Gynecomastia – also popularly known as “Man boobs” is a medical condition in men, where the breast tissue gets swollen causing the appearance of “women-like breasts”. The Greek word ‘Gynecomastia’ literally translates to women-like breasts. The chief cause for man boobs is a hormonal imbalance. In some cases it is also caused due to genetic reasons, obesity, use of certain drugs and other unspecified reasons.
According to some studies, one in four men over the age of 50 may develop gynecomastia as testosterone levels decline and the fat levels increase.
What causes man boobs, and particularly, what are the foods that cause man boobs? Continue reading to know more.
What causes man boobs?
Apart from genetic factors, in most cases, hormonal imbalances lead to excessive production of estrogen. This estrogen tends to sit in the chest area in the form of fat, eventually forming chest fat, man boobs or gynecomastia. The swelling in the breast tissue gradually disappears in most cases. It is a common sight during puberty as one is prone to hormonal changes during that time. If the condition lasts for longer than 2 years, than it may be a cause for concern. Another reason for man boobs is obesity. Obesity causes the accumulation of fat all over the body- chest fat included. In this case, reducing your weight can directly impact the appearance of male breasts.
Any food that is high in estrogen boosts the production of estrogen in the body. Eating these foods is in no way harmful to the individual when kept in moderation. When an excessive level of intake happens, it reflects in the body’s estrogen levels, thus leading to fat deposits.
Diet mistakes you could be making
A healthy diet usually comprises of a balanced meal with equal proportions of testosterone and estrogen. This is in order to maintain the body’s hormonal levels, however, if the condition is caused due to genetic or other reasons, this tip may not be applicable.
The ten foods that may cause the development of man boobs are as follows:
- Soya products
Most of the soy/soya products contain plant estrogens which mimic human estrogens. Consuming soya products like soya milk, tofu, soya beans, and other snacks may boost the estrogen levels, triggering the growth of male breasts.
- Packaged & deep fried food
These foods have very high saturated fat content in them, which may trigger the accumulation of fat on the chest. Furthermore, packaged foods contain high estrogen which may lead to the swelling of the breast tissue.
- Cold cuts and frozen meat
Not only do these have high levels of saturated fat, they are also loaded with preservatives or wrapped in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which seeps into the food and causes many harmful effects, one of which is a hormonal imbalance.
- Beer & alcohol
All alcoholic drinks directly impact the liver’s ability to get rid of excess estrogen. Beer not only affects your liver, it also contains phytoestrogens that are converted into estrogen by the body. Thus, consuming excess beer does not only prevent the liver from processing existing estrogens and but also adds additional estrogen components.
This is a great natural supplement for someone who is lacking sufficient estrogen levels in their body. However, for someone experiencing a hormonal imbalance, beetroot worsens this condition by boosting the body’s estrogen level.
- Dairy products
Studies have found that milk and other dairy products also contain a heavy dose of estrogens. For those who require a balance in their nutrition, milk is a good option. However, for someone who is looking for ways to reduce man boobs, regulating the intake of milk, cheese, curd, ghee, butter and the likes is advised.
Apart from having a check on what you eat, it is essential to inculcate other healthy lifestyle habits like exercising regularly in order to keep your body in check. If the reason for your male breast condition is obesity, monitoring your eating habits and avoiding certain foods will help in reducing some of the chest fat, along with regular exercise.
If you are suffering from gynecomastia due to a hormonal imbalance, it is advised to consult a specialist before following these tips. Moreover, gynecomastia may have an underlying condition which can be detected only with a thorough examination by the experts. A scan may reveal tumors (cancerous or non-cancerous) and other hidden reasons for the enlarged breast tissue. Always consult an expert if your condition does not reduce in 1-2 years.
Are there foods that reduce man boobs?
As mentioned above, it is a hormonal imbalance that develops the growth of man boobs. It can be a case of excess estrogen or less testosterone. In the second case, a fall in the level of testosterone may lead to an imbalance in the estrogen levels too, which will have the same effect of enlarging the breasts. One can tackle this by increasing the testosterone levels to help in maintaining a balance. This can be directly addressed by eating foods that have high testosterone levels in them. Although all the nutrients may not necessarily reach you, inculcating a good diet and exercise regime can boost your hormonal balance. Eating foods like eggs, oysters, asparagus, figs, almonds, nuts, brown rice, salmon, and avocados will help in adding testosterone to your diet. These foods are high in cholesterol, which plays a crucial role in the production of testosterone. Along with this, ingredients rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are also helpful in giving the body a testosterone boost.
If both diet and exercise have failed, and you are on the lookout for an easy alternative to quickly reduce your man boobs, consult our experts. A gynecomastia surgery is suggested for those who are unable to reduce their condition despite dietary and lifestyle changes for 2 years or more. At Apollo Cosmetic Clinics, our advanced surgery is minimally invasive, with very little scarring and surgical stitches. It gives the appearance of a flatter chest and an enhanced body contour.