Foods That Are Destroying Your Libido

A bout of lowered sex drive happens to us all…every now and again. However, if “I’m not in the mood, honey” is your constant response night after night, week after week, believe me when I say you should be concerned with more than the frustrations of your partner or spouse.

Look first to your diet for the major culprit behind your decreased sex drive.  What you’re putting in your mouth throughout the day can virtually drain your libido. Why?

Because diet directly impacts your hormone levels, particularly your testosterone, the hormone that puts the mojo in your moves, the funky in your monkey, and the tang in your…well, you get the picture. The food you eat directly influences sexual desire and helps puts you in the mood for love (cue the Barry White).

Now, before you get too frisky, let’s take a look at the 10 major libido killers that may be squashing your sex drive…


Sure, some people drink a glass of wine or share a bottle to get in the mood. However, too much alcohol will actually quash your sexual prowess. So while a little booze may decrease your psychological inhibitions while increasing your need for love—in the end alcohol is a depressant that can negatively impact your body’s ability to perform sexually.

That’s why, if you drink too much; you will reduce your testosterone production and your libido.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, are great if you’re trying to cut out sugar and lose weight. But before you reach for that diet soda keep in mind that the fake sweet stuff also inhibits the neuro-production of dopamine and serotonin (your feel good hormone), leading to much less sexy feelings of depression, irritability, and lowered libido. Instead, reach for natural sweeteners, like honey.


Studies repeatedly link high sugar beverages, particularly soda, with diabetes, weight gain, poor oral health, and bone loss, but now studies are drawing a thick line between soda and depression as well.

And we all know that when we don’t feel good about ourselves; our sex drive is in the doldrums. And before you suggest diet sodas…reread that last slide.


Oh you coffee addicts might think your morning, lunch, and late afternoon pick-me-up puts more peep in your step. However, too much coffee keeps your adrenal glands working and can lead to an overproduction of stress hormones.

Over the long term, energy and sex drive will suffer—a good reason to keep it at 2-cups a day and to stop slurping caffeine in the evenings.


While soy does have some health attributes, it can be damaging to your libido if it’s your sole source of protein or if you focus on only highly processed forms.

The reality is that soy can disrupt your hormone levels thanks to phytoestrogen compounds, which mimic the estrogen hormone, creating decreased energy and sex drive.


Do you eat a lot of cheese? Have you noticed you are a bit irritable? The truth is that most store-bought, cow’s milk cheeses are processed using a mix of antibiotics and growth hormones, which can mess up the body’s natural production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—the primary hormones associated with sex drive.

If you’re a cheese addict; try a non-cow’s milk cheese instead.

Canola Oil

Vegetable oils, like canola oil, are high in unsaturated fats. And while some fat is healthy for us, too much leaves the body open to free radicals and oxidative stress, limiting both sex drive and conception in women.

Mix up your cooking oils with a combination of peanut, olive oil, and even coconut oil to prevent reproductive damage.

Potato Chips

Likewise, the consumption of too many trans-fats, the so-called worst fats, like those used to prepare bagged potato chips and processed snacks will cause oxidative damage to the body, causing disruptions to healthy hormone regulation—leading to weight gain, fatigue, and plummeting libido.

Canned Foods

Sodium in your libidos worst nightmare—for one it restricts blood flow to certain essential parts of the body needed for arousal (look down); while secondly, excess sodium can damage the mineralocorticoid hormones (i.e., aldosterone), which regulate sex hormones and sex drive.

Red Meat

If you enjoy a nice, lean cut of steak every few weeks, your lusty loins are probably safe. However, if you consume red meat regularly, you’re consuming excess growth hormones, fat, and antibiotics, which will upset the natural production of semen, sweat, and testosterone—particularly in men. Instead, guys should chow down on leaner cuts of beef round, beef loin, or filet mignon.

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.