Could a vegetarian diet actually lead to infertility?

Put down the tofu if you want to conceive

If you want to conceive, you may need to put down the tofu...

We all know that it's important to consider your diet when you're trying to conceive. From the foods that determine the sex of your child, to how you should fuel your body when you do get pregnant, we're pretty clued up about the big do's and don'ts.

But did you ever think that being a vegetarian could actually be affecting your chances of conceiving? According to new research, it could be why you might be finding it hard.

The results claim that men who enjoy a vegetarian diet rich in soya products, like tofu, could be affecting their fertility.

It also suggests that men who eat just half a serving of soya each day have a lower sperm count than men who don't.

The soya products in question? Tofu, soy sausages, bacon, burgers and mince, along with soya milk, yoghurt, cheese and ice cream.

And the bad news is, the more soya men eat, the less sperm they produce, with the association between the two even more pronounced in overweight men and, strangely, also those with naturally high sperm counts.

'We found an inverse association between the consumption of soy foods and sperm concentration which was more pronounced at the higher end of the sperm concentration distribution and among overweight or obese men,' the American team of researchers report.

So if you're planning to start a family, it's definitely worth keeping this is mind.

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