March is National Nutrition Month, one of my favorite subjects! I have seen tremendous results with many of my patients, just by embracing changes to the food they eat -- their food lifestyles, if you will.
Female issues or women’s health issues can take many different forms from irregular periods to bladder infections. Many issues related to menstruation can impact a women’s ability to conceive a child. Infertility issues can be positively enhanced by healthy nutrition, specifically healthy whole foods.
Infertility is becoming a growing issue for women in America and in 2007, Newsweek shone a light and showed a connection between food choices and increasing relationships for infertility. In the December 10, 2007 issue there was an article on “Fats, Carbs and the Science of Conception” which summarized the findings of the Nurses Health Study about the connection between food and fertility.
Before I share the findings I want to define glycemic load. The glycemic load is a way of determining how much carbohydrate is found in a food based on the amount, determined by the glycemic index (how much the food raises blood sugar) and portion size. This is a more accurate measure than just looking at the glycemic index because it takes into account the portion a person is eating.
Glycemic load measures how fast a food is converted into glucose or sugar in the blood. Women that eat highly processed food, junk foods, pastries, bread and pastas will have a high gycemic index.
The more complex the carbohydrates (slow carbs) the more slowly they turn to glucose in the blood. These foods contain fiber in the food and digests slowly causing a slower release of glucose into the blood. Women who eat these types of foods will have a low glycemic load.
The nurses’ health study found women with the highest glycemic load in their diets were 92 percent more likely to have ovulatory infertility than women in the lowest category. Ovulatory infertility means that ovaries, which are responsible for creating the maturing eggs, are not producing mature and viable eggs.