A higher intake of saturated fat damages the quality of men's sperm, according to a new study published in the online journal Human Reproduction.
The study of 99 men who attend fertility clinics, which measured fatty acid levels in sperm and seminal plasma, found that higher total fat intake was negatively related to total sperm count and concentration.
The study's participants were 89 percent Caucasian with an average age of 36.4 years. More than 7 in 10 men in the study were obese and 61 percent never smoked.
The 33 men with the highest fat intake were found to have a sperm count 43 percent lower than those who were on better diets.
This association was driven by the intake of saturated, the study found. Levels of saturated fatty acids in sperm were also negatively related to sperm concentration, but saturated fat intake was unrelated to sperm levels.
Men who had a higher intake of healthy omega-3 fats was positively related to the size and shape of their sperm.
Here are five foods to keep your sperm healthy based on the study's findings:
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein.
Like salmon, eggs are also high in omega-3. If chickens are fed a diet of flaxseed and canola seeds, the omega-3 levels in the egg will increase.
As far as meats and poultry go, they don't beat fish when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids. But of all the meats you can have, turkey is the best source of omega-3.