Is Junk Food The New Birth Control?

There's a new book called The Fertility Diet. The claim? That watching what you eat can boost your ability to spawn. And like all things that sound too good to be true, it probably is: The diet hasn't been tested on infertile women. Instead, the ten-step plan was formulated from dietary habits collected via surveys. (People never lie on surveys!) In any case, the plan is pretty "duh" — it's basically about good nutrition and smart health habits. For instance: If you're trying to get pregs, you need folic acid and iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and supplements, not red meat. And guess what? Book coauthor Jorge Chavarro says, "Trans fats from doughnuts, margarine, and other processed foods seemed to have a particularly detrimental effect on fertility." Mmm, doughnuts. So wait — does this mean we can use bad eating habits as birth control? Because that sounds easy. And delicious!

"Replacing processed foods with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables appears to have a beneficial effect on insulin levels, which could also promote healthy ovulation," says Dr. Chavarro. OK. So if you don't want to get pregnant, you should avoid whole grains and load up on processed food? Awesome. What about that pint of Häagen-Dazs we've been craving? "The Nurses' Health Study found that a daily serving of a full-fat dairy food, such as whole milk, ice cream, or cheddar cheese, increased a woman's pregnancy odds," Dr. Chavarro warns. Shiz. No ice cream or cheese, then. Just doughnuts. Maybe eating for fertility works, but eating for infertility can't possibly be effective: If junk food is birth control, how come Britney Spears has two kids?

The Fertility Diet: Eat Right to Get Pregnant [U.S. News & World Report]