High Fat Diet and SmokingIf you found out during fertility testing that you have a low sperm count or low motility, your lifestyle might be contributing to your male infertility. Eating a high-fat diet and smoking are known damaging factors to your sperm quality. Luckily, changing these habits can bring your sperm count back up and boost your male fertility potential.

From 2006 to 2010, researchers performed a study analyzing 99 men’s sperm samples. The study collected data about their diet while analyzing their sperm quality in conjunction with it. The study showed that men with a diet that was high in saturated fats had a 35 percent lower sperm count and a 38 percent lower sperm concentration than men with healthier diets. In addition to having a healthy diet, men who consumed more omega 3 fatty acids had a 1.9 percent higher sperm quality than men who did not consume any.

The reason saturated fat and smoking are bad for male sperm is that each results in free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms with an odd number of electrons, formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules to create highly reactive radicals. Their presence starts a chain reaction of damage, including DNA found in sperm. The damaged sperm cells either function poorly or die.

Smoking is incredibly bad for your body because it produces a large amount of free radicals that wreak havoc on many of the cells in your body, including sperm. Foods high in saturated fats do the same on a smaller scale, but when your diet mainly consists of food high in fatty foods and nothing good, such as omega 3 fats, sperm deteriorate in quality. Foods that have high saturated fat include:

• Fatty beef • Lamb • Pork • Poultry with skin • Cream
• Butter • Cheese • Baked goods • Fried foods

The best thing to do is eat food high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can interact with free radicals and end the damaging process before cells become damaged. The best way to get a boost of antioxidants is to find foods with vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A and omega 3. Foods that contain this pack of antioxidants include:

• Nuts • Seeds • Fish oils • Whole grains • Apricots
• Citrus fruits • Green peppers • Cabbage • Spinach • Broccoli
• Kale • Cantaloupe • Kiwi • Strawberries • Liver
• Egg yolk • Milk • Butter • Spinach • Carrots
• Squash • Yams • Tomato • Peaches • Fish

Another thing you can do to help improve sperm quality after eating fatty foods and smoking is to exercise. Regular exercise will help fight free radicals in your body and will also boost testosterone, which improves sperm production.

There is no cure for male infertility. However, for men who are trying to conceive and boost their male fertility potential, it is important to eat healthily. Changing your lifestyle habits to quit smoking, eating a better diet and exercising will help improve your sperm quality all around, in both quantity and motility.


Australia, Endocrine Society. “Lifestyle factors could be the reason an important molecular chaperone protein is absent in infertile men.” Medical News Today. 28 Aug 2013: 1. Web. 5 Sep. 2015. .

Carollo, Kim, and Jessica Rose, MD. “Dietary Fat Linked to Low Sperm Count.” ABC News. 12 Mar 2012: 1-2. Web. 5 Sep. 2015. .

“Sperm Killer! Your Partner’s High-Fat Diet.” Bump. Web. 5 Sep. 2015. .

“Antioxidants and Free radicals.” Rice.edu. Web. 5 Sep. 2015. .