The list of foods that cause Gynecomastia and the foods we eat that affect us in numerous ways. Eat sugar-laden snacks and you can expect a rush of energy before the inevitable crash. With foods high in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, you can expect to gain weight. Eat foods high in protein while engaging in consistent resistance training and you can expect to gain muscle. But are there foods you can eat that can make men grow breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia? The answer to that unusual question is yes.
Gynecomastia is a benign medical condition that causes male breast tissue to become swollen, often to the point of causing the appearance of female-like breasts. Many crude nicknames have been used to describe this affliction. The term “man-boobs” comes to mind. While gynecomastia does not tend to accompany pain or serious symptoms, the swollen breast tissue can cause deep sentiments of shame and embarrassment, and this can lead to social isolation, anxiety, and depression.
The primary cause of gynecomastia is a hormonal imbalance. You can imagine a teeter-totter with male hormones on one side and female hormones on the other. Everyone on the planet has a mixture of male and female hormones in their bodies. During the teenage years, boys develop body hair, deep voices, and muscle mass because of a surge in the male hormone testosterone.
Conversely, women develop higher voices, wider hips, and breasts because of the female hormone estrogen. Men with gyno see a surge of female hormones that overtakes the male hormones, the teeter-totters, which causes breasts to develop. That is gynecomastia in a nutshell. Now, back to the food we eat.
How Can Certain Foods Cause Gynecomastia?
Foods that cause gynecomastia tend to increase the production of estrogen in the body. Many of these same foods simultaneously suppress testosterone production. You can see how this would cause havoc on the body, including the development of male breasts.
When men eat estrogen-rich foods, the female hormone tends to reside in the chest area. This causes fat to form, and the glandular tissue to expand. For some men, gynecomastia is mild and only causes slight swelling and potentially puffy nipples to form. Other men develop a severe form of the condition, which causes expansion beyond the sides of the chest. Excess tissue may also be present. There are four grades or degrees of gynecomastia that range from mild to severe. Which one you develop depends on your genetics and the behaviors you engage in, including which foods you eat.
Any food that is high in estrogen boosts estrogen production in the body. Eating these foods may not be harmful when consumed in moderation. But when the consumption becomes habitual, that is when gynecomastia can rear its ugly (and embarrassing) head.
Here are the gynecomastia foods to avoid if you worry about growing male breasts:
Any Foods That Contain Soy Products
Individuals who stop eating meat, such as vegetarians and vegans, often turn to soy products as a substitute for animal protein. Tofu is one such food that many non-meat-eaters consume and many even call tofu the classic meat alternative. Turns out, though, that tofu and other soy products may not be as healthy as they are claimed to be, especially if you worry about consuming foods that cause man breasts.
Tofu is only one example of a soy-based food. Others include edamame, soy milk, tempeh, and soy sauce. All of these foods are derived from soybeans, which contain a high concentration of isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that is quite similar to estrogen produced by the human body with weaker effects.
While you may think you are boosting your protein input by choosing soy foods, you are actually increasing your body’s estrogen production. Male breasts can result.
Deli meats are convenient. They come in a small package, are sliced already on your behalf, and can be used to make sandwiches or eaten on their own as a quick snack. But eaters beware, as these handy dandy foods are also wrapped in PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which can leak into the meats themselves and cause estrogen overload.
The next time you reach for deli meat because of the convenience, be mindful that this is another food that causes man boobs.
The danger in eating frozen meat generally lies in the packaging. Like deli meats, frozen meat is typically coated in plastic. As we have covered, the material that comprises the wrapping can seep into the meat, causing an increase in estrogen. Meat consumption also boosts estrogen on account of the elevated levels of estrone and estradiol. Fatty meats are the biggest contributors to this increase, which include liver and calf meat.
Fish is not inherently an estrogen-rich food. The problem with fish today is entirely man-made. Chemicals dumped into the water, which the fish absorb, can lead to excessive amounts of estrogen in the body. While fish is considered healthy, the more fish you eat, the more you may be contributing to your male breast condition.
Whey and Casein Protein
That protein powder you mix into a drink every day may help you develop muscles, but you may also be inadvertently growing breasts because of them. Protein products made from whey and casein are derived from milk, which is rich in estrogen.
Instead of reaching for a whey or casein protein powder or bar, choose a plant-based protein product instead of gynecomastia is a constant concern.
Women are told to take beetroot supplements to replenish their estrogen levels. But for men looking to decrease the amount of the female hormone in their body, beetroot is the last thing you should be consuming. Beetroot is the taproot part of the beet plant. The food and supplements made of the root are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, iron, and manganese. Beets, and their roots, also contain inorganic nitrates, which are associated with reduced blood pressure. But beet-based foods are also high in estrogen, which makes this one of the foods to avoid for man breasts.
