Eggs and Testosterone: Cholesterol & Androgens
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Tue 25 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Vlad Belghiru, MD
Amidst the various health food crazes of the modern day, it seems that everything is low carb, fat-free, gluten-free, and/or vegan. While many self-proclaimed fitness gurus swear up-and-down by living a life of restriction when it comes to food, these dietary trends seem to be all about denying the human body certain macronutrients for the sake of becoming more fit.
The truth is, fats, carbs, and protein are all fundamental nutritional tenets of a healthy human’s diet. By limiting the intake of any one of these macronutrients (or trying to consume only one type of macronutrient in excessive portions), we don’t give our bodies the proper proportion of these essential building blocks. These imbalances can actually be the root problem of basic malnourishment.
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Egg Yolk Benefits
One of the most popular fads in the fitness world is eating only egg whites and avoiding the yolks. Yolks, which are high in cholesterol, seem to drive health-conscious individuals (especially older ones) running and screaming in the opposite direction. In actuality, the yolks of eggs are basically where all the nutrients are found. The yolk does contain high levels of cholesterol, but it’s the good kind, known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL, which is essential for the maintenance and production of sex hormones and cellular membranes.
Eggs are also a very good source of natural protein. While it is really important to not consume excessive amounts of protein, as that can lead to dietary imbalances, it is a pretty essential macronutrient, particularly for men who are attempting to bulk up their musculature and train anabolically. During this type of training, muscles are strained to the point where they must be rebuilt (this is the part where you feel sore). Eating a protein-rich diet is very helpful in this situation, as the muscles require protein as a building block with which they need to reconstruct themselves.
In addition to being a good source of fat-based cholesterol, eggs are chock-full of essential fatty acids and other bioactive nutrients. Natural, saturated fats as well as selenium, iodine, vitamins K2, A, E, and D, several B vitamins, and choline are all found in eggs. These nutrients are great for the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system as well as a balanced and de-stressed endocrine system. Eggs are also a good source of zinc, a trace mineral that must be taken in dietarily and is important for male health.
Eggs And Testosterone
Cholesterol has a very similar molecular structure to testosterone, and is converted to the sex hormone in the male body. The school of thinking that debases all forms of cholesterol is ill-founded, as our body needs a balance of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is what contributes to unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, so it’s important to structure our diets so that we consume a greater amount of HDL cholesterol. Because eggs are a good source of HDL cholesterol, eating whole eggs is a great way to incorporate testosterone-boosting foods into your diet.
Egg yolks are high in calories, which is why they are often demonized. However, the majority of those calories are from protein and high amounts of healthy fatty acids. While fat consumption may seem contrary to boosting T levels, the truth is more complicated than just that. The ratio of saturated fat to polyunsaturated fat in your diet correlates directly with testosterone levels. In other words, the more saturated fats you eat compared to polyunsaturated fats, the higher your testosterone will be. The yolk of the egg is packed with saturated fat, as well as protein, so skimping out on eating a whole egg and just eating the whites isn’t going to help you get higher testosterone.
As previously mentioned, eggs are rich in several dietary vitamins and minerals, many of which have been positively correlated with testosterone levels. For example, vitamins A, D, E, and K2 all boost testosterone levels through production or regulation. Choline helps de-stress the body and lowers cortisol, a hormone that blocks T production. Selenium and iodine both have testosterone-raising properties, and the B vitamins have multiple functions in the endocrine system and with male sexual health.
How To Incorporate Eggs Into Your Diet
Back in the day, muscle men would drink several raw eggs a day. Nowadays, salmonella has put the fear of God in everyone when it comes to raw eggs. However, raw eggs aren’t always a death sentence. Shop organically, and you can avoid most issues that arise with eggs from roided up chickens. A couple of raw eggs in a protein smoothie can substitute protein powder.
If you can’t stomach raw eggs, avoid charring them to a crisp, or else the nutrients can get oxidized. Opt instead for a slightly undercooked egg for a good balance of flavor and nutritional benefits.
When it comes to building your testosterone naturally, diet plays a huge role. It’s very easy to be misinformed when it comes to nutrition, especially given the multitude of internet claims that fats and cholesterol are evil. The truth is, a diet rich in essential fatty acids and HDL cholesterol has actually been shown to increase testosterone levels in men. Eggs are a great source of these macronutrients, as well as protein and a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Whether you drink them raw, or pull a Ron Swanson and have a three-egg scramble for a snack, eggs incorporated into your diet will help you be a more of a manly man. Just don’t forgo the yolk![thrive_leads id=’23621′]