|Thank you for those who tweeted “are you running?” Um no.
I’m in Boston for Dr Weil’s Nutrition and Health Conference. This is a conference I look forward to and have attended twice before in New York and also San Diego. Presenters, at any event, are always a mixed bag and sometimes the sessions you expect to be best are not the highlights. Dr Robert Lustig opened the morning yesterday. His name may sound familiar as he figured prominently in 60 Minutes sugar segment; he’s also the endocrinologist quoted in the NYT early puberty article. Dr Lustig presented on fructose. I was really excited but not for the biochemistry lesson he started in with. There were two fun facts, after 45 minutes, first that 80% (wow) of supermarket items have some sugar. And second, Lustig’s “4 foods of the apocalypse”
Corn Fed Beef
No surprises on the list but imagine if America worked on decreasing all of these…
The highlight of the day was a seminar on food and fertility by Dr Victoria Maizes who works with Dr Weil at the University of Arizona and I’ve seen present on diet and cancer before. She is a fantastic speaker and offers suggestions versus mandates. It startling when you look at the fertility data. Many women postpone having children to focus on work while fertility starts to decline in our 30s. As far as diet, it matters more vis-à-vis fertility as we get older, if that makes sense. So what’s been associated with decreased fertility?
- Cereal- many foods were tested and cold cereal, likely because of glycemic index, decreased fertility more than most others
- Nonfat milk- you know, if you read regularly, I’m not a skim fat but while nonfat milk decreases fertility whole dairy improves it.
- Trans fats – a 2% increase in trans fats was associated with a 73% increase in infertility, think packaged products and read labels for hydrogenation. Trans fats were on Lustig’s list above and they really are about as bad for us as we thought, it not worse
- Soda but not necessarily all caffeine
What foods improve fertility?
- Whole Dairy
- Fish/omega 3’s- many women cut out fish due to mercury phobia and this is a mistake. Omega 3’s decrease miscarriage risk, postpartum depression and certain pediatric cancers.
- Prenatal vitamins- I am not such a multivitamin all in one fan but feel strongly, after this presentation, that both men and women trying to conceive should be taking one (though not the same one).
What happens in utero and what women do before they conceive really, as Dr Maizes said “wires you for the rest of your life”. So I can focus on my mother and how screwed I am or I can try to pass this information on. And finally, infertility isn’t always discussed and has to be one of the hardest things to go through. I have a sister to struggled with IVF and I tried for a long time with my older son. Dr Maizes reminded us of the compassion needed. I also think “tools” are helpful so please, if appropriate, pass this information along. And congratulations to all the Boston runners, well done.
I have to get over to the Westin for today’s sessions. I’ll tweet @Foodtrainers about them if you want to hear more.
Are you eating much of the apocalyptic foods? Or are you limiting fish due to mercury concerns? What do you think makes a good speaker or presentation?