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The 5 Foods That Could Absolutely Kill Your Sex Drive

Looking to get lucky tonight? Better stay away from these un-sexy eats, which could do a number on your skills in the sack.

blurry picture of people having sexistock/shironosov

Here’s what you need to know about anaphrodisiacs

Sex is a powerful human drive that confers more benefits than just propagation of the species. In addition to improving your mood and whittling your waistline, sex can even help you live longer. Everyone’s heard of aphrodisiacs—foods that increase your sex drive. But what about the opposite? Do a quick Internet search for “foods that kill sex drive,” and you’ll find a slew of articles listing alleged anaphrodisiacs, or foods that can lower your libido. But unlike aphrodisiacs, which are foods that have some scientific backing to support their sex-boosting abilities, the same can’t be said for their opposites. “You’ll find a long list of foods that affect your testosterone or libido; however, a lot of these are based on word-of-mouth or poor research studies,” says Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, co-director of the PUR Clinic in Clermont, Florida. “Don’t believe everything you read.” Still, Dr. Brahmbhatt says it’s a good idea to abide by the rule “everything in moderation,” and it can’t hurt to keep certain foods in mind before getting intimate.

 

plate with fried chicken and french friesistock/LauriPatterson

Foods high in saturated fat

If some of your favorite meals are fried, they may be tasty but they’re also laden with saturated fat, according to Medline Plus, which contributes to clogged arteries, poor blood flow, and weight gain. That can lead to erectile dysfunction, which obviously plays a part in your drive to have sex. “If you eat poorly, you’re more likely to be obese and have problems like diabetes or high blood pressure, all of which can affect your libido,” says Dr. Brahmbhatt. “It’s best to eat better today for a healthier sex life tomorrow.” Other foods high in saturated fat are red meat and cheese. (Doubting it’s because of food? Learn how the pandemic could be killing your libido.)

oil being poured into a cooking panistock/zeljkosantrac

Fatty acids

When it comes to sexual functioning, all fats are not alike. One study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology found that omega-3 fatty acids (think fish oil, flaxseed, canola oils) were “positively associated with testicular function,” while omega-6 fatty acids (sunflower, corn, soybean oil) and trans fatty acids (hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine) appeared to diminish function.

coarse salt in a dish and on a spoonistock/librakv

Salt

A flaccid sex drive is one more reason to watch your sodium intake. Salt and foods high in this mineral can lead to high blood pressure, which can kills your libido, according to Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Find out the signs you’re eating too much salt.

a cocktail sitting on a baristock/Nirian

Alcohol

“Heavy drinking can lead to lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels. In combination, this can affect your libido,” says Dr. Brahmbhatt. And even though a little boozy buzz may increase your confidence to actually hit the bedroom, alcohol is a depressant, so too much can end up decreasing sexual desire and sometimes make it harder for a man to get…ahem…hard. These are signs you might be drinking too much.

a bowl of sugar cubesistock/YelenaYemchuk

Sugar

Sugar can affect your waistline and end up wasting your bedroom time. “Sugars require insulin for processing. This constant increase in insulin is linked with low testosterone levels,” says Dr. Brahmbhatt. Heavy carbohydrates like pasta can also turn to sugar, which then spikes blood glucose levels and causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. “Get the salad over pasta on date night,” he says. Have a sweet tooth? Learn how to kick a sugar addiction without missing the sweet stuff.

 

Sources
Medically reviewed by Tia Jackson-Bey, MD, on September 25, 2019

Alyssa Jung
Alyssa Jung is a writer and editor with extensive experience creating health and wellness content that resonates with readers. She freelanced for local publications in Upstate New York and spent three years as a newspaper reporter before moving to New York City to pursue a career in magazines. She is currently Senior Associate Editor at Prevention magazine and a contributor to Prevention.com. Previously she worked at Reader's Digest as an editor, writer, and health fact checker.