A recently published study shows that low-fat dairy foods may be linked to certain kinds of infertility conditions while a high-fat dairy food may give you better chances of getting pregnant. These surprising findings come from a study of 18,555 married female nurses in the journal 'Human Reproduction' by Harvard researcher Jorge E. Chavarro:

  • Those women who ate two or more weekly servings of low-fat dairy foods had an 85% higher risk of ovulation problems than women who ate one or fewer servings each week.
  • Women who ate one or more daily servings of high-fat dairy foods were 27% less likely to suffer ovulation problems than women who ate one or fewer servings each day.

Most of the women in the Harvard study were at near-normal weight. Since obesity is a major factor for women with ovulation, overweight women should be warned against gorging on ice cream. Although the findings require confirmation, some women, especially those who are not overweight and who want to get pregnant may want to switch from low-fat to high-fat dairy foods.

Things like fat may not be as bad in a diet as perceived. Balance of diet is really important. People should have some fat -- no fat is no good -- but balance is the key.

The government's dietary guidelines recommend three servings of low-fat milk and milk products a day for women as part of a healthy diet, but the guidelines also allow for so-called discretionary calories in whatever part of the diet a person chooses -- and that includes higher-fat dairy products.