· Choose whole grains. Eat at least half of all grains as whole grains each day, like a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, whole-grain bread at lunch and brown rice with dinner.
· Eat low-fat dairy. Dairy products are full of calcium, vitamin D, potassium and protein — all nutrients that keep your body functioning well. Choose at least three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as one cup of milk or yogurt or one ounce of cheese each day.
· Cut down on meat. Eat less red meat and choose leaner protein sources: fish, turkey, chicken breast or pork chops. Eat vegetable proteins like beans, nuts, seeds and tofu.
· Be smart about fats. Limit saturated fats from meats, full-fat dairy products and fried foods. Replace with healthy fats. Snack on an ounce of walnuts or almonds each day, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on roasted vegetables and salads or add avocado to your sandwich.
Other healthy lifestyle choices for conception:
· Don’t drink too much alcohol. Over-consuming alcohol is linked with poor production of normal, healthy sperm. If you drink alcohol, follow these guidelines for men: no more than two drinks a day (one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 1/2 ounces of spirits).
· Avoid cigarettes and marijuana. Tobacco use is linked with low sperm counts and slow-moving sperm; smoking marijuana over a prolonged period of time can result in low sperm counts and poorly developed sperm.
Information adapted from EATRIGHT.org as authored by Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, is a family nutrition expert and freelance writer. Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment with a referral from their physician.
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