Did you know, the average man in the modern world has 30% less testosterone than their fathers? 
The hormone can sometimes get a bad rap in society and the media, especially when toxic masculinity gets brought up, but believe it or not testosterone is as close as men can get to a performance enhancing drug.
In this article you’ll learn more about the symptoms of low testosterone, why it’s so important to increase it, and the best ways to increase testosterone through your diet if you’re over 40.
Why Testosterone is so important
Testosterone is a sex hormone and anabolic steroid that plays a vital role in the male development. Low testosterone is common in older men, as our body produces less of the hormone, but it doesn’t just result in poor sex drive or reduced muscle.
Symptoms of low testosterone in men over 40
- increased body fat
- decreased bone mass
- loss of memory
- difficulty concentrating
- poor mental health and depression
- aches and paints in your joints
and many more .
As I said earlier, high levels of testosterone can propel someone to feel like superman. And it’s no surprise that with a population that’s fatter, slower, less sexual, and more depressed than ever that average T-levels are lower than they’ve ever been in history.
Healthy levels of testosterone for men
Today, the currently accepted range of normal testosterone levels in men is anywhere from 270-1070 ng/dL .
This declines by about 1% per year, and the average testosterone levels for men over 40 ranges from 200-900 .
These ranges are classed as healthy by modern medicine, but if you get a test from your doctor and your levels are below 400-500 then you need to do something about it.
Fortunately, here at Fitter Healthier Dad we’re determined to transform men into the strongest and happiest versions of themselves, so we have a lot of testosterone related content on the way for you.
What are the effects of a ‘healthy’ modern diet on testosterone levels?
If it isn’t obvious by now, at some point over the last few decades someone made an error in coming up with the healthiest diet for human beings.
We were bombarded with marketing tactics such as the food pyramid, and over the years rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes have skyrocketed.
The world is finally starting to wake up, and diets like keto, paleo, vegan/vegetarian, intermittent fasting, and carnivore are starting to become much more common – which is great.
However, if you’re looking to boost your testosterone there are a lot of foods you need to avoid, and a few you should start eating more. In fact, you’re more than likely consuming most of the testosterone-lowering foods every single day.
4 foods that will cut your testosterone in half
Vegetable oils & seed oils
Vegetable and seed oils are the biggest culprit of almost every single diet-related health issue on the planet, especially low testosterone . These oils are comprised of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and are incredibly unstable when exposed to stress. Note, a small amount of PUFAs are healthy, and can be found in sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax.
However, when they undergo intense refining and put into a bottle after becoming exposed to heat, stress, and bleaching, the PUFAs become toxic. Our body has no idea what to do with these, and so it quickly stores them as body fat.
In the early 1900s our body fat PUFA percentage was 2-4%, and now it’s 20%! .
Avoid: Sunflower oil, canola, grapeseed, fake spreads, margarine, soybean oil and corn oil
Use: Olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, butter/ghee, coconut oil, unrefined palm, walnut oil, artisnal grapeseed.
While a lot more research needs to be done on the effect of soy in humans, one thing is clear – soybeans contain thousands of times more phytoestrogens (basically anti-testosterone) than any other food product.
One study showed that men who consumed soy for almost 2 months had lower testosterone levels than the controls. I recommend reading the full abstract for more information .
Eating a small amount once a week likely won’t do you much harm, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sorry chaps. If you really want to make powerful changes in your life, whether it’s physically, mentally, sexually, or spiritually the booze has gotta go.
Its been reported that regularly drinking beer, even with food, caused a decrease in tesosterone levels of almost 7% in middle-ages men . This doesn’t sound like a lot, but if your T-count is 500, that’s almost 50 points you could be missing out on just from alcohol alone. Factor in everything else like diet and exercise and it could make a huge difference to your overall wellbeing.
Processed foods and trans fats
Everyone knows that processed food is bad for us. Human beings have evolved for thousands of years to eat very simple meals. All of a sudden you overload something with bread, sugar, sodium, trans fats, and god knows what else and it’s naturally going to cause some problems.
Well, as it turns out one of these problems is the destruction of your testosterone.
Regularly eating processed, deep fried, junk, or pre-packaged frozen food can reduce your testosterone levels by 15% and your sperm count by almost 40% ! No wonder infertility is such a common problem in the modern world.
So, what exactly do we mean by processed food? Generally, if you have to read an ingredient list to know what’s inside then it’s processed. Try to buy whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts instead of frozen chicken breasts, burgers, spaghetti and more.
The next time you go shopping read the ingredient list. I guarantee you’ll shock yourself.
The ultimate testosterone-boosting meal plan
Right, we’ve talked about what not to eat, now let’s talk about exactly what you should be eating if you want bigger muscles, better sex, more energy, and a burning passion to go out and live your life to its fullest.
