Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston have found that fats hidden in thousands of foods can reduce women’s chances of conceiving.

Researchers say that hidden fats can increase the risk of fertility problems by 70 per cent or more.

Women who want to conceive better avoid the fats called trans fats, which have no nutritional value but are included in processed foods simply to extend their shelf life.

Knowing the precise amount of trans fats in any food item is yet another uphill task for people, as its mention in the labels of processed foods is not necessary.

Trans fats are also found naturally in some red meat and dairy products, but most are produced artificially in a high-temperature process called hydrogenation that turns liquid oil into solid fat.

In the study, the researchers looked at 18,500 women trying to conceive, and found 438 cases of ovulatory problems.

They also saw a 70 per cent increased risk of infertility in women who ate trans fats, instead of polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil.

Intake of foods with trans fats instead of monounsaturated fats like olive oil doubled the likelihood of having ovulatory problems.

“It’s really a small amount of fats that we observed having a significant effect on infertility,” the Daily Mail quoted Lead researcher Dr Jorge Chavarro as saying.

Stacey’s The Baby Maker’s comment:

Here is a good example of why we focus on diet as one of the main topics when dealing with fertility issues. As a matter of fact it is the very first step in the Five Step Fertility Solution featured in my book, The Baby Maker’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.  More and more studies support that eating trans fats is detrimental to your health. And anything that effects your health may effect your fertility.

Keep in mind that even if you are ovulating regularly and still not conceiving the information in this article is important for you as well. We don’t only want you to release an egg or millions of sperm but we would like to have you releasing the healthiest eggs and sperm possible, afterall the eggs and sperm are just cells and need good nutrition and hormone balance like every other cell in the body.

So frustrating…

I know, you might say, “my neighbor with 5 kids, eats trans fats all day long…” Well you are right, there are some people who eat trans fats and still get pregnant. This is because everyone’s system is unique.  Transnfats may not effect their fertility but it is likely effecting their health in other ways.

What foods are trans fats in?

Most fast food and deep fried foods contain trans fat but they are in many other foods as well. Also anything that says “partially hydrogenated will contain transfat. Other sources are:

Fried foods (like fried chicken)
French fries

Web MD published Harvard research that you might find interesting here

Cooking with oils that don’t break down into trans fat is important too.  So you can use coconut oil to cook with as this is much less likely to break down into trans fat.  I know there has been some controversy about coconut oil in the past but I address that in my Youtube video here.  Olive oil on the other hand is not an oil to cook with as it easily breaks down into trans fat with the high heat. It is a very healthy oil though so it can be used on salads and for dip or even drizzled onto warm pasta.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just for your fertility. There is a reason that the US and other countries have banned trans fat, but here’s the rub.  Even if it says zero trans fat on the label, there still may be trans fat in the product.  The FDA in the US allows some trans fat to be considered zero trans fat as evidenced by this article “Does no trans fat mean really mean no trans fat.”

So what should you do?

Avoid store bought products like the ones listed above and bake your own treats to have every once in a while.  Use coconut oil and other healthier ingredients  when you do bake to avoid processed foods that could contain trans fat or other ingredients that may impact your fertility.