A new study published in the journal Human Reproduction has found that if men consume lots of unhealthy saturated fats, it lowered their sperm count.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health teamed together to look at how different types of fats affected sperm concentration and quality.
99 men provided semen samples and detailed information on their diet. The majority of the men (71%) were overweight or obese but more than half (67%) didn’t smoke.
The researchers found that the men who consumed more saturated fats had less sperm, whereas those who consumed higher amounts of good fats, such as omega 3, had sperm of better quality and morphology (shape).
They concluded:‘High intake of saturated fats was negatively related to sperm concentration whereas higher intake of omega-3 fats was positively related to sperm morphology.
So, what is the difference between good and bad fats?
Trans fats and saturated fats are the bad fats that can clog your arteries, cause heart disease, obesity and as this study showed, fertility problems. Good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These do the opposite and protect your heart and other parts of your body.
There is some controversy over what saturated fats to avoid and whether in fact the advice to avoid it is correct. However, scientists at Harvard say cutting back on saturated fats is good for you provided you replace those fats with good fats. If you replace them with carbohydrates, as has been the standard medical advice for years, you will probably not get any benefit to your health.
Good fats decrease levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol which is actually good for you.
Saturated Fats You Should Reduce Consumption of
Full fat milk
Junk meat products like sausage and beefburgers
Bad Fats that are Even Worse
Vegetable oil – this is a trans fat made by heating vegetable oil in the presence of hydrogen gas (hydrogenation). This action turns it into a saturated fat. It can be repeatedly heated over and over again so because of this is used in many food sources
Margarine (contains hydrogenated vegetable oil)
Processed snack foods (like cakes and biscuits)
Fried foods such as French Fries
Manufactured baked goods
According to Harvard University Scientists, the increased use of hydrogenated cooking oils instead of traditional oils is contributing to the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease in first world nations globally.
So, if you want Decent Sperm and a Healthy Heart, What Fats Should You Eat?
Olive oil – the average Greek person eating a traditional Greek diet will get 30% of his calories from monounsaturated fats (usually olive oil).
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna
Soy oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil
Nuts such as walnuts and peanuts.
Seeds like flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
Poultry (not the fried chicken leg variety).
The trick to a healthy life and good fertility is not necessarily to cut out fat, but to cut out junky fat and replace it with essential fatty acids.
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