The Top 5 Foods You Didn’t Know Could Give You Manboobs

Regrettably, there will come a day in every man’s life when he just can’t fill out a white undershirt the way he used to, and his once sculpted pecs begin to sag like so many cougars’ backsides on line for girl’s night at the local martini bar. It is inevitable, gravity gets the best of us all- just look at some of the former bodybuilding greats. Luckily, this day should not have to come until well into your 60s if not later.

If you’ve recently noticed a little extra droop when you look down at the old chesticles then this article may be worth a read; being relatively young and having problems with excess sweater meat could be diet-related. Some of these sources are more insidious than you might expect. Sure most guys know soy has potential to give you a case of the “moobs” but heading over to happy hour for a double IPA after work might not be doing you any favors either. Both have been shown to have high levels of phytoestrogens, one of the worst offenders in the fight against flabby chests.

PHYTOESTROGENS

Public enemy number one for hard bodies; phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds which share a structural similarity with E2 or Estradiol, the primary female sex hormone. Consumption of phytoestrogens such as Genistein (commonly found in soy) have proven to result in the growth of breast tissue among lab rats:

“Males in this study developed mammary gland hypertrophy at doses at or above 11 mg/kg and mammary gland hyperplasia at doses at or above 29 mg/kg.” 1

Mammary gland hypertrophy- not exactly the type of gains we’re after. Even more frightening, at higher doses, hyperplasia or the onset of precancerous growth took place. This finding has also been supported in other studies such one case study in Hawaii where “a Hawaiian research group found an association between high soy intake during early life and increased breast density, a risk factor for breast cancer.” 2

Phytoestrogens have also been established as relatively useless in a dietary sense as they do not play any key roles in biological function nor contribute any nutrition. While largely advisable to minimize in your diet, phytoestrogens are not the only thing to watch out for when it comes to avoiding the dreaded pepperoni nips. Here are a list of just a few foods you may be consuming that are prematurely contributing to your blossoming bosom.

Here are a list of just a few foods you may be consuming that are prematurely contributing to your blossoming bosom.

 

BEEF

Beef can be a double edged sword for those of us looking for a natural testosterone boost. Sure its saturated fat and cholesterol provide the raw materials for testosterone synthesis, but you may be getting more than you bargained for with conventionally raised beef.

Steers are neutered at a young age to fatten them up. It costs much less to fatten a steer and all that extra fat not only packs on more weight, it also fetches a premium at market. The downside to all of this is that ranchers then need to inject cattle with estrogenic hormones to keep them alive and healthy until slaughter.
Unfortunately, it appears this exogenous hormone application may get passed on during consumption. One supporting example for this is the nation of Japan which has begun to rely heavily on US imported beef over the past 25 years with disastrous consequence. During this period, Japan has seen “hormone-dependent cancers increase at a rate of 4 times in breast and ovarian cancer, 8 times in endometrial cancer.” 3 Japanese beef, on the other hand, does not allow the injecting of hormones and was found to have 140x less E2 than its American counterpart!

Food for thought: Americans eat steers (neutered males) almost exclusively, never intact males. However, meat from bulls has been shown to be much higher in testosterone while steer meat the opposite.

Beef from bulls contained higher concentrations of testosterone, which is an anabolic androgen, and its metabolite epitestosterone (P < .01) and the androgen precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (P < .05) than beef from steers. Beef from steers contained higher (P < .05) concentrations of the basic hormone precursor pregnenolone and cortisol, which is a catabolic corticosteroid, than beef from bulls. 4

No comprehensive scientific studies have been done to date on the effects of eating bull meat vs. steers in relation to human hormone production. However, it stands to reason if you are what you eat that you’d be better off eating the former. It’s also worth mentioning some of the early anabolic steroids were made from bull testicles.In any case, stay away from the hormone injected stuff and opt for organic or grass-fed if you want to stave off a case of puffy nipples. Wild game is a great alternative if you want to give the bull meat hypothesis a shot as males

In any case, stay away from the hormone injected stuff and opt for organic or grass-fed if you want to stave off a case of puffy nipples. Wild game is a great alternative if you want to give the bull meat hypothesis a shot as males are left naturally in tact.

