A condition called gynecomastia – colloquially known as “man boobs” – is common, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing when you struggle with it. Some estimates suggest as many as 50 to 60% of men develop excess breast tissue at least once in their lives. Often, this phenomenon begins during puberty and goes away on its own, but it can also occur later in life due to weight gain, the hormonal changes associated with aging, various health conditions, and the use of specific medications such as steroids.
The food you eat plays a role in nearly every aspect of your physical and mental health, so it should be no surprise that gynecomastia can occur because of the dietary choices you make. Today, let’s look at some of the unexpected ways the foods you put on your plate could end up affecting the appearance of your chest.
Dietary Don’ts and Do’s
What are some ways your diet may be influencing the development of your breast tissue, and are there any foods you can eat that will make male breasts smaller? You may be surprised to find out that the foods you eat can have an impact on your hormone levels, and your sex hormones, such as estrogen, specifically. Estrogen stimulates the development of breast tissue, so you will want to minimize dietary sources of estrogen. Read on for advice about what this means for your food choices.
1. Avoid: Fatty Foods
Eating too much junk food and empty calories can contribute to a host of health problems like obesity, which can also raise estrogen levels and increase breast size. Instead of driving through for a greasy, fatty fast-food dinner, prepare something fresh at home.
2. Watch for: Sneaky Chemicals
There’s evidence that some pesticides and other chemicals, such as phthalates, can mimic the effects of estrogen. Nine of the 10 most common pesticides are known hormonal disruptors. Conventionally-grown fruits with edible skins, such as strawberries, apples, and pears, have the highest levels of estrogen-imitating pesticides. You can still enjoy these nutritious fruits if you choose organic, instead of those farmed with traditional methods.
Phthalates, which are a plastic softener used in packaging, are also estrogen-mimicking chemicals. The most common phthalate, BPA, is often a component of can liners and water bottles. To steer clear of these, look for products labeled “BPA-free.”
3. Eat Less: Soy
Soybeans are a source of plant estrogens, also known as phytoestrogens. Sources of soy include tofu, edamame, and many vegetarian and vegan alternatives to meat. Soy is in many products that you wouldn’t expect, so it is a good idea to begin reading the ingredient list on food labels if you don’t already.
4. Try More: Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Gynecomastia may cause your breast tissue to feel swollen and tender. Specific foods have anti-inflammatory properties, although there is limited scientific research on the effects of these anti-inflammatory foods on gynecomastia, in particular. Anti-inflammatory foods include fish, such as salmon and tuna, and antioxidant-rich foods such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, berries, citrus fruits, and legumes.
5. Add to Your Shopping Cart: Nutrient-dense foods
Being significantly overweight is a potential cause of gynecomastia. Making smarter food choices can help you lose weight, including your unwanted breast tissue. To cut your calorie intake and reach your goal weight, incorporate more nutrient-rich foods into your diet and get rid of processed foods. Smart choices include fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein. At mealtimes, make sure your plate is at least half vegetables and fruits.
The Effects of Gynecomastia
Men living with gynecomastia often experience a reduced quality of life. Though some experience occasional discomfort or embarrassment, others can develop a full-blown social anxiety disorder. Feeling bad about your body isn’t good for anyone, and it can be surprising how much of an impact this can have on multiple areas of your life.
In cases where gynecomastia is the result of excess glandular tissue, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to diminish the size of your breasts. That’s why you have no reason whatsoever to feel ashamed if you are thinking about a surgical approach to attain a more masculine-looking chest.
How to Improve Your Chest Contours With Gynecomastia Surgery in Plymouth, MN
If you are in good overall health, are at or near your target body weight, and have adequate skin elasticity, you might be an excellent candidate for gynecomastia surgery with Dr. George Landis.
Male breast reduction surgery can improve your self-confidence and make you more comfortable with the appearance of your chest by reducing unwanted fat and breast tissue with a variety of techniques. Dr. Landis has 25 years of experience performing gynecomastia surgery, and he will create a customized surgical plan that meets your needs.
Your satisfaction with your gynecomastia results starts with a confidential consultation to discuss your concerns and evaluate your degree of excess skin and fatty tissue. To schedule this in-person meeting, contact us today.