Fats for fertility: which ones should we choose?

We all know that despite their bad reputation, fats are very important for our health and can be game changing for our fertility.

Fat plays a very important role in the regulation of various bodily functions: essential for production of hormones (if not in excess), it also helps to regulate the uptake of nutrients and the excretion of waste products. It is the primary insulator within our body, it protects us against cold and heat, keeps the electricity flowing through our nerves and protects our organs. Fat is extremely important for the development and proper functioning of our brain.

There are 4 main types of fat: Saturated, Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Trans fats. Two of them are the best choice for our health, one should be controlled in terms of quantity and quality and one totally removed from our diet. Let’s see why.

Saturated Fats

They are in red meat, whole milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream; coconuts and coconut products, palm oil.

It is clear these fats do not promote fertility but they do not inhibit it either. If consumed with moderation and choosing a certain quality they do not harm to your ability to conceive.

Monounsaturated fats

They are in olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil, avocados, nuts (cashews, almonds), seeds (sesame, pumpkin).

If you eat monounsaturated fats in place of trans fats or carbohydrates you certainly do a favor to your fertility.

These fats are also very good for your arteries, since they tend to lower the harmful LDL cholesterol and boost protective HDL cholesterol. They also help to ease inflammation and improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Polyunsaturated fats

The 2 most important families of this type of fat are the omega-3 fats and the omega-6 fats. They provide the body with hormones that regulate blood clotting, the contraction/relaxation of artery walls and inflammation. They also contribute to keep a steady heart beat.

They are in cold water fish, such as sardines and salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil.

Like the monounsaturated, the polyunsaturated fats tend to rebalance the ratio between HDL and LDL cholesterol.

The Nurse’s Study showed that a high intake of polyunsaturated fats provide some protection against ovulatory infertility.

Trans fats

These fats are a potent deterrent to fertility and are bad for the heart and arteries. They are by-products of a chemical reaction used to change liquid vegetable oil into a solid or to stabilize liquid oils. They are mostly used in restaurant fried foods like fast foods, hard margarine, cookies, crackers, doughnuts. They are basically in most industrial products.

The Nurse’s study showed that when even only 2% of the total calories comes from trans fats, there is a great likelihood of developing ovulatory infertility.

So, what shall we do to boost our fertility?

Cut the trans fat and add in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. This is the best way to help your fertility and your overall health.

If you can keep your daily intake at 10% of your total calories, then you will have the best health. Remember that the average intake of fat in the US is 45%, a lot of which comes from trans fat.

You can find a lot of opposite theories and diets out there and they may sound all reasonable. I read books describing fats as the enemy, other as the savior, they both made sense to me but at the end the main lesson I learned is that you need to find your own “moderation rate”, the one that makes you feel best, then that’s the one for you.

We are all different and unique and, although we share the same biology, it is that unique part that can make the difference for your health.

Read and study all the theories you want but above all, experiment with your body, make small changes in your diet by ADDING IN healthy fats and see how it works for you.

Any doubts? Just let me know and I will be glad to explain further.

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