We already covered whey and casein protein, which are derived from milk, and contain high estrogen levels. You should know that all dairy products contain heavy doses of estrogens. Aside from milk, you should go easy on the curd, cheese, ghee, and butter.
This is a tough one because restaurants are known for using butter in heavy amounts to enhance the taste of their various menu options. And cheese tastes darn good on foods like pizza, pasta, and chili. But as we mentioned before, estrogen-rich foods are fine in moderation. Consuming them every day or even every other day is when hormone imbalances that cause gynecomastia can occur.
Beer and Alcohol
Beer is high in calories, which can increase the amount of adipose tissue on your chest, making gynecomastia worse. Not only that, but beer and any alcohol in general, prevents your liver from processing the estrogen in your body. This is due to the fact that your liver is busy processing all the alcohol you’ve drank.
With the excess estrogen floating around in your body, and residing on your chest, you may find yourself with man-boobs and a hangover. Best to go easy on the drinking if you are worried about man boobs marring your physique.
Most people are aware that marijuana, more formally known as cannabis, can be smoked. But some people prefer to eat the substance instead. Consuming cannabis introduces your body to prominent levels of THC, which has been shown to decrease testosterone levels while boosting estrogen in the human body.
Getting high feels relaxing and can make even the most mundane subjects seem hilarious, but consuming cannabis in substantial amounts can also lead to an increase in the development of glandular breast tissue in men. Check out our other blog about weeds and gynecomastia.
Eggs have been called a superfood due in large part to their high concentration of nutrients and protein. However, like dairy products, eggs contain an elevated level of estrogen. In fact, eggs are estimated to account for 10% to 20% of a human’s hormone intake. While eggs can help you build muscle, eating too many eggs often can do more harm than good when it comes to male breast development.
Flax seeds are high in soy. And, as we have established, consuming soy increases your body’s estrogen levels. Flax seeds are excellent for women who need more estrogen in their lives. For men looking to reduce their male breasts, flax seeds are the last things you should be reaching for as a meal or snack.
Dieticians have been hailing the health benefits of multigrain bread for years. The more varied the grain levels, the healthier the bread, at least that’s what we have been told. What those health experts fail to mention is that multigrain bread contains a large concentration of phytoestrogens. Just like soy products, multigrain bread fills your body with a female hormone compound that mimics estrogen produced by the human body.
Instead of multigrain bread, look for whole-grain bread instead. You should also choose whole grain oats, whole wheat cereals, and brown rice, which increase testosterone instead of boosting female hormone levels.
Other Foods that Boost Testosterone Levels
Now that you know which gynecomastia foods to avoid, these are the foods you should fill your plate with if you hope to gain muscle and reduce the levels of estrogen in your body. A diet full of these foods will reduce your likelihood of developing man boobs and boost your libido.
While deli meats and frozen meats can be convenient, your body will much more readily respond to lean protein choices like fresh skinless poultry, seafood, and lean beef. Look for meat choices that are not pre-packaged, like those sold at your local butcher shop.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
When you think of protein you probably think of meat or protein powder. But the more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the better they are for you (and your testosterone levels). To reduce gynecomastia and build muscle, focus on eating berries, leafy greens like kale, carrots, and coniferous vegetables like broccoli.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
Want a testosterone boost and to keep estrogen to minor levels? Eat foods like kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, lentils, chickpeas, avocados, and olive oil.
Gynecomastia Making You Depressed? Get Permanent Help from One of the World’s Foremost Male Breast Reduction Specialists
By now you know the main cause of gynecomastia, which is a hormonal imbalance in the body. While genetics, obesity, underlying conditions, and unhealthy habits like drug use can contribute to the condition, you also know what foods cause gynecomastia.
The thing is, you can stop eating the foods, or quit the bad habit, but the male breasts you grew may be here to stay. The only permanent way to feel proud of your body once more is to undergo male breast reduction surgery, otherwise known as gynecomastia surgery.
The biggest obstacle you face as someone interested in gyno surgery is finding a gynecomastia surgeon who is experienced and who can produce before and after photographs that demonstrate exemplary results. Instead of doing a blind Google search for “help for gynecomastia near me,” work with one of the world’s best gynecomastia doctors by searching by name.
Doctor Babak Moeinolmolki is one of the world’s top gynecomastia specialists. By scheduling a discreet meeting with Doctor Moeinolmolki, you can discuss your bodily insecurities and the results you expect. You can also learn more about the procedure used to treat male breast growth.
LA Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Moein is board-certified by the American Board of General Surgery.