There are many factors that come into play when it comes to libido, with diet being a big one. This is because diet plays a role in overall health and poor health can hinder your libido.
When you eat well, you can have healthy blood circulation, which is needed for sexual organs to work, a healthy heart which pumps the blood around the body, along with improved mood, among other benefits.
The latest in diet fads is known as the ketogenic diet (or keto for short). The keto diet has been hailed for its ability to help individuals lose weight. The diet consists of high protein, fat, and minimal carbohydrates.
Nutritionist Lily Soutter explained, “Some major concerns with following a ketogenic diet are the potential side effects such as changes in hormonal balance. Some research suggests that a very low carbohydrate diet may cause a drop in thyroid function, which not only leads to fatigue and low mood, but may also negatively affect libido.”
Carbohydrates are a key source of energy and so many dieters experience low energy as a result. For your libido as well, you need energy – low energy means you won’t be in the mood.
For some, they may experience what is known as the “keto flu” where because your body is deprived of carbohydrates, you may experience temporary flu-like symptoms like headaches, weakness, and nausea. Once again, all symptoms that don’t necessarily put you in the mood.
Soutter continued, “Some evidence suggests that low-carbohydrate diets can increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol and may negatively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the three glands which are essential for keeping our hormones in balance. Long-term, if our carbohydrate consumption is too low, it may also suppress our production of a hormone called leptin, which may ultimately interfere with our body’s abilities to regulate sex hormones.”
Carbohydrates are also important because our body turns them into glucose, which helps in the production and release of serotonin –the happy hormone. Low levels of serotonin negatively impact libido as well.
Instead of doing extreme diets as a means to lose weight, just focus on eating healthy and balanced and exercising regularly so you don’t need to worry about unwanted side effects, including low libido.