The first and most important place that we’re going to focus on in this course is diet to put it bluntly the difference between an optimized diet and an average Western diet can mean the difference between looking and feeling like an alpha and feeling like absolute junk. The first reason for this is that estrogen can actually be created in the body’s fat cells more fat therefore means more estrogen.
And so one of the best ways you can improve hormonal balance and optimize for more testosterone is to gravitate towards a healthy body composition with a low body fat percentage. Not to mention all of the other healthy benefits for staying trim. But don’t worry I’m not going to give you the whole lecture on junk food. Tell you to cut out junk food or admonish you with cliches like you are what you eat if you’ve come this far you already know all of that. What I am going to do is tell you that not all healthy diets are created equally and the camps are very much divided from raw food vegans to Paleo enthusiasts to ketogenic dieters and everything in between .
There are a lot of different definitions of what a healthy diet can mean. When it comes to testosterone optimization However the information is pretty consistent. First and foremost you won’t be surprised to learn that your body requires a healthy amount of protein and fats. This makes sense if you think about it as testosterone is the alpha hormone. Like I said before a lot of what we do in this course is creating a virtuous cycle. Think about your Paleolithic hunter gatherer ancestors. Isn’t it logical that the members of the tribe with a higher testosterone got the first crack at the spoils of the hunt that they got to eat their heart’s content while the others hope that there was enough left around. It’s for this reason that I always say if you want the hormonal profile of an alpha start by eating like one. This means not just eating enough but eating the right things too. Let’s break this down a little bit by talking about the most energy dense macronutrient fats.
Well it turns out that a diet rich in fats is necessary for the production of testosterone in the body . You might think that this contradicts with the fact that higher body fat lowers your testosterone. But in thinking so you’re reflecting a common misbelief. Let me make this abundantly clear. Eating fat does not make you fat. On the contrary eating the right types of fats helps your body burn fat as a rich source of energy in a process called Kito Genesis. Gone are the days where dubious studies funded by food companies lead the public to believe that fat is the devil when it comes to a healthy balanced diet. Fat is your friend. With that said not all fats are created equal saturated and Mottau and saturated fats the kinds you’d find in healthy foods like avocados olive oil coconut oil and fatty fish are great for your endocrine system. Unsurprisingly polyunsaturated fats and trans fats like you’ll find in canola oil and processed foods not so good for you. As a general rule of thumb it’s a good idea for both men and women to get about percent of their dietary calories from healthy fat sources.
Now let’s talk a bit about protein. While it’s true that you definitely need a healthy amount of protein in your diet to facilitate testosterone production. It’s important to note that a lot of advice on protein is largely overstated. Studies have shown that the benefits of more protein diminish at about . grams per pound of lean body mass which even if you’re overweight is a far cry from the grams per pound that some bodybuilding circles advocate when it comes to protein. As with all things there is a sweet spot. And one study done by Anderson a tall even proved that a diet excessively high in protein can actually lead to decreased testosterone. As a rule of thumb it’s recommended to consume about percent of your calories from protein at this point you might be wondering what about the whole vegan or vegetarian thing. Well if you choose not to eat animals or animal products I fully respect that. Unfortunately you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that this is an ethical choice and a sacrifice to your health. Sure you can pull out study after study that allegedly links meat to heart disease or cancer but just as easily I can match you one for one with studies proving that it doesn’t.
Or proving that a plant based diet lowers testosterone significantly. In fact numerous studies have shown decreases in testosterone ranging from to percent when animal proteins were taken out of the picture. In one study researchers even found that replacing meat in the diet with tofu can temporarily lead to a percent decrease in free testosterone. So while you can maybe find work arounds to get the adequate amount of protein in calories. The simple truth is that it’s challenging and it’s even more challenging to get the appropriate amount of cholesterol mono and saturated fat and protein without eating meat. Sorry if that offends some of you but that’s what the research shows. By the way if budget allows and you have access to it it’s always best to opt for grass fed meat from healthy happy ethically treated animals. Not only is this the right thing to do for our planet. From a moral standpoint it’s also much much healthier. Grass fed meets have a two to four times higher ratio of the anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids to the omega fatty acids. They have better kinds of fat. They have more vitamins and higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid or CLV grass fed animals also typically need fewer antibiotics and garbage in their diet as they are much less likely to get digestive infections and so on. All of this means that it’s much healthier for you and for the planet to choose grass fed whenever possible .
