Saturated fats lead to fertility problems

Junk food kills sperm -- and the more you eat, the more they die, because a key ingredient in fast food can leave men battling serious fertility problems.

It's saturated fats, and new research out of Denmark finds that men who eat the most suffer a 41 percent plunge in sperm counts and a 38 percent drop in sperm concentrations than men who eat the least.

And that's not the only way junk foods hit below the belt.

Everywhere the Western diet of processed foods takes hold, sperms counts plunge -- and saturated fats are just part of the problem. Sugars, for example, can reduce both sperm counts and quality, which is why one study found that men who drink a liter of soda a day have 30 percent fewer sperm.

BPA, the hormone-like chemical found in the packaging of processed foods as well as the linings of soda cans, can decrease sperm counts and concentration and harm both vitality and motility.

And the worst junk food fats next to saturated fats, trans fats, can reduce sperm concentrations. (Don't be fooled by packaged foods that claim to be "trans fats free." Thanks to a sneaky loophole in labeling laws, "trans fats free" products can contain as much as 25 percent of the recommended daily limit per serving, but still list "zero" on the ingredients panel.)

In addition, one of the consequences of a junk food diet -- obesity -- is also a risk factor for low sperm counts and other fertility problems, which is why any plan for good fertility should begin with a good diet.

Start by replacing saturated fats and trans fats with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids instead. In addition to being better for you overall, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is essential to sperm health.

But don't stop there. For many men, fertility problems can be a sign of other underlying issues. Speak with a holistic physician for an approach that's right for you.