Foods to Avoid When Trying to Conceive
There are foods you need to avoid when trying to conceive. These foods actually decrease fertility, and some can make you infertile!
You can remember these foods easily – they're all pretty modern inventions. That's right, in the modern world we have lots of technology – and we've used it to make a load of bad food. If humans ate it in ages past, it's probably OK. If it's a “new” food, take care.
Here's a list of the foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant:
“Junk food” and “Fast Food:”
You've already heard this, and you should take it to heart. Processed junk foods are not good for you and can actually deplete your fertility. Fast foods are loaded with processed ingredients and rancid oils. You should avoid them, too.
All those lovely packaged foods on the freezer aisle or in boxes at the store… I know it's really tough sometimes, especially when you're busy. But these foods, not matter how easy they are, are loaded with processed ingredients and fillers. They're not really food. In fact, they're one of the most important foods to avoid when you're trying to conceive!
Flour and Grains:
You need to go easy on the grains. A lot of people have a very hard time digesting grains. Many women are finding when they give up gluten-containing grains (wheat, barley, rye, etc.) they're suddenly able to conceive. Processed grains like white flour should definitely be removed from your diet. If you want to have grains choose whole grains that have been prepared properly – that means soaked flours.
These are not what you think. You need saturated animal fats, and fats from fish and traditional plant fats like olive oil and coconut oil.
So what are “bad fats?” Avoid: corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening (Crisco). These “modern” oils completely destroy the inside of your body and they make you unhealthy.
Good fats are so important to your ability to conceive that not getting enough of them could totally ruin your menstrual cycle hormones! Fats also build your baby's brain – eat real fats… not fake modern fats.
You don't need to avoid soy 100%, but you should drastically cut down on it and only eat it in a fermented state (natto, tempeh, and some miso are acceptable). Animal research has long shown that soy is harmful to animal fertility, and human studies are beginning to show the same thing.
It's hard to say it, but try and dump the coffee, and any other caffeinated beverages. Lose the sodas even if they're not caffeinated. Avoid drinks with artificial colors and flavors. If you want something with some “fizz” drink Kombucha (G.T. Dave's is a great brand you can buy at natural foods stores). Kombucha helps cleanse your liver – you may want to start with a few sips a day and build up to a half or whole bottle.
Non-Organic / Non-Pasture Raised Foods:
This can be the hardest of the foods to avoid when trying to conceive, because in some areas it's hard to find organic produce and pasture-raised (grass fed) meats, dairy, and eggs (and wild-caught fish). It's worth hunting for them though, because they're nutritionally superior and much cleaner for you and your future baby. Do what you can. If you must use conventional meats, trim away as much fat as you can and use a hormone-free butter or organic coconut oil/palm oil to get your saturated fats.
“Regular” Grocery Store Milk:
Even if it's hormone free and organic: I'm not going to say don't get pasteurized milk. It's one of the foods to avoid when trying to conceive. Ideally you'll get raw milk from a farm you know and trust, and can see the clean, healthy, happy cows. But that's not a reality in a lot of parts of our country because the government still plans sting raids on family farms…(it's ridiculous, if you were wondering my opinion on it). But you should avoid most milks. If you must, get vat-pasteurized (low-temperature pasteurized), non-homogenized milk. If you can't get that, don't drink milk. Get yogurt or cheeses instead.
Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Drugs:
These may seem like “no-brainers” but you need to avoid over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and vaccines as well. Work to discontinue any drugs that are not life-sustaining. You should do your own research and consult your health care provider.
Don't Get Overwhelmed!
The list of foods to avoid when you're trying to conceive can seem overwhelming – start slowly, removing one food group at a time. This is not about just stopping something “so I can get pregnant.” This is about improving your health, and that of your children. Good nutrition is a way of life.
Don't feel bad about the occasional “treat.” Enjoy without guilt. But do eat good, nutrient-dense, healthy foods as your regular meals. This doesn't mean you need to deprive yourself – in fact you can enjoy rich, healthy, and fulfilling meals – even when you dump all the garbage I listed above!
(NOTE: Want the Top Easy Steps to Boosting Your Fertility? Use these 5 simple, evidence-based steps to get pregnant and carry your healthy baby to term. Get them here.)
- Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic. Human Reproduction. doi:10.1093/humrep/den243
- The The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, Kaayla T. Daniel
- Healing Our Children, Rami Nagel (detailed info on foods to avoid when trying to conceive)
- Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
- Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods, by Nina Planck