testosterone Production

weighing scale with fruits, vegetables and a measuring tape

Before we get to our sample testosterone diet plan, let me address a few things about dietary macros.

Protein

When it comes to protein, you have to be careful not to end up on a constantly high-protein diet.

And that’s difficult for a lot of athletes and bodybuilders who rely on protein to support muscle growth by constantly taking whey protein shakes.

One study, in particular, found that large consumption of protein may lead to a slight reduction in testosterone [2]. And that might slightly hinder muscle growth.

Fat

group of food that are unsaturated fat

Fats have gained a very bad reputation, and as a result, people simply believe that all fats are evil. But nothing could be further from the truth.

There are numerous health benefits associated with healthy fats, including feeling full for longer, reducing inflammation, and supporting testosterone.

One study found that low-fat diets produced a 15% reduction in T-levels, which should be easy to solve with the right choice of foods [3].

Just remember: dietary fat does not equal more fat cells in your body.

Carbs

If you’ve read our articles for long enough, you’ll know that we always get people to pay more attention to carbs and reduce their intake of simple carbs.

Carbs play a significant role in body fat retention, and that influences testosterone production. What’s worse is that lower testosterone then further increases fat retention, and you’ve got a vicious circle.

Calories

person feet view on a weighing scale

Ideally, you want to make sure your total caloric intake is evenly balanced to promote testosterone release.

See, when you eat too much, you add belly fat, and that will drive down your T-count.

But the same may happen if you don’t eat enough.

Anyone who goes through a long cutting phase will probably be able to measure low testosterone with a blood test.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • 3 large scrambled eggs, including yolks
  • 1 portion of oatmeal
  • Fruit salad with natural yogurt, chia seeds, and mixed nuts

Lunch

  • A small portion of lean red meat or poultry
  • Mixed raw vegetables
  • 1/2 avocado

Dinner

  • 6 ounces of shellfish and oysters
  • A medium portion of sweet potato
  • Bowl of leafy greens with cold-pressed olive oil

This is just one example of a single day. And there are so many other foods that you can introduce easily on a daily basis to get the essential nutrient combination.

Which Foods Raise Testosterone The Most?

bowl of kale greens and a cooked fish on a plate

Here are a few things our dietitian recommended that you include in your meals to improve your testosterone levels.

1 - Healthy Fat

Fat has a bad reputation, but when you pick out saturated fat from junk food, you’re left with a very important macro.

Here are some things that you can add to any lunch and dinner:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Fish oil
  • Whole milk instead of skimmed milk

2 - Red Meat

red meat getting sliced

Things like ground beef and beef liver are other great sources of zinc and vitamin D.

But the important thing is to pay attention to the quality.

You can undo a lot of the benefits by buying the cheapest meat you can find. Instead, buy a little bit less beef but instead, make sure that it’s grass-fed.

3 - Egg Yolks

There’s too much bad advice getting people to only eat egg whites. But the fact is that the majority of the nutrients are in the egg yolks. These have a very high vitamin D content that your body needs to produce testosterone.

So, unless you have sky-high cholesterol levels, add a few eggs each day.

4 - Fish

They don’t call oysters an aphrodisiac for no reason. But if you’re not a big fan of raw shellfish, then try some cooked lobster, crab, muscles, or tuna.

You’ll get tons of vitamin D and zinc that will promote a much healthier hormone balance.

5 - Beans And Legumes

stripped beans in a bowl

These really should be part of your regular diet.

They are the richest source of zinc when it comes to plants.

Just keep an eye on how much protein beans, lentils, chickpeas, and beans might end up adding to your macro profile.

6 - Cruciferous Vegetables

Here you want to focus on kale, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and turnips. These may help reduce the amount of testosterone that the male body converts into estrogen, which should help improve the balance between the male and female sex hormones.

Here’s the amazing thing: our dietitian highlighted that you could eliminate vitamin D supplementation altogether if you added a few of the above to your daily meal plans.

If you want to know more about natural ways of increasing T levels, here is our article about the best testosterone boosting herbs.

What Foods Might Act As Testosterone Killers?

hotdog in a bun with sauces, and fresh olive oil

Now that we’ve covered what you should be eating, let me give you some important information on what might lower testosterone levels as well.

These are the main testosterone lowering foods.

1 - Processed Food

It shouldn’t be a surprise that junk food comes with all sorts of health problems attached. But how many of you knew that those burgers, fries, and pizzas that are full of saturated fats and trans fats could actually be killing your T-count?

One study found that they could be reducing testosterone by 15% and sperm by 40% [4].

So, not only does all that fast food make you fat and develop heart disease, but it could also be adding to your woes by messing with your hormones.

2 - Soybeans

bowl of tofu and soybeans

I won’t go too deep into the science of this, but soybeans contain a very high amount of phytoestrogens, more than pretty much all other plant foods.

Scientists have also shown that it may have estrogenic effects, which could further imbalance hormone levels [5].

Now, I wouldn't say this is a type of food to avoid altogether, but try to moderate it, especially if you have struggled with testosterone deficiency.

3 - Vegetable And Seed Oils

Unfortunately, these types of oil are very common in people’s diets. Whether it’s in sauces, for frying food, or as part of a salad dressing, you need to understand that they contain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

These are unstable, and a Japanese study found that they may considerably influence hormone production and balances [6].

4 - Alcohol

hand of a person holding up a glass of beer

Yes, folks, those bottles of beer and the odd glass of wine are not doing your testosterone any favors.

Sure, an occasional drink isn't going to do much damage, but when you regularly have a few more, then it’s something to consider restricting.

It might not be the major problem area, and implementing all other tips might solve things for you.

But if you really want to make an impact, then try reducing your alcohol intake to see how it impacts your T-count.

Related: Does Exercise Increase Testosterone?

Why Is Natural Testosterone Boosting A Good Idea?

Let me be clear here.

If you have chronically low testosterone levels, then medical treatment is possibly the best option and something you need to discuss with your doctor.

But here’s a fact to be aware of. All men will gradually produce less testosterone when they hit 30. It amounts to about a 1% reduction every year, and that can impact many areas of your overall health.

By naturally counteracting that drop in sex hormone levels, you can ensure that you’re able to manage weight issues better, improve heart health, and develop more muscle cells.

And when you can achieve that naturally without medication, then you could be future-proofing your body.

FAQs

Does Honey Boost Testosterone Levels?

Yes, honey may boost testosterone levels. It’s believed that it could do this indirectly by boosting luteinizing hormone levels, which is linked to testosterone.

Which Tea Is Good for Testosterone?

Drinking green tea might be good for testosterone. However, scientific studies are mixed, and so far, there is no clear connection between any kind of herbal tea and testosterone.

Does Turmeric Increase Testosterone?

Yes, turmeric may improve testosterone and hormone balance. Some studies have shown that it could make a significant enough boost to improve sex drive and muscle function.

Are You Going To Try These Testosterone Boosting Foods?

The good news is that to boost your testosterone levels and stay healthy, you simply need to make some clever adjustments to your food choices.

It’s not some scary new diet with stuff you have to forage in the wild. It’s simply about getting more nutrients and whole foods with a proven level of vitamin D and zinc.

Start making these adjustments today, and see if it worked out for you.


References:

  1. https://uk.reuters.com/article/health-testosterone-levels-dc-idUKKIM16976320061101
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129168/
  3. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210409/Study-Low-fat-diets-reduce-mene28099s-testosterone-levels.aspx
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3923511/
  5. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11525593/

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