Fertility: Lower Sperm Counts Linked To A Diet High In Saturated Fat

The American diet is laden in fatty, flavorsome morsels. We slather our bagels and rolls with dollops of cream cheese and butter. We savor our steaks. We devour cheeseburgers draped in cheese and bacon. Don’t forget the heaping mounds of whipped cream atop alps of ice cream.

Conventional medical advice suggests limiting or avoiding copious amounts of fat. It contributes to our widening middles, raises our blood pressure, and can lead to a host of debilitating diseases.

However, fat is generally misunderstood. It is necessary for certain metabolic functions in the body. Fat is responsible for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and supply and storage of energy, especially during periods of fasting. The important step is discerning the different types of fat, as it contain diverse portions of saturated and unsaturated fat.

Saturated fat consists of triglycerides and is derived from animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. It is also found in some plant-based sources such as coconut, palm, and kernel oils. Saturated fat is responsible for raising Low Density Lipids (LDL), bad cholesterol levels.

Unsaturated fat is divided into two different categories: Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. They are derived from vegetables and plants. Some studies have shown that these kinds of fats can actually lower LDL cholesterol and maintain High Density Lipids (HDL), good cholesterol.

Monounsaturated is preferable to other types of fat. It can be found in olives, olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, canola oil, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are found in safflower, sesame, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils.

If decoding and eliminating certain foods wasn’t frustrating enough, it appears new studies regarding diet emerge daily.

Research has suggested that a diet high in saturated fat may be responsible for lower concentrations of sperm. The American Journal of Clinical Nutritionexamined the association between dietary fat intake and semen quality among 701 young Danish men from the general population from 2008 to 2010.

The subjects delivered samples, underwent physical exams, and answered questionnaires about food and nutrient intakes. It was concluded that men with diets high in saturated fat had a 38 percent lower sperm concentration overall, and 41 percent lower total sperm counts than those with less saturated fat in their diet. No association between semen quality and intake of other types of fat was found. Therefore, a reduction in saturated fat intake may be beneficial for both general and reproductive health.