New research has revealed that there is one well-known and very loved diet that is not as healthy as people think and could possibly make you infertile—the Mediterranean diet.
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet
Before we get to why the diet is frowned upon, we need to start by addressing the many benefits of this eating regime.
The Mediterranean diet consists of eating fresh produce that consists of seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with legumes, cereals, olive oil, and fish. It’s low in meat and dairy products, and above all, it contains no overly processed foods.
The diet first became popular in the 1990s and has been considered a benchmark for those who want to master the art of healthy eating. Many nutritionists also standby the diet as it helps fight against a range of conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Because the diet requires you to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, it also nourishes the skin and slows down the ageing process.
While this diet seems to have an endless supply of benefits, a new study suggests that it could also cause infertility. How? Because of all the pesticides that are present in fruits and vegetables.
The study, conducted by the University of Oslo, involved 27 students who gave a urine sample each. Those who ate the Mediterranean diet with non-organic food had ‘three times the amount of contaminants than those who ate a normal Western diet’, according to Dr Sarah Kayat, who was interviewed on This Morning. She added:
We know that pesticides and toxins can increase the risk of infertility because of the way they affect hormones.
I think that definitely needs to be unpacked. We don't want to demonise whole diets. Indeed, this study was carried out on a tiny part of the population and would therefore need to be further investigated before making 100% statements.
So, if you're looking to try out the Mediterranean diet make sure you're buying fresh, organic produce.