Our top 5 tips for your preconception diet
When you’re trying to get pregnant, we know everyone gives you advice. The internet is filled with inaccuracies and recommendations for a preconception diet that includes “fertility foods” such as oysters, yams or garlic. Our DFW fertility associates are here to give you sound advice that you can actually use.
A sensible preconception diet helps optimize your health
- Eat a healthy diet.
The real key to a preconception diet is eating foods that will optimize your health. A sensible diet consists of lean proteins, especially vegetable-based protein such as beans; loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens that are high in iron; whole grains; and dairy, particularly whole milk products.
- Fish is part of a healthy diet, but avoid fish that has high mercury levels.
Fish is another healthy part of a preconception diet, but there are some types that you should avoid before or during pregnancy. The FDA recommends that women eat one or two servings per week from their “Best Choices” list, or one serving from their “Good Choices” list. Fish with the highest mercury levels should be avoided at all times: king mackerel, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy, bigeye tuna and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico.
- Limit caffeine consumption.
Our DFW fertility associates, as well as RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, recommend limiting caffeine consumption as part of a healthy preconception diet. This is based on studies that have shown a relationship between excessive amounts of caffeine and decreased fertility. More studies need to be conducted, but limiting caffeine from coffee, soft drinks and chocolate to less than 300 mg per day is a good idea.
- Try to get to a healthy weight before pregnancy.
A preconception diet should not only be healthy, but it should also provide you with the optimum number of calories each day to help you get to or maintain a healthy weight. We recommend that women attempt to get as close as possible to a normal body mass index, or BMI. A normal BMI is in the 19-24 range.
To learn more about a healthy preconception diet, contact us for an appointment.