Fast food is bad for you, in general, but if you want to conceive, it can have an adverse effect on your fertility. Eating healthy foods is best overall.
Women who are planning to get pregnant, as well as those who are already carrying a child, should always consume a healthy diet. Studies have shown that women who regularly consume fast food and don’t eat much fruit have issues with fertility. It can take them longer to conceive versus women who don’t eat junk food and who get a few servings of fruit per day in their diets. The research findings were published in the journal Human Reproduction.
Fast Food and Its Effects on Fertility
The first author of the study, Jessica Grieger, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Adelaide, said that making small modifications to the diet can help boost a woman’s fertility. In contrast, she stated that when women have regular consumption of junk foods like burgers, fries, fried chicken and pizza, they can experience delayed times in conceiving. However, she said that more research was required to determine whether other foods might have an impact on this area.
Study Findings on Pregnant Women
Grieger and her team of researchers checked data on 5,598 pregnant women. The study participants were from Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. All were in their first pregnancies. The researchers examined information gathered from the women’s first prenatal visits, which took place between their 14th and 16th weeks of gestation. The women were surveyed about how long it took them to conceive and how often they ate the following types of food: fruits, leafy green vegetables, fish and junk foods like pizza, burgers, and fried chicken that they got from franchises or takeout places. The study didn’t consider these types of foods prepared at home or purchased from supermarkets.
The research determined that the women who had the lowest consumption of fresh fruit had a 12 percent greater risk of infertility. Additionally, those who consumed the unhealthy foods at least four times per week saw a 16-percent increase in their infertility.
Interestingly, the study did not find that the time it took women to conceive was affected by the women’s eating fish or green leafy vegetables.
Food Intake Has Correlation to Time of Conception
In addition to the determination that women who eat too much unhealthy food have difficulty getting pregnant, it was also found that food intake, in general, could determine how long it takes to conceive. For instance, women who ate three or more servings of fruit per day were able to get pregnant within a month faster than those who only consumed fruit a few times per month. On the flip side, women who ate more unhealthy, fried and processed foods took around one month longer to get pregnant than those who did not consume such foods.
The study also took a look at various other factors, such as the women’s ages, whether they smoked, their alcohol consumption and their body mass index (BMI).
Claire Roberts, a senior research fellow from the University of Adelaide, noted that the unhealthy foods resulted in more fatty acids being present in the bloodstream. She pointed out that this could adversely affect the quality of a woman’s eggs and explained that what a woman eats could end up in her eggs and play a part in whether or not fertilization takes place. She also stated that the high fat, salt and sugar found in unhealthy foods can change one’s metabolism, which can also adversely affect a woman’s fertility.
If you are planning to get pregnant, the best thing you can do is cut out unhealthy foods, and instead opt for fertility boosting foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy fatty acids. Not only your fertility, but your overall health benefits from this.