A vegetarian diet offers a big health advantage for men. Not only does it help prevent, and even reverse, common diseases that both men and women get, such as heart disease and diabetes, it also offers specific advantages for men’s health.
Some men wonder if a vegetarian diet will affect their testosterone levels. Worry no more! The good news is that plant foods make for great testosterone levels. For instance in a study of British men, vegetarians were found to have slightly higher levels of testosterone than meat eaters, and those who were vegans had slightly higher levels than vegetarians.
Other men think that they need meat to build muscle, but in fact the plant kingdom has plenty of high quality protein sources, especially from all the many kinds of beans, whole grains, nuts and vegetables. Vegetarian athletes can bulk up all they want on plant foods, and not worry about their protein or testosterone levels. Vegetarian athletes have found that their diet helps both their strength and their endurance. The increasing number of famous vegetarian athletes, in virtually every kind of sport, is impressive, real-world evidence of this.
Now, there has been some deliberate confusion spread around about one special kind of bean, the soy bean. I say deliberate because most of it is spread by the Weston Price Foundation, which is heavily funded by the meat industry. They say that soy lowers testosterone levels. They’re playing on the fact that soy contains phyto-estrogens, phyto- meaning plant, which sounds somewhat similar in name to human estrogen. But we are not plants, and phyto-estrogens have been found to be practically devoid of hormonal actions in men. The truth is that there’s no need to worry about soy at all. Medical studies show that men who eat lots of soy have normal testosterone levels. Even better, men, who went into a study with their testosterone a little on the low side, saw their testosterone levels actually go up as they consumed more soy. Neither will soy, of any kind, hurt any other part of a man’s body, even during development in puberty.
One of the greatest causes for concern in men is erectile dysfunction (ED). When a man has ED, the blood flow is usually constricted and that helps cause the dysfunction. The same artery-clogging saturated fats and cholesterol in meat, eggs and dairy that can clog the coronary arteries in the heart, also clogs arteries in other important places. Here, as in the other arteries, a vegetarian diet makes for a better blood flow in men where it counts. Vegetarian men also have been found to have the same sperm counts and, even better, produced larger amounts of semen than meat eaters. And here again, soy showed itself to be a good choice for men, and men who eat lots of soy also have normal sperm counts.
As men age, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) becomes more and more common, with its all-too-common symptom of frequent urination. Medical studies show that meat, eggs and dairy increase the risk of BPH whereas fruits and vegetables lower the risk. Urologist Mark McClure MD gives the following advice to his patients to reduce their risk of BPH: Reduce animal fats, eat more fruits and vegetables, lower cholesterol and eat plenty of fiber.
The most common form of cancer in men is now prostate cancer. In recent years, the medical community has been rocked by the discovery that a low fat vegetarian diet was able to arrest the progression of early stage prostate cancer. Furthermore it has been shown that the cancer cells were actively being suppressed. Green leafy vegetables, soybean products, lentils, peas, nuts and tomatoes (especially tomato sauce) and high fiber intake are all associated with decreased prostate carcinoma risk.
The message is clear: following a low fat vegetarian diet helps reduce the risk of many common conditions that men worry about. Whether you’re concerned about heart disease, diabetes, or prostate cancer, or you’d like to increase your strength, stamina and performance in all areas of life, you can rest assured that a low-fat vegetarian diet is the best diet to follow.