 

BEER

It’s no secret heavy beer consumption can give you a protruding, bowling ball shaped gut, but that is not all. It turns out that the largely popular hoppy beers like india pale ales (IPAs for short) featured at many of the microbreweries popping up all over the country could be bad news for your “man-mary” glands.

Hops are thought to have been added to beer by monks to help quell their sex drives and unwanted erections during their perpetual dry spells. If “brewer’s droop” isn’t enough reason for you to abstain, then be forewarned that the high level of phytoestrogens are believed to contribute to breast to development as described by author and herbalist Harrod Buhner in his book “Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers”.

FRIED, PROCESSED and REFINED FOODS

Ok this one seems fairly straight forward, but the mechanism by which this happens may not be totally obvious. The thing all of these foods have in common is they are high calorie dense foods with little to no nutrients. These type of foods tend to can accumulate adipose tissue quickly as a result. A little fat is not really a problem for your chest due to the fact men tend to store most adipose tissue reserves around their lower abdomen and love handles.

But when enough fat accumulates around your waist it can start to alter your hormonal profile by producing its own estrogen and before you know it BAM- Dude looks like a lady. Once you’ve reached this critical mass, it is hard to go back to a flat or sculpted anything. Luckily, if you’re concerned enough to be reading this you probably have not let it get to that point but be forewarned to take it easy on the po’boys.

SHRIMP

You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried (OK we get it, Bubba)…. And guess what? They may all be giving you not-so-lovely man bumps. Shrimp are subject to a particularly nasty sort of pesticide in order to keep their pinkish hue at the exorbitantly high cost of your endocrine system.

4-hexyl resorcinol is the extremely estrogenic culprit you want to avoid. 5 The best way to be sure your shrimp do not have any pesticide residue is to opt for wild caught varieties typically from the gulf region. In fact, many farmed* types of seafood use similar endocrine disrupting pesticides which presents a convincing argument for buying all of your seafood “wild caught” instead of farm raised.

*Commonly farmed fish include Atlantic salmon, Tilapia, Catfish and Trout.

EDIBLE MARIJUANA

While not exactly a dietary staple for most, space cakes, lolli-pots and beyond-mars bars can all take a toll on your testosterone. One scholarly article found THC depresses prolactin, thyroid gland function, and growth hormone while elevating adrenal cortical steroids. This is a cocktail for disaster for most of us looking to add or maintain lean body mass. In addition:

Reports of reduced prostate and seminal vesicle weights, as well as altered testicular function, have been partially explained by the effect of marijuana in lowering serum testosterone needed for proper function and support. 6

Reports of reduced prostate and seminal vesicle weights, as well as altered testicular function, have been partially explained by the effect of marijuana in lowering serum testosterone needed for proper function and support. 6 If you must indulge, try a strain higher in other compounds such as CBD which can actually have the inverse effect as it helps to balance out the effects of THC. In fact, one study noted by the National cancer institute showed it inhibited the growth of breast cancer in females.7

If you must indulge, try a strain higher in other compounds such as CBD which can actually have the inverse effect as it helps to balance out the effects of THC. In fact, one study noted by the National cancer institute showed it inhibited the growth of breast cancer in females.7

 

The Good News

The good news is plenty of alternatives exist to help you keep estrogen in check. Upping cholesterol in your diet has been shown to be very effective at raising testosterone levels naturally which can have huge benefits for helping keep those unwanted fun bags at bay. It’s also worth noting that many of the foods listed are still valid options as long as you source them from quality suppliers or indulge sparingly.

Sources:
1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18685712
2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/
3 – Matsuda T, Marugame T, Kamo K, et al Cancer incidence and incidence rates in Japan in 2002: based on data from 11 population-based cancer registries. Jpn J Clin Oncol 2008;38:641-648.
4 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9655582
5 – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302125924.htm
6 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6090909
7 – https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq#section/_7

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