This one is going to be just for the guys out there who might be curious about how the keto diet will affect their testosterone levels.
How do ketones and ketone levels play into men’s T levels? Is it harmful for guys to go on the keto diet?
This article seeks to explain all that and more, so let’s get started right away.
Let’s Talk Fat
We need fat to create adequate amounts of hormones. Fat aids in the regulation of hormone production of the human body, which includes testosterone. How much fat we need is still up for debate, but the American Heart Association says that no more than 20-35% of your daily calories should come from fat.
So now that we know fat is connected to having good testosterone levels, you might think that a keto or other high-fat lifestyle would create even GREATER testosterone numbers. There are even some keto lovers out there who claim this to be true. So, is it?
The answer is, yes!
So how does it work? Let’s find out.
How Does Keto Positively Raise T Levels?
Let’s back up a bit here. In case you didn’t know, keto is a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet in which you eat about 75% of daily calories from fats.
After that, you take in protein. Carbohydrates are kept to a minimum, we’re talking 20g or less a day for the most strict of keto dieters.
Research of health benefits associated with the ketogenic diet indicated that if men go keto, they may be able to raise their testosterone levels.
Here’s how the study went: Researchers had two groups of 25 young men. Both were split into low carbohydrate and keto groups. Then, both of the groups performed resistance training for a total of 11 weeks. Results indicated that the men following the ketogenic diet had greater reductions in their masses of fat, and also boosts in their overall testosterone.
Why Is This The Case?
Now keep in mind this is just one study, and it is not enough to prove that keto can help raise those T levels or help a guy who is a bit low in the testosterone department boost it up again.
But, it does point to ketogenic living being compatible with having healthy testosterone levels.
Why ketogenic dieting raises men’s T levels is not so obvious. It likely has something to do with cholesterol. Cholesterol is one of the “raw materials” we need for the production of testosterone.
The more we put materials in, the more testosterone comes out.
When we consume all those healthy fats as part of keto, you are consuming a cholesterol-rich diet. And, this is the GOOD cholesterol, so your heart disease risk isn’t going to increase.
How Do Testosterone And My Diet Correlate?
There are two main factors when it comes to testosterone and diet.
- The macros of your diet- aka the fat, protein, and carb makeup
- How much food you consume
First off, calories are most important. By restricting your calories for the long term, you reduce muscle mass and bone density as well as your testosterone levels.
But there is a catch. By temporarily cutting your calories to lose some fat, you can BOOST your T levels. How come?
Losing weight increases your sensitivity to insulin, which aids our Leydig cells (cells that produce testosterone in testicles) in creating testosterone inside the testes.
What you are consuming also affects your testosterone numbers as well. For example, consuming higher amounts of carbs seems to stop testosterone from dropping after tough exercise. But we do have other evidence that high-fat diets are better than high carbohydrate diets when it comes to producing testosterone and building muscle.
Dietary Fat and Sex Hormones: Why It Matters
We talked briefly about why the fat you eat matters and why it has an influence on levels of testosterone.
Low levels of dietary fat are connected with low levels of testosterone. Here’s what some researchers found:
There was one small study performed on a group of 30 men. They followed a diet consisting of just 25% dietary fat. On that diet, they dealt with lowered testosterone levels. But, they found the condition could be reversed once they went back to consuming 40% of their calories via fat sources.
What this tells us is that fat raises our testosterone levels because it offers us the foundation needed for sex hormones.
Type Of Fat Matters
But don’t just dig out some high fat, non-keto approved foods. There’s a catch!
Dietary fats in the study were sourced from saturated fatty acids, such as healthy fats we find in avocados, coconuts, and olive oil, not the ones from Whoppers or fried chicken.
Polyunsaturated fats are another great source, look to things like sunflower seeds for that.
Here are some other places to get keto-friendly, testosterone raising fats:
- Grass fed meat
- Coconut oil and coconut
- Olive oil and olives
- Grass-fed butter
- Raw macadamia nuts and almonds
By eating more healthy fats and following the keto lifestyle, you can naturally raise up your testosterone numbers in a natural and safe way.
But that’s not all. You have to stick with it!
What Else You Can Do
By following a keto diet with the correct amount of macros for your health goals, you could very well see an increase in your testosterone levels. You must follow it closely for it to work!
There are other things you can do to help raise those T levels, and here are some suggestions:
- Cut fructose and sugars from your intake
- Reduce your stress
- Get adequate rest
- Eat fibrous, low carb veggies
- Get regular exercise, especially resistance training and HIIT workouts
- Take supplements and vitamins so you get what you need
Ready To Start?
If you’re ready to start this keto lifestyle, we can help. Come check out our website for advice on how to get started and see recipe and supplement ideas. With the right willpower and support network, anything is possible. Good luck!