Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners

Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners

These are found in sweet diet foods and drinks. Some studies suggest a link between aspartame and depression, weight gain, and possibly even infertility and miscarriage, so this additive is best avoided when trying to conceive.

Acrylamide This is produced when certain starchy foods, notably potatoes, are fried at high temperature, as is the case with chips and crisps. It has been shown to reduce fertility in rats and to be carcinogenic for animals, so avoid, or at least cut down on, these foods.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and certain preservatives, artificial colourings, and flavourings These are used to enhance the flavour and look of food, or to replace natural ingredients. Although many additives and preservatives are deemed safe, it may be that a combination can have adverse effects within the body. If a food label has a long list of substances you can’t identify, avoid it.

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