Researchers have known for some time that a man’s diet can influence the ability of his sperm to fertilize an egg, but it wasn’t clear which foods influence reproductive outcomes most prominently—until now.
New findings out of Massachusetts General Hospital suggest that eating processed and canned meats (think: Spam) decreases fertility in men. To come to this finding, researchers asked 141 men—who were either undergoing in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injections with their female partners—about their current meat intake. They discovered that men who ate the most processed meat had a 54 percent fertilization rate, while men who ate the least amount had an 82 percent fertilization rate. They also found that men who ate the most chicken had a 13 percent higher fertilization rate than those who ate the least.
But fear not, bacon lovers, researchers say there’s no need to kick your beloved breakfast meat to the curb altogether, so long as you eat an overall healthy diet. The research can't prove causation, only a correlation. "Perhaps it is not the meat that is the problem, but the dietary choices that men who eat bacon make," urology specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, told CBS News. "Healthier dietary choices usually correlates with a healthier lifestyle, which may overall increase fertility outcomes," she added.
Until we know more, swap some of your bacon for chicken. If you stick to a skinless breast—a cut that’s far leaner than bacon—it can only benefit both your waistline and overall health. Also, don't miss out on the Foods That Supercharge Your Sex Drive.