Finally we get to the most controversial of the three major micronutrients carbs in recent years. Carbohydrates have been under fire according to a lot of Paleo and Kitto advocates. The human body doesn’t need carbohydrates to function and may even perform better when forced to burn fat as a fuel source. Without a doubt there are a number of benefits for the heart the brain the muscles and the waistline . When pursuing a ketogenic diet when it comes to testosterone However study after study has shown that a diet that is too low and carbohydrates can really cut your testosterone again by as much as percent . This is especially true for females who can have cycle irregularities and other complications from dipping to low on the carb scale. But as with fats it’s important to note that not all carbs are created equal either. Indeed across the board most nutritionists these days will agree that sugars even those from fruit are pretty universally bad for the body.
Without getting into a whole heated discussion about sugar and how it causes insulin sensitivity diabetes obesity. Suffice it to say that nobody needs sugar in their diet. And most people should generally avoid sugar as much as possible stay away from sodas pastries juices and overly sweet selectively bred fruits that have way way more sugar than your evolutionary ancestors would ever have consumed. The best place then to get your carbs are from cruciferous vegetables things like broccoli cauliflower cabbage Brussels sprouts kohlrabi kale bok choy and so on. These foods are not only more balanced in the carb Department but they’re also full of the minerals your body needs to create testosterone. And they have phyto nutrients like indels which can help suppress unhealthy estrogen while you’re at it don’t neglect other more colorful vegetables like peppers.
How about grains though. Well here again you’ll find a lot of debate from both sides. And more and more the anti-green camp led by folks like my friend Rob Wolfe are prevailing Put simply grains like wheat quinoa and oats are full of nasty stuff like gluten and Sapone. And while not everyone has a gluten sensitivity there are very few benefits to eating grains. On the contrary gluten and Spolin cause some level of inflammation in the intestinal damage in nearly every body and can act as powerful anti nutrients blocking other micronutrients from entering the body . Plus they don’t have much nutritional value besides plain old polysaccharides.
So why even eat them at all. Add to this the fact that the inflammation caused by gluten can both increase prolactin and cortisol both of which decrease testosterone. And it’s pretty clear you should stay away from grains and get your necessary carbohydrates either from the leafy green vegetables we talked about before or from things like potatoes yams and possibly even rice. Now I know this can be a lot to take in. You might be wondering how to synthesize all of this disparate and overwhelming advice. Fortunately for you there is a diet out there that pretty much touches on all of these points. It’s called The Paleo Diet advocated and popularized by leading authors like Dr. Lorraine Chlordane and Rob Wolfe The Paleo Diet is one of the most popular and effective diets out there in lengthy discussions with both Rob and Dr. Cordone. I’ve come to realize that by focusing on a diet closely modeled after the original natural diet that our bodies were evolved to subsist on the paleo diet very closely follows all of the guidelines above .
It’s high in fats encouraging you to get most of your calories from healthy fat sources like nuts avocados fish and certain vegetable oils. It has adequate protein. Encouraging you to eat lean meats lots of fish and eggs. It shies away from nearly all of the junk that’s making the population so sick. No processed foods no Franken foods no artificial sugars no gut harming grains like wheat or barley . At the same time it does have a little bit of carbohydrates which prevents you from dipping too low on the carb scale. And best of all it’s extremely rich in vegetables and other nutrient rich foods that keep your body in balance. All in all I’ve found that the paleo diet was one of the single biggest contributors to both my overall health and my endocrine health.
To help you get started I’ve shared some audio interviews I’ve conducted with both Dr. Cora Dane and Rob Wolf if you’re interested in reading more. I do strongly suggest checking out Rob’s book The Paleo solution as a great starting point. By the way one last note on the proper diet. So many people overlook water and hydration but it is in fact one of the most important parts of optimal health without proper hydration. Your body struggles to perform even the most basic tasks from digestion to healing and hormone production . Studies have shown that even slight dehydration can harm the endocrine systems performance so make sure you’re drinking lots and lots of pure clean water throughout the day. So now that we understand a cursory overview of what your diet should contain. Let’s dive into some common concerns and sticking points that people often face when it comes to changing their diet.