Women who are planning a pregnancy are strongly advised to switch to a low-carb fertility diet because it can increase the chance of pregnancy.
It is recommended to eliminate white bread, pasta and cereals from the diet and to have at least one meal a day without carbohydrates. This type of diet is especially advised for women who have problems with conception.
Harmful effects of a diet rich in refined carbohydrates
High carbohydrate intake, especially refined, has long been associated with detrimental effects on metabolic functions and obesity, which also negatively affects fertility. Additionally, scientists have now confirmed that a typical Western diet, full of refined sugars and fast foods, negatively affects women’s reproductive health and reduces the quality of their eggs.
Couples working on offspring are advised to pay attention to their diet and eliminate carbohydrates. The researchers confirmed that women with lower carbohydrate intake were 4 times more successful in conceiving than those on the standard Western diet.
A study was conducted at the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine on women trying to conceive by IVF (in-vitro fertilization). Women were divided into two groups, according to the ratio of protein and carbohydrates in their diet. According to the results, 58% of those who were on a “low-carb” diet managed to get pregnant.
In the group that was on a high carbohydrate content (proteins accounted for less than 25% of daily food intake), only 11% managed to get pregnant. The researchers conclude that women trying to become mothers should aim for a protein content of 35% and a carbohydrate content of less than 40% in their daily nutrient intake.
Women who are trying to conceive should eat as many fresh vegetables and protein as possible, and reduce the daily intake of carbohydrates to one portion. If you eat toast for breakfast, then you shouldn’t eat more carbohydrates for the rest of the day.
Also, women should eat dairy products regularly, as cholesterol is a “building block” for all reproductive hormones.
Harmful effects of refined carbohydrates on sperm
Menu changes are not only advised to women but also to their partners. Men should replace morning muesli full of sugar with eggs or yogurt with berries, and replace sandwiches with protein-rich salads. If they choose to eat carbohydrates they should give preference to complex ones, such as oatmeal, rice or whole-grain pasta.
Over time, the human body becomes less able to digest sugars, which leads to poor metabolic health, ending with inflammatory processes and damage to mitochondria, a powerful part of the cell.
Female eggs are large cells with a large number of mitochondria, so their quality directly depends on nutrition. In addition, refined carbohydrates affect male fertility by destroying DNA in sperm. This affects sperm motility, their ability to swim, morphology, shape and quantity, or how much sperm a man can produce at all.
Therefore, diet can affect fertility in both men and women equally badly or well, so couples are advised to make joint changes and follow low-carb fertility diet to increase their chances of having a baby.