Types of Foods that kill testosterone

You may have heard that you can boost your testosterone levels by eating the right foods, but did you know there are also foods that can tank your T levels? If you are concerned that you’re suffering from symptoms of low T, knowing which foods kill testosterone so you can avoid them can give you a much-needed hormone boost.

What is testosterone and how can lower your hormone levels if you eat the wrong foods? In this article, you will get answers to these questions and learn more about the next steps you should take to keep your T levels in balance.

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is important, and that is why so many men go to great lengths to try to maintain adequate levels of this sex hormone. But what is it and why is it so important? 

Testosterone is the sex hormone responsible for several bodily functions in men. These include sex drive, muscle mass, fat distribution, and strength. It is found both in men and women but in bigger proportions in the male bodies. This hormone is so important in men because it controls your physical health and mental state. 

Because of this, it’s critical to take swift action when a hormone imbalance appears so you can stop its symptoms from progressing. But how do you know if you are dealing with a testosterone drop or just a simple mood change caused by other exterior factors? The key is to measure your testosterone levels and then take steps to keep them at an appropriate level.

5 Foods That Kill Testosterone

A cup for tea or coffee with bread next to it on a table

When we talk about foods that kill testosterone, we acknowledge that no food can directly reduce testosterone levels. However, certain food groups can indirectly affect your health and, consequently, your testosterone.

It is more common to know about foods that boost testosterone, so now it is time to learn more about the ones that lower it. 

1. Soy Products

There was a period in internet culture when soy-eating habits were ridiculed

and called out with pejoratives like “soy-boy.” It may have influenced some people to steer away from soy products for fear of being bullied for eating them. But, of course, like so many things online, these remarks were greatly exaggerated.

While it is true that soy and soy derivatives have been found to have an indirect effect on lowering testosterone levels in men, other studies have suggested that such a connection might have been vastly overestimated. What is certain is that soy does not induce infertility because it does not affect reproductive hormones.

Soy may be considered one of the top foods that kill testosterone because it has been seen to increase the number of estradiol levels, which is a form of estrogen. But that seemed to happen regardless of whether or not you eat soy products. This is especially true in men with a higher percentage of body fat, in which case their body was already producing a higher amount of this specific hormone. 

Soy can be found in many east Asian dishes like miso and natto. It is also a very popular ingredient that is used in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and tofu. Today, soy is so commonly used that it can be hard to avoid. That’s why it’s important to be able to separate the facts from the myths.

Taking care of your hormone balance does not mean restricting your soy intake to never touching an Asian dish again. When it comes to soy products, moderation is the key. 

2.   Licorice Root

Licorice root is a flowering plant that is often not used in licorice candy in the United States. This plant can damage your overall health when consumed in large quantities, which can negatively affect your testosterone levels. Recently, there was a case of a man eating too much black licorice and dying of an overdose. 

Glycyrrhizic acid is found in licorice, and this type of acid has been found to reduce the testosterone serum inside the body. It interferes with one of the hydroxysteroids that helps with catalyzation, which is an important process in the production of testosterone. 

Like soy, licorice is also not all that bad when eaten in moderation. Yes, it is one of those foods that kill testosterone, but there are plenty of other benefits. For example, licorice root tea is good for treating liver disease, sore throat, and gum disease and soothing an upset stomach.

3.   Vegetable Oil

Third on our list of foods that kill testosterone is not so much of a “food” but rather an oil that we commonly use to prepare our food. It is known that using cooking oils in excess is detrimental to your health. This is one of the leading causes of all types of heart disease, and its overuse is also not good for your testosterone levels.

The term “vegetable oil” encompasses a wide variety of plant-derived oils. The most known are the following: sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, and hazelnut oil. The last two types of oil, especially, have been shown to have a detrimental effect on testosterone production. In a study, it was shown that canola and hazelnut oil affect testosterone levels.

However, no study of this kind has been done on humans, and researchers are

considering that there is still much work to be done in this regard. 

Even though vegetable oils may have some beneficial fats, some of their components, if consumed in high quantities, can become toxic to the body. In addition, your hormone count may be flipped over its head because of some of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in them.

4.   Low-Quality Meat/Processed Foods

Low-quality meat and processed foods can also ruin your testosterone levels. Even though processed foods have been advertised for years as a quick way to put together a meal, this rushed way of preparing food is damaging, especially in long-term situations. This type of food contains a lot of fats, sugar, and sodium, a combination that can damage the body. 

When it comes to testosterone levels, what is destructive about processed foods and meat is the high percentage of trans fats that can be found in them. These foods can diminish testosterone levels while raising cholesterol. This puts you at risk of developing clogged arteries, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and low testosterone.

5.   Alcohol

Alcohol can be consumed in moderate quantities without having a long-lasting effect on your body. However, excessive consumption of alcohol leads to proven lower levels of T and infertility in men. 

Drinking too much can impair certain parts of the brain that have the role of stimulating the production of testosterone. When you consume alcohol, your body

produces ethanol, a chemical runs the risk of damaging an important enzyme

that helps in the process of making testosterone.

Moderate consumption of alcohol may be the solution here. It will not only readjust

the hormone imbalance but also give your body the necessary time to breathe

and recover. If you must drink, you should invest in high-quality alcohol that does not contain as many unwanted chemicals.

How Do I Know My Testosterone Levels?

It’s simple! The short answer is: by testing. To know your testosterone levels, you

have no choice but to go through testing. Without test results, at best, you will be guessing that you suffer from low levels of testosterone based on your symptoms. Luckily, when it comes to testing, you have options. 

There are three types of testing you can choose from. The first is to have your blood drawn at the nearest hospital or your doctor’s office, where they will extract a blood sample from your arm. The blood will be taken and analyzed, and you will have the results after one or two days. Afterward, the doctor may recommend testosterone therapy if it is shown that your T levels are low.

The second option is more intimate and less intrusive. You can try an at-home blood draw, in which a medical professional will come to your home to do the testosterone test. This option gives you more autonomy to decide when and how you want your testosterone test to go. This professional will take a blood sample and analyze it. You will receive your results and then, a set of recommendations may be given to you.

The third option is for those who need independence all the way. In this case, you will have to buy and do the test kit yourself, and you will have the option of a

telemed consultation. An at-home test kit has recently been introduced to the public, and it has seen an exponential increase in sales due to its interest. 

The Next Step in Balancing Your Testosterone Levels

If you are found to have a testosterone imbalance, the next step will be to balance your levels. On top of avoiding the foods that can kill testosterone, you may also want to look into natural ways to boost testosterone. You should also follow any treatment recommendations that are made by medical professionals. 

The Bottom Line

If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, you’ll need to be mindful about what you eat, including understanding which foods are likely to boost or tank your T levels. Your hormonal imbalance may have happened at least in part because you were eating the wrong foods, so it’s time to do an inventory of your diet and make adjustments as necessary. 

Your meals can and will influence your testosterone levels, so choose your diet wisely. Testosterone serves so many important functions in your body that its role cannot be understated. It helps with muscle mass and the sex drive and eliminates unnecessary fat. 

For optimal health and hormones, eat fewer foods that kill testosterone, exercise, get good sleep, alleviate stress, and ensure that you test your testosterone levels regularly to prevent and stay on top of issues.