In addition, some early studies indicated that vegetarianism might lead to low
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
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:
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
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
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.
(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,
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
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
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
However, if you are just absolutely determined to maximize your testosterone, you may want to
try increasing your saturated fats
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.
Of course, a lot of you reading these links, with total testosterone
consistently below 350, should just go on
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.
1) Cancer Letters, 7(1979) 273-282
2) J of Steroid Biochemistry Vol. 32, No. 6, p.
829-833, 1989; Amer J of Clin Nutr 42:127-134, 1985
3) Eur Jour App Physio, June 30, 2006
4) J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71
5) Int J Impot Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;18(4):370-4.