The relationship between different diets and testosterone

Diet is a very important cornerstone if you want to increase your testosterone. You cannot avoid this, if your diet is crap, your testosterone will be crap, simple as that. Time and time again, the direct relationship between diet and hormones has been established.

In the testosterone book, the optimal diet to increase your testosterone naturally is laid down in detail. In fact, you can see the testosterone diet in a nutshell right here.

Every now and then I get asked about some famous diets and what they do to our testosterone. Because of that, we are going to see here some of those diets and how they relate to our goal of increasing testosterone.

My point of view about diets and testosterone

First of all, I don´t believe in diets. When I hear the word, I think about caloric restriction, or eating unbalanced food categories.

I believe in a way of eating, sustainable in time, so you have a wide variety of foods and you don’t need to count calories or become a hater of some type of macronutrient. I believe, and studies show, that if eat natural food, your hormonal balance will be restored.

That being said, let’s see some famous diets.

Ornish diet – low Fat diets

You know, this is the healthy diet that they have been selling to us. But if you take a look around, you will see that it’s a total failure. This must be the worst diet possible in order to increase testosterone.

Low-fat diets tend to ditch fat, especially animal fat, which is the critical dietary element that increases testosterone. In fact, fat is replaced by sugar, that increases insulin spikes, plummets testosterone and creates much more problems than it tries to solve.

In fact, high fiber – low fat diets cause lower levels of testosterone across the board, as you can see in this study [1]. Meanwhile, there is a lot of evidence saying that (animal) fat rich diets increase testosterone, this one [2] being one of many examples.

Vegetarian diets

We talked about vegetarianism and testosterone here, so you can read what I had to say. The thing is that, again, those diets eliminate animal fat (very bad choice if you want higher testosterone) and tend to be high fiber – low fat diets, so the landscape is the same than before.

Dukan diet – high protein diets

Dukan diet became very famous some time ago, especially in Europe. You could lose a lot of weight cutting carbs and fats, but it is pretty unhealthy and, again, it’s not good for our testosterone. Cutting animal fat and increasing protein is a bad choice. If you take a look at this link, you can see how the studies showed that, fat being equal, it’s better for our testosterone to eat more carbohydrates than increasing protein. The thing is, if you cut fat and eat huge amounts of protein, you will be doing a disservice to your testosterone.

Dukan, Ornish or vegetarian testosterone are not sustainable, they require complicated maneuvers and you will fail. They are not a way of eating.

High Fat – low carb diet, and ketogenic low carb – Atkins diets

Well, some studies saw that low carb diet did not change hormonal profiles in time [3], so they don’t seem very effective for testosterone optimization. If you cut the tremendous amount of sugar we are eating nowadays, and you put the steak on the menu, you are much better, but as we saw in the previous paragraph, carbs seem to have a role in testosterone production.

So, if we want to really increase and optimize testosterone, we must not ditch every carb in sight. Balance is key, as we saw in the book, the testosterone diet is not a carb hating diet.

Paleo diet

Paleo diet is really a way of eating, trying to consume natural food like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. That means non-processed food and very little dairy and grains (or even none in some cases). The Paleo diet framework can be very mutable depending on who you ask. For me, a Paleo diet is the most testosterone friendly diet if you don’t become a dairy-grain hater.

Some grains here and there won’t kill you if you don’t make them the cornerstone of your diet. And dairy… it depends if lactose is not a problem for you, milk (whole, not fat-free) can be very beneficial. I eat a lot of cured cheese. Their saturated fat is good and it’s full of testosterone friendly vitamins. In fact, these kinds of cheese don’t have so much lactose, so they are easy on the stomach.

I eat potatoes (not deep fried) and some quality carbs, especially in my training days. As we saw before, they seem useful in testosterone production, and I wholeheartedly agree with what’s being said in this very good article from Anabolic men.

Eat natural food, ditch processed crap, learn a way of eating that includes real food and you won’t diet anymore, increasing, incidentally, your testosterone.

Studies referenced

[1] Wang C, Catlin DH, Starcevic B, Heber D, Ambler C, Berman N, Lucas G, Leung A, Schramm K, Lee PW, Hull L, Swerdloff RS. “Low Fat High Fiber Diet Decreased Serum and Urine Androgens in Men.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar 1. PMID: 15741266.

[2] Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. JEFF S. VOLEK,1,2 WILLIAM J. KRAEMER,1,2,3,4 JILL A. BUSH,1,2 THOMAS INCLEDON,1,2 AND MARK BOETES1,2

[3] See the studies at this link