London, Jan. 20 (ANI): Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston have found that fats hidden in thousands of foods can reduce women’s chances of conceiving.
They say that hidden fats can increase the risk of fertility problems by 70 per cent or more, and that eating as little as one doughnut or a portion of chips a day can have a damaging effect.
Women who want to conceive, advise boffins, better avoid the fats called trans fats, which have no nutritional value but are included in processed foods simply to extend their shelf life.
Knowing the precise amount of trans fats in any food item is yet another uphill task for people, as its mention in the labels of processed foods is not necessary.
Trans fats are also found naturally in some red meat and dairy products, but most are produced artificially in a high-temperature process called hydrogenation that turns liquid oil into solid fat.
Previous studies had shown that such fats could be linked to artery-blocking ‘bad’ cholesterol, which in turn could lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In the study, the researchers looked at 18,500 women trying to conceive, and found 438 cases of ovulatory problems.
They also saw a 70 per cent increased risk of infertility in women who took two per cent of their energy intake from trans fats, instead of carbohydrates or polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil.
Intake of energy from trans fats instead of monounsaturated fats like olive oil doubled the likelihood of having ovulatory problems.
“It’s really a small amount of fats that we observed having a significant effect on infertility,” the Daily Mail quoted Lead researcher Dr Jorge Chavarro as saying.
Here is a good example of why we focus on diet as one of the main topics when dealing with fertility issues. More and more studies support that eating trans fats is detrimental to your health. And anything that effects your health may effect your fertility.
Keep in mind that even if you are ovulating regularly and still not conceiving the information in this article is important for you as well. We don’t only want you to release an egg or millions of sperm but we would like to have you releasing the healthiest eggs and sperm possible.
I know, some of you will say, “my neighbor with 5 kids, eats trans fats all day long…” Well you are right, there are some people who eat trans fats and still get pregnant. This is because everyone is an individual. Transfats may not effect their fertility but it is likely effecting their health in other ways.
Most fast food and deep fried foods contain trans fat but they are in many other foods as well. Also anything that says “partially hydrogenated will contain transfat. Other sources are:
Fried foods (like fried chicken)
Here’s an article from Harvard that you might find interesting
Cut and paste this link
Cooking with oils that don’t break down into trans fat is tricky but I suggest that if you use oil to cook with use coconut oil as this is much less likely to break down into trans fat. This is available in many health food shops. Olive oil on the other hand is not an oil to cook with as it easily breaks down into trans fat with the high heat. It is a very healthy oil though so it can be used on salads and for dip or even drizzled onto warm pasta.
I hope this information helps steer you to healthier choices not only to improve your fertility but your overall health. We don’t have an exhaustive list of every food with trans fat in them but hopefully with the change in labeling required in the US there will be less trans fat in foods over time.