How to Find Testosterone-Supporting Foods on a Strict Budget
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Tue 25 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Vlad Belghiru, MD
There have been many times in my life when the budget for food has been extremely tight, especially during my time in the military (where the “pay” at times was less than 150$ a month). However, I have always been able to eat in a testosterone-supporting manner, even at times when the income has been stupidly low.
Maintaining a diet that supports natural testosterone production, doesn’t mean that you have spend all of your hard earned cash for some special food items.
Sure, I often recommend organic foods (and eat them mostly myself too) for guys who are seeking to boost their natural T production (due to the fact that some pesticides have been found to be anti-androgenic), but this doesn’t mean that everything – always and forever – has to be organic in order to boost T.
When on a budget, there are many workarounds and it’s relatively easy to find multiple everyday foods that will nourish the endocrine system…
…You just have to know what to look for, and that’s where this article might come in handy:
Low-Cost Sources of T-Friendly Protein
In terms of endocrine health, the “optimal” intake of protein would fall somewhere in the range of 20-35% of daily calories. And without a doubt, the best type of protein for supporting healthy testosterone production, is animal-protein, aka. meat, and some connective tissue-protein like gelatin.
If money wouldn’t be an issue, the best kind would be organic grass-fed beef of any kind, since grass-eating animals produce a much more “favorable” fatty-acid composition than their grain-fed counterparts (sign. better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, etc), and organically grown animals are much less often treated with hormones and/or antibiotics…
…The problem with organic and grass-fed meat, is the fact that it can easily be double the price of “regular” grain-fed kind. Hence, why when on a budget, I recommend buying any basic low-cost ground beef/steak, but the kind that is LOW IN FAT…
Not that there would be anything wrong in dietary fat, it’s just that the type of fat in grain-fed beef tends to be quite low in quality (again high omega-6, low omega-3), and also the hormone and antibiotic traces will most likely be in the fatty part of the meat, not in the actual “muscle meat”.
By choosing low-fat grain-fed ground beef/steak you get the benefits of high-quality animal protein, without having to wonder about the price, or low-quality fat, or antibiotic/hormone traces.
Another great low-cost source of good protein (and also fat) is eggs, due to their great amino-acid balance (which is considered “perfect” for human needs”), good fatty-acid ratios in terms of T production (38% saturated fats, 44% monounsaturated fats, and only 18% polyunsaturated fats), and ridiculously high micronutrient density.
NOTE: One thing that I did myself on almost a daily basis when the income was on the lower side, was to buy a bunch of cheap ground beef (low in fat), and then some eggs, mix them up in a bowl, add some spices, then make meatballs out of them.
Low-Cost Sources for T-Friendly Carbs
According to research, it would be best to keep your carbohydrate intake at around 40-50% of daily calories.
In terms of testosterone optimization, not all carbs suffice…
…Many grains tend to be high in gluten, and there’s some evidence that gluten can raise prolactin levels, which in turn is a bad thing for testosterone production.
Hence, one of the easily the tastiest, versatile, most filling, and one of the cheapest sources of testosterone-friendly carbs is: potatoes. For a person that runs a tight budget, they’re perfect, potatoes are dirt cheap. Make them your main carbs source and your body, balls, and wallet will all thank you. White rice is also good pure starch source that isn’t that expensive.
Many cheap vegetables are also great for testosterone levels, including: celery, cruciferous veggies, spinach, aragula lettuce, garlic, onions, parsley, etc.
If you find pomegranates on sale, stock up on them (if not on sale, they can be bit pricey). There’s scientific evidence that shows clearly how they can increase testosterone levels.
Also interestingly enough, simple sugars can be very good for thyroid and testosterone production. So eating lots of fruit and even some sugar – yes, sugar – would be good for testosterone.
Low-Cost Sources for T-Friendly Fats
A good intake of dietary fat, is an absolute must if you want to keep your testosterone levels high (around 25-35% of daily calories), but not just any kind of fat will do…
Saturated fatty-acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty-acids (MUFAs) have been shown to be pro-testosterone…
…Whereas polyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFAs) consisting mainly of omega-6’s (ω6), and trans-fats have been shown to lower testosterone levels.
A very simple approach to fats that I’ve followed for years now with great success goes like this:
1. Eat plenty of SFAs and MUFAs from natural sources.
2. Avoid vegetable oils, margarine, processed crap, and fast-food (this eliminating high-omega-6 PUFAs and trans-fat).
So, the big question, what are some budget fats that fit the criteria above?
— Avocados (no need to search for organic kind, the pesticides are mainly in the skin anyway)
— Eggs (organic is better, especially if you drink them raw, but conventional kind will do well too)
— Macadamia nuts (unlike many other nuts, these bad-boys are loaded with SFAs and MUFAs, with minimal PUFAs)
— Olive oil (great fatty-acid ratios, and there’s a study that shows how 3 weeks on olive oil increased T by 17%)
— Butter (while everyone and their dogs are loading up on margarine, you can get the real stuff pretty cheap)
— Raw coconut oil (due to increased demand this stuff is now pretty cheap too)
Having a lot of money makes everything in life easier, and this includes high-testosterone eating too…
However, you can still work some nutritional wonders even when operating with a small budget.
After all, many of the best testosterone boosting foods, are indeed quite cheap.