“If the benefits of better diet came in a pill, it would be hailed as a medical miracle.”
I spend a portion of each new patient visit evaluating diet and lifestyle. Since I started asking, I’ve been surprised by how many patients have confided in me that they are willing to try something new and want to change. I believe that as your doctor, I have the responsibility to share with you the evidence that diet and lifestyle absolutely can work for or against you in terms of fertility. I also believe that one of the most important parts of my job is helping families become the healthiest they can be BEFORE conceiving.
I want to be honest. I’m not perfect and I would never pretend to be. My family members love meat- including (gasp!) hot dogs! Being vegetarian is challenging, especially when kids and working parents are involved. I get it. My goal is to make my family as plant -based as is reasonable. I hope that it will work, but I also recognize that the benefits of a plant-based diet are not “all or nothing.” Any change is a step in the right direction. And I absolutely will not shame or judge you if this doesn’t work for your family. With that, I encourage you to consider learning more about plant-based diets and whether it might be something you would be willing to try. It can’t hurt, but it may help enhance your fertility naturally and reduce your risk of a number of medical problems.
If you are interested in learning more, here are a few links to evidence-based resources that sold me on plant-based.
- How Not to Die
- Nutrition Facts
- Research studies on patients with infertility: found here, here, and here as examples. Tons more exist, these are just some highlights.
I would love to hear from you. What is the biggest challenge in your family that prevents you from going plant-based? Have you tried being vegetarian? What worked? What didn’t? What are your favorite plant-based meals to help convince my family?
7 thoughts on “Doctors like me tell you to eat less meat. It’s time to start listening.”
I’ve tried but not worked for a long time hahaha.. It’s difficult especially when your environment do not support. All my familly members are meat eater, it is difficult to cook different from others so I just eat the same food as the others. 😉
I completely agree! I feel like a line cook at my house- we all seem to be eating something different. I’m hoping to find a few common meals that we all like. Keep trying!
We have cut back on meat but we still eat it almost every day at some point. It is so entrenched to see a meal as incomplete if there is no meat. I try to sub tofu, beans, and eggs for protein as often as possible. But with so much conflicting info it’s hard to know what to follow. (One source says tofu is bad, another says it’s great. The acupuncturist stresses one nice red meat meal a week, others say no! And on and on.) Pile all that confusion onto busy life and limited funds and often we just fall into the habits we know- which includes too much meat. So we try again tomorrow!
It is so difficult to know who to believe when it comes to nutrition. I’m in the same boat as you! It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Be modest with your goals and remember: any plant-based is a step in the right direction. It’s ok if every once in awhile you have meat. The fact that the other days you were plant-based is still awesome. Keep up the great work!
After becoming more aware of how the meat industry is affecting our environment, I decided to cut out meat. It’s been about 3.5 months now and although it’s still early stages but I feel so much better and I sleep better too! My background is Korean so as you can imagine, my family is big on meat. So for me to cut out meat completely, it was a big decision I had to make. Luckily everyone around me has been so supportive. I still eat fish that are ethically sourced and so I don’t feel like I’ve made a dramatic change in my life. My blog is about raising awareness of the damage the eat industry is doing to our health and our environment, with all the added chemicals/hormones that are being added to the meat, not to mention the excessive amount of greenhouse gas emission as well.
This is great! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Keep up the great work! I love your blog!