‘Mediterranean’ diet in the six months before assisted reproductive treatment gives an advantage of becoming pregnant and giving birth to a live baby than women who does not follow one.
Researchers asked women about their diet before they underwent in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and found that those who ate more fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil, and less red meat, had a 65-68% greater likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy and birth compared to women with the lowest adherence to theMediterranean-style diet.
The study, which is published today (Tuesday) in Human Reproduction, focused on dietary patterns rather than individual nutrients, foods or food groups. It assessed the diet of 244 women via a food frequency questionnaire when they enrolled at an Assisted Conception Unity in Athens, Greece, for their first IVF treatment. The study found that every five-point improvement in the MedDiet Score was linked with an approximately 2.7 times higher likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy and live birth.
Another foctor that was stressed was the fact that, when it comes to conceiving a baby, diet and lifestyle are important for men as for women. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet may also help improve semen quality. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of dietary influences and diet quality on fertility, and support a favourable role for the Mediterranean diet on assisted reproduction performance.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
This diet is a largely plant-based diet, low in saturated fats (primarily in animal foods) and trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils) with physical activity as its foundation.
Unlike the USDA Pyramid, there is no meat group.
The Mediterranean diet Pyramid separates animal- from plant-based protein and advises consumption of red meat only a few times a month. The third major difference concerns fat. The Mediterranean Pyramid distinguishes between healthy plant oils and the less healthy saturated and trans fats. Unless a person is overweight or inactive, research indicates no great need to curtail mono-unsaturated fat found in olive oil and other plant foods like nuts and avocadoes.
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