How to Increase Testosterone Through Diet: the Two F Words (Fat and Fiber)
Increase testosterone by eating? Believe it or not, it’s possible! On this page we will discuss exactly how to do that, but, before I do, I want to mention that science has shown us that the most powerful and critical ways through natural means to raise your testosterone levels are through sex, sleep, your mind and weight lifting. (See the links to the right for other ways as well.) Most guys with low testosterone can probably increase their testosterone 20-30% or more by simply examining these critical factors.
But let’s say that you also want to boost your testosterone levels through diet. Is that possible? Yes, in spite of what you may have read, it is possible for many guys to raise their testosterone through diet and through what I call the two F’s: Fat and Fiber. The research shows that you can boost your testosterone with these two dietary twins.
Now, before I go on, I want to say that I actually don’t necessarily advise what’s in this link unless you carefully follow The High Testosterone Diet. The High Testosterone Diet shows you how to boost your testosterone and erectile strength. Saturated fat can very easily take you to the land of Erectile Dysfunction. (If you have Erectile Dysfunction or heart disease, I recomend that you read my links on the Ornish Diet or the Mediterranean Diet. Both have solid, well-studied and proven track records on things like erectile dysfunction, heart disease, cancer and so on.)
Do you know the foods and drinks that boost Nitric Oxide and repair the veins and artieries to your penis? Then check out the Peak Erectile Strength Diet Program where I show you how to dramatically improve your erectile strength.
In addition, some early studies indicated that vegetarianism might lead to low testosterone levels. Two other studies  showed the same pattern. T was whacked in both by a low fat, high fiber diet. One study showed free T almost 27% less and the other showed total T 36% less. Ouch!
For example, A 1979 study  evaluated switching eleven men from a low fat (25% of calories) vegetarian diet to a higher fat (40% of calories) western diet. (Both diets provided the same calories per day.) T-levels were an average of 401 on the vegetarian diet and 581 on the western diet. That’s a 30+% reduction in T!
However, follow up studies have shown that the issue was mostly likely an issue of fat content. In fact, other reserach has shown quite the opposite, i.e. that vegetarians and vegans have equal or even slightly higher testosterone levels than meat-eaters. See my link on Testosterone and Vegetarianism for more details.
However, for those who really enjoy meat and want to “throw caution to the wind,” let me present a few guidelines from the earlier scientific literature that give guidelines for fats and saturated fat in particular:
- Total fat greater than at least 35% (40-50% is better) boosts testosterone.
- Saturated fat (SFA) and cholesterol increase testosterone.
- Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) such as those in olive oil and avocadoes boost testosterone.
- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) such as corn, sunflower and safflower oils, decrease testosterone. (Almost all packaged foods are loaded with polys.)
- The ratio of PUFA/SFA is critical. You want this ratio less than 1.0 and ideally less than 0.5 to increase your testosterone.So then every male 40 and beyond should be eating a low fiber, high saturated fat diet in order boost his testosterone? Well, unfortunately, the answer is not so simple. The literature also shows that a high saturated fat diet can cause problems for the endothelium, the critical inner layer of your blood vessels that interacts directly with the blood itself. As always, let’s look at a few of the studies:First of all, let’s consider the well-known “Cake and Shake” study. In this landmark August 2006 study at The Heart Research Institute in Sydney, Australia, 14 people from the age of 18 to 40 ate two carrot cake meals and a milkshake separated in time by a month. One meal used coconut oil, which is high in saturated fat, and the other used safflower oil, which is high in polyunsaturated fat. The results showed that after a saturated fat meal, the lining of the arteries had difficulty expanding to handle increased blood flow. It was almost as if the arteries were temporarily “hardened”.Now did you notice that saturated fat leads to decreased blood flow? I don’t need to tell you that that’s bad, very bad, for us middle-aged and beyond males. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need decreased blood flow anywhere in my body, especially below the belt. (Please read these links on The Many Dangers of Saturated Fat and The Many Dangers of the Atkins/Paleolithic/Low Carb Diet when you get a chance.)
As a side note, researchers have found that you can partially offset the negative effects of saturated fat by the two W’s: walking and walnuts. Intense exercise (a fast 45 minutes walk on a treadmill) within a couple of hours of eating a high saturated fat menu, according to Indiana University researchers, helped counteract the vessel-constricting properties of the saturated fat.  And, even more remarkably, after a very high fat meal, those who also consumed walnuts actually increased blood flow. 
But should you really rely on exercise and walnuts so that you can try to mask the effects of a high saturated fat diet and thus increase your testosterone levels? Again, a much safer approach is the the famed Mediterranean Diet, which has been shown in several studies to help erectile strength and is pro-testosterone. As I explain elsewhere, the Mediterranean Diet is the diet in locales such as southern Greece which emphasizes monounsaturated fats (from extra virgin olive oil), some polyunsaturated fats (from nuts), moderate red wine consumption, lots of fruits, whole grains and vegetables all coupled with a significant deemphasis of saturated fats and meats in general.
I cover this in greater detail in the Erection Repair Guide and The Great Diet Smackdown Part II. One 2006 study of men with erectile dysfunction and metabolic syndrome, which is the insulin insensitive prediabetic state that plagues western cultures, found that the Mediterranean Diet significantly improved endothelial function, i.e. blood flow, and lowered inflammatory markers. Both of those are very, very good for your sexual, erectile and heart health.  That’s why still other studies have shown that the Mediterranean Diet improves Erectile Dysfunction directly.
The beauty of a Mediterranean Diet is that it is high in fat (virgin olive oil) and high in monounsaturated fats, both of which are pro-testosterone. So the Mediterranean Diet seems to be ideal from all standpoints: it is generally pro-testosterone and protects us males from cancer and erectile dysfunction. However, if you have existing erectile dysfunction, poor blood lipids, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, then you probably need even stronger measures and should consider (with your doctor) the Ornish Diet.
However, if you are just absolutely determined to maximize your testosterone, you may want to try increasing your saturated fats while decreasing polyunsaturated fats and fiber as an experiment and see if it helps. If you do try this, though, I would keep the following cautions in mind:
1. As mentioned above, the Mediterranean Diet is the only diet that has been proven to both lower cancer and heart disease and improve erectile dysfunction. And it is a diet that emphasizes fiber and deemphasizes saturated fats. Therefore, you should study and implement the Sex, Sleep, Mind and Lower Testosterone links to the right before even thinking about adjusting your saturated fat or fiber levels. And, again, if your testosterone is low enough, you probably need to just go on Testosterone Supplementation right away.
2. It is important to remember that virtually the entire nutritional and medical community would recommend that you get a reasonable amount of fiber: fruits and vegetables have been strongly correlated with decreased rates of various diseases. So go for, at a minimum, a “medium” amount of fiber. See my Prostate and Erectile Dysfunction links as examples.
3. Saturated fats definitely have their issues including endothelial dysfunction and potential cancer links in certain cases. (See the Beef and Eggs link for more details.)
4. You must try any testosterone increasing regimen for several months before you can notice any difference. This is even true with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) where one receives testosterone by prescription.
NOTE: Of course, a lot of you reading these links, with total testosterone consistently below 350, should just go on testosterone supplementation (HRT). It has no real downside, assuming you have a decent doctor and is literally a Fountain of Youth for anyone in or past their 40’s. Testosterone not only helps your sex life but many aspects of your physiology including, believe it or not, your brain.