Low-Fat Diets Decrease Testosterone Levels in Men
Low-fat diets are very trendy, and they have been marketed as a fool-proof way to lose weight and keep weight off. They limit the total intake of oils, fats (such as lard, butter, and margarine), chocolate, full-fat dairy products, and nuts, helping you shed weight.
However, one of the most notable concerns with low-fat diets is that they can be potentially dangerous for you since they can affect your hormone levels. Namely, low testosterone levels lead to a higher risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and obesity.
A recent study incorporating the findings of six well-controlled studies involving 206 people researched the impact of low-fat diets on testosterone levels. The results indicate that low-fat diets can significantly reduce testosterone levels in men.
Male participants were initially put on a 40% fat diet (high-fat diet) and then switched to a 20% fat diet (low-fat diet). The subsequent testosterone measuring showed that their testosterone levels dropped by 10–15% on average.
The diets that affected testosterone levels the most were low-fat vegetarian diets. These caused a decrease in this hormone of up to 26%.
Additionally, the authors compared their findings to those of studies involving humans and mice. These studies indicate that the consumption of large quantities of monounsaturated fats from nuts, avocados, or olive oil can actually boost testosterone levels.
On the other hand, they also showed that omega-6 fatty acids typically found in vegetable oils may impair hormone production.
What are the best ways to stay healthy and keep your testosterone levels balanced?
Apart from introducing testosterone boosters, getting enough sleep, and reducing your stress levels, you could improve your diet. Try consuming more foods rich in zinc (oysters, red meat, beans, and nuts), omega-3 fatty acids (herring, salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines, and trout), vitamin E, monounsaturated fat (extra-virgin olive oil), antioxidants, and healthy fats (dark chocolate).
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