You might think that the most important thing is red meat, raw and dripping with blood after being gently kissed by a frying pan. Wrong. The most important thing for us to focus on is balance, whole foods, and sustainability. It’s no good sticking to a diet if you’re not going to enjoy it.
The foundation of the diet is going to be whole foods. I briefly touched on them earlier on, but I’ll go into more depth in this section. Also, for your benefit, I’ve split each section into sub-categories to make it easier for you to plan your meals.
Protein is going to comprise the largest part of your meals. Gone are the days are a dry pork chop looking sad next to a whopping pile of mash potatoes. When you build a dish you’re always going to start with the protein. Here are some great choices for testosterone-boosting protein sources:
- Chicken breasts & thighs
- Pork (try to avoid streaky bacon)
- Game meat
- Beans, lentils, and tofu if you’re a vegetarian or vegan
Also, it’s not just the type of food you eat that matters but also the quality. It might cost a bit more but do what you can to source local, organic, grass-fed, and sustainable protein wherever possible. It’ll make a huge difference to your health.
Fat has been demonized for the better half of the last century, but it’s finally getting its moment in the spotlight. Healthy fats are integral to your body’s health and vital functions, and including the right fats in your diet will allow your body to release hormones more effectively as everything will be running at 100% efficiency – this includes increasing your testosterone levels.
I talked about some fats to avoid earlier on, but here are some you can eat guilt-free:
- Butter, cheese (not fake), full-fat milk, and cream
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy cooking oils (see above)
- Fatty meat like beef, pork, lamb, and salmon
Incorporating these into your every day diet will dramatically boost your health and wellbeing. And adding more fat has the benefit of reducing your hunger, and fat and protein will keep you full for much longer and you wont feel the need to snack anymore.
Vegetables and leafy greens
While these aren’t going to pump up your T-count overnight, remember what I said about getting your body to perform at maximum efficiency? That’s where veggies come in. Your body needs a lot of vitamins and minerals in order to perform, and if you’re eating empty calories from junk food that has no nutrient density then your body just isn’t going to work.
Imagine putting the wrong fuel into your car and trying to drive to work. It isn’t going to happen…
So, after you’ve put a big slab of protein onto your plate accompanied by some healthy fats like oils or avocado, you’re going to fill the rest of the plate with greens.
Some of these might include:
- Spinach (my personal favourite)
- Bok choy
- Bean sprouts
- Lettuce (romaine if possible)
- Red onion
Remember, these don’t have to be bland and boring. There are an infinite number of ways to prepare vegetables to make them delicious.
You see, after eating poor quality junk food for a long period of time you’ve been accustomed to bold favours, sodium, and fat. It’ll take some time to adjust, but after a while you’ll begin to crave the sweetness of carrots, or the bitterness of kale. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
You might be surprised to see carbs at the bottom of the list, especially because they’ve been such a huge staple of our dinners for years. Well, I’ve put them down here for 1 simple reason:
The amount of carbs you eat is dependant on your lifestyle and activity level
If you exercise hard every day, then you’re going to eat more carbs than someone who sits down all day and does nothing.
As much as I enjoy them, pasta is my personal weakness, I realised that it’s impossible for me or my body to work at optimum efficiency if I’m chowing down on bread and pasta at every meal. Carbohydrates make you sluggish, tired, lethargic, and practically a zombie. The only exception to this is when they’re consumed before or after a workout, in which case they’re vital.
However, for our purposes we’re just going to focus on eating carbohydrates sparingly and maybe splurging once a weekend on that biryani. It makes you think how much damage a beer and a curry is doing to your testosterone…
If you do have to eat carbs, try to keep it to a select few things:
- White rice
- Wholegrain or sourdough bread (check ingredients)
- Wholegrain pasta
Adding a small portion of these into your diet, for example a bit of quinoa mixed in with your balsamic spinach and red onion salad will be perfectly fine. And, if you’re working out, make sure to up the volume before and after your exercise, and slowly decrease it in your other meals.
Oh, and cut out any refined sugar and fizzy drinks while you’re at it. That stuff is doing much more harm than you realize.
This sounds amazing, but diet alone isn’t enough…
By changing up your diet I guarantee you’re going to see results. Whether it’s in your testosterone levels or your general health and wellbeing, your life is going to improve. However, if you’re solely focused on pumping that T-count up you’re going to have to do more than follow a diet plan.
That’s where the Fitter Healthier Dad 90-day transformation comes in.
Did you know, the quickest way to increase your testosterone is to lose fat and increase muscle mass? You don’t even need to spend hours in the gym lifting heavy weights. It can all be done from the comfort of your own home.
If you want the exact step-by-step process I used to transform myself from an out of shape, lethargic, and low testosterone dad into a world-class ironman athlete then check out The ‘TT40 Method’ Program and start your journey today.