Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can Desserts Mix with a Fertility Diet?

Sugar can cause a lot of issues for fertility, and our general health. (For more on sugar and why it's bad for fertility, see a previous blog: But it is really hard for many to give up, and understandably so. The following are some questions I've gotten about desserts, and what's "allowed" on a fertility diet, along with my answers.

Before diving into them, I wanted to suggest a great resource for healthy desserts that was sent in by a reader. Check it out: Sweetie Cakes Co. provides organic, vegan products and recipes that use natural sugar (such as juice concentrate) to help out those with a sweet tooth. Still, choose carefully.

QUESTION 1: What kind of frozen desserts can I have? Can I do frozen fruit bars, frozen rice milk product called Dream Rice or frozen coconut milk? 

ANSWER 1: Frozen desserts are out, as you need to eat and drink foods at least at room temperature. Foods (and drinks) that are too cold or too spicy hot overly tax digestion, which is to be avoided when trying to conceive. You want to be as easy on digestion as possible. Also, most desserts have sugar or too much natural sugar, and sugar really needs to go when trying to conceive  This is very important. Whole fruits are great substitutes!

QUESTION 2: Are gluten free desserts OK, or should I avoid them since they have sugar?

ANSWER 2: That’s fine as long as the sugar used is a natural sugar, such as pure, all-natural honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, for example, and the natural sugar is used in moderate amounts. You also want to make sure the other ingredients are fine too. I recommend no dairy, so look for a substitute (such as soy or rice milk) in the recipe. This would mean no butter or cream, either. FYI, in our house we substitute butter with olive oil. If you personally choose to keep dairy in your diet, or if you make exceptions for butter here and there, just make sure it’s organic because non-organic versions of dairy have growth hormones, which affect our own hormones negatively, as well as antibiotics in them. Some dairy is better than others in terms of impact on digestion. If you must, a little organic butter here and there is probably OK (unless of course you have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy). But do stay away from milk and cheese.

QUESTION 3: Is unrefined, unbleached Rapunzel sugar ok to eat in recipes? Also, what about molasses?

ANSWER 3: It’s important to cut out or at least avoid sugar as much as possible while trying to conceive. Rapunzel can be a good source of unrefined sugar and it’s okay to have every once in a great while in very small quantities--if you must. Keep in mind, though, that although it’s definitely better than white table sugar, it is still sugar. For molasses, black-strap molasses is a good choice; it’s a very good source of iron. Just use in moderation.
Wishing you all the best!

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