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5 Foods That Could Absolutely Kill Your Sex Drive

Everyone's heard of aphrodisiacs—foods that increase your sex drive. But what about the opposite?

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What you need to know about anaphrodisiacs

Do a quick Internet search for “foods that kill sex drive,” and you’ll find a slew of articles listing alleged anaphrodisiacs—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, 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.

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Foods high in saturated fat

If some of your favourite 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. (Related: Learn how to tell the difference between good fats and bad fats.)

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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 (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.

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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. (Related: Check out these natural libido boosters.)

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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. (Related: These are the sex myths you need to stop believing.)

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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.

Medically reviewed by Tia Jackson-Bey, MD.

Next: Read up on the sex problems you should take seriously.