Posts Tagged ‘ meat ’

Bacon, Processed Meats May Harm Sperm, Study Finds

Friday, October 18th, 2013

A diet heavy in bacon and other processed meats may raise a man’s risk of having poor sperm and semen quality, whereas a diet rich in fish could boost male fertility, according to a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.  More from CNN:

Myriam Afeiche, research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and her colleagues looked at how types of meat could be associated with semen quality. They took samples from 156 men at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center in Boston and had the men answer a questionnaire about their eating habits.

What does semen have to look like to be considered high-quality? The researchers considered four main parameters:

The concentration of sperm is one part of it. So is motility, or how fast the sperm move. The shape of the sperm also matters, as does the total sperm count – that’s the concentration multiplied by volume.

The researchers did not look at individual kinds of processed meat, so this study won’t tell you if bacon could be more sperm-stunting than hamburgers, or vice versa. But higher intake of processed meat appeared to be related to a lower percent of “morphologically normal” – or well-shaped – sperm.

Regarding fish, it seemed that men who ate more dark meat fish – such as salmon, bluefish and tuna – had higher total sperm count; more white meat fish – such as cod and halibut – was associated with normally-shaped sperm.

The researchers only looked at associations, not causes. It is unclear whether processed meat actually causes changes in sperm, or if it does, how that would happen. It’s possible men who eat more processed meat have an unhealthier diet overall, which could affect their semen. Same goes for fish intake and sperm; researchers don’t know what about fish may benefit the littler swimmers.

“There might be something else going on, but we’re not sure what it is,” Afeiche said.

Trying to get pregnant? Find out if you are maximizing your fertility, or predict your due date.

Image: Bacon, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

USDA: New Labeling to Clarify Nutritional Content of Meat

Friday, February 24th, 2012

A new labeling process will give consumers more information about the nutritional content of the meat they’re buying, the USDA has announced.  The new labels, which will begin to appear on meat March 1, are not new nutritional guidelines, but they are an attempt to clarify the fat, protein, and other nutritional content of meat products to empower families to make the best, healthiest food choices.

The labels will appear on 40 popular cuts of meat and poultry, including ground beef and turkey, whole or boneless chicken pieces, and beef whole cuts such as brisket or tenderloin steak.  The labels will be on the packages of meat, or available to consumers at meat counters.

“More and more, busy American families want nutrition information that they can quickly and easily understand,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release. “We need to do all we can to provide nutrition labels that will help consumers make informed decisions. The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services work hard to provide the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, and now consumers will have another tool to help them follow these guidelines.”

The nutrition facts panels will include the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat a product contains, the release explained. Additionally, any product that lists a lean percentage statement, such as “76% lean,” on its label also will list its fat percentage, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean protein and fat in their purchase.

Image: Grocery store meat counter, via Shutterstock.

Add a Comment