Fat and Testosterone: Everything You Need to Know About Fats and Testosterone Production
Some years ago, dietary fat was considered to be the utmost evil thing that you could ever put near your body, but luckily things have gotten slowly better and new research is constantly proving how important it is to eat enough dietary fat each and every day.
This is a good thing, especially for men, as dietary fat intake is one of the most crucial factors to take under consideration when optimizing natural testosterone production.
So let’s dive into the fats-testosterone benefits:
Dietary Fats-Testosterone Benefits
2. The ratio between different types of fatty acids plays a crucial role. Not all of them are equally as effective, and one of the groups actually decreases testosterone.
I’m assuming that most of you already know the difference between fats, but for the sake of simplicity, these are the three types of fat you need to know:
- Polyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFAs) – omega fatty-acids (3,6,7,9), sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, margarine, light spreads, etc.
- Monounsaturated fatty-acids (MUFAs) – olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil, hazelnut oil, macadamia nut oil, peanut butter, etc.
- Saturated fatty-acids (SFAs) – red meat, butter, coconut oil, palm oil, dark chocolate, egg yolks, cheese, whole milk, etc.
Here’s what science tells us about polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fats and testosterone production:
a) In this study, the researchers tested several nutritional factors to see how they correlate with pre-exercise testosterone levels in healthy men. What they saw was that the diets high in saturated fat and the diets high in monounsaturated fat, significantly increased testosterone levels. Whereas the diets high in protein, or the diets high in polyunsaturated fats, both reduced testosterone levels in a pretty much dose dependent manner. The researchers also saw that the
higher the dietary fat intake, the higher the testosterone (diet containing mixed fats).
c) Several studies have also shown that when diets lower in total fat intake (~20%), are compared to diets higher in total fat intake (~40%). The higher fat intake groups always have more testosterone, and less SHBG in their blood serum (study, study, study)
d) In this study two elite ice hockey teams were put on different diets for a period of 7 months. The other team received a diet containing 40% fat and 45% carbs, whereas the other team ate a diet with 30% fat and 55% carbs (protein intake was identical). Both during and after the study, the researchers saw that the higher fat intake group had higher free testosterone levels, along with lower sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels.
At this point it becomes quite obvious that you need to eat plenty of fat to increase testosterone levels, and that the types of fat you need to focus on are the saturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Whereas the consumption of polyunsaturated fats should be kept low.
Eating 35-40% of your daily calories from mostly SFAs and MUFAs would be my recommendation for optimal testosterone production. No more than that because you have to leave some room for carbohydrates and protein too. Also, avoid trans-fat like it would be the plague.
“But what the heck? I’ve heard that saturated fat causes heart conditions?!”
Answer: Don’t fret over such nonsense. Recent research has shown multiple times that the correlation between dietary fat intake and cardiovascular disease risk is pretty much non-existent. Saturated fat and testosterone production go hand in hand. Brett from the Art of Manliness actually has a post here, which shows how he ate a high-fat diet that doubled his testosterone levels, while his blood profile stayed optimal the whole time.
Conclusion on the Fats-Testosterone Benefits
It is well know that eating a diet high in healthy fats increase testosterone levels. In fact it’s one of the easiest ways to do so.
Research has also shown that the higher intake of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats leads to higher testosterone levels, whereas a higher intake of polyunsaturated fats leads to lower testosterone.
So not only does the amount of fat you eat matter, but also the type of fat.
Thank you for reading!