Although fat seemingly gets a bad rap, there is little reason and research to back this up! Fats are one of our essential three macronutrients (along with carbs and protein) that we need to consume daily for survival.
When it comes to fertility we need fats for the cholesterol (WHAT?!) Yup, you read that right. This is a key ingredient in hormone production. Our two main reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, require fat and cholesterol to be produced! We need these hormones for proper body functioning, for creating healthy cells and initiating ovulation (which may not happen if you have low progesterone!) Low fat diets have been all the rage for years now. Studies have now shown that women who consume low fat dairy products have decreased rates of ovulation and in turn lower rates of fertility.
Fats are also necessary for vitamin absorption. I’m sure you’ve heard of the ‘fat-soluble vitamins’, these are A, D, E and K. These are the vitamins that require fat to be absorbed. These vitamins are so important to proper body functioning, hormones, healthy cells and egg production, fertility, etc
Do you struggle with low cervical fluid? Increase your fats! (and drink more water of course) Increasing your daily omega 3 fats can be a huge help in this area, and more cervical fluid will help those little swimmers get to where they need to go.
Not to mention how fats help with brain development (and decreasing ‘baby brain’), increasing energy and mental clarity, increased blood flow to the uterus, decrease risk of mental health issues, stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you full longer.
We have talked about in the past some of the items that hinder our hormone production and here is another one that can easily have a negative impact, but can just as easily be corrected.
Now in saying all of this it is important to note that eating the right kinds of fats is so important! Deep fried foods and hot dogs isn’t what I would recommend for fat consumption. Processed, hydrogenated fats can be extremely inflammatory in the body and can cause quite a bit of damage. In fact trans fats are known to decrease fertility in the body. So! Let’s make clear what to avoid and what to consume
- Omega 6’s – very inflammatory and consumed on a regular basis in our society
- Refined veg oil (safflower, peanut, corn, soybean, etc) – many of these use heat to extract oils which can damage the healthy properties of them
- Trans fats (hydrogenated veg oil, shortening)
- Very inflammatory
- One of the worst foods to consume when dealing with fertility
- Avoid anything that has the word ‘hydrogenated’ in it – regardless if the package says ‘0 trans fats’
- Fried fats – Increases oxidative stress
- Whole fat dairy
- Extra virigin olive oil
- Seeds/nuts (walnut)
- Full fat products (low fat typically equals high sugar which you do not want)
- Good quality meats – enjoy the skin and fat
- Homemade salad dressing with good quality fats/oils