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Simple Carbs Are Linked To Infertility, Study Finds

Simple Carbs Are Linked To Infertility, Study Finds

What are simple carbs?

Simple carbs are forms of carbohydrates that are quickly digested and moved into the blood stream as various forms of sugar, usually glucose. Simple carbs are often highly processed. For example, white pasta and French bread are two common foods that are considered to be high in simple carbs. They are made from wheat which has been subjected to refining processes that strip away a high proportion of their natural fiber and other nutrients. Whole grain foods take longer to be broken down by the body and are sometimes referred to as “complex carbohydrates” or “slow carbs.”

You may already know that simple carbs are not good for digestive health. They tend to lack fiber and so relying on them as a primary source of carbohydrates can leave you at increased risk of constipation and digestive discomfort. Ingesting too many simple carbs can also cause blood sugar levels to crash, resulting in symptoms such as irritability, tiredness and strong cravings for yet more simple carbs. Simple carbs also tend to be high in calories yet contain little by way of nutrition, meaning that a diet high in these kinds of foods puts you at risk of unwanted weight gain.

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The link between simple carbs and fertility

In addition to these considerations, there is also a connection between simple carbs and fertility you should be aware of if you are trying to become pregnant. When your body ingests a simple carb, it rapidly breaks it down into sugars. This triggers the pancreas to release insulin so that the amount of sugar in the bloodstream can be regulated.

If you consume simple carbs on a frequent basis, you are likely to have high levels of insulin circulating in your bloodstream. This can impair a woman’s ability to ovulate on a regular basis because insulin encourages the production of abnormally high levels of male hormones in the ovaries. This hormonal disruption can drastically lower a woman’s fertility.

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Research looking at the dietary habits and fertility of 18,000 women carried out by those behind the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study concluded that whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins are helpful for women looking to get pregnant. Making dietary changes will not help every woman who is struggling to get pregnant, because fertility is caused by a lack of ovulation (also known as “anovulation”) in a quarter of cases. If you have been trying to conceive for over a year and have not become pregnant despite making significant lifestyle changes, it is important to consult with a medical professional in order to uncover the underlying reason behind your infertility. However, a significant minority of women may find that changing the foods they eat may bring them the result they want.

Moreover, eating fewer simple carbs will help you feel more energized in general, which is important throughout pregnancy and beyond. Even if you require additional medical help in order to conceive, eating a healthier diet is always a smart move.

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Make sensible dietary swaps to increase your chances of conceiving

As a first step in improving your diet and increasing your chances of a natural conception, consider swapping your favorite processed carbohydrates for some more wholesome alternatives. Try whole-wheat bread instead of white versions and cauliflower rice in place of white rice, for example.

If you dislike the taste or texture of whole grain foods, remember that it can take time to retrain your taste buds. Start by including whole grain foods with one meal of the day and building from there. If you like to eat toast for breakfast, you could begin by swapping white bread for a whole grain variety. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is another great way to control your blood sugar levels and regulate the amount of insulin circulating in your body.

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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