Fertility expert says vegan women need ‘small amounts’ of meat and fish if they’re trying to get pregnant


According to the expert, vegans might be lacking in vital nutrients such as zinc, iron, vitamin B12 and omega-3s because they don’t eat meat.

A fertility expert has claimed that women trying to get pregnant should avoid a vegan diet and eat more meat

Grace Dugdale, co-author of The Fertility Book, is a reproductive biologist and nutritional scientist at Balance Fertility.

She said vegans might be lacking in vital nutrients such as zinc, iron, vitamin B12 and omega-3s because they don’t eat meat. These vitamins and minerals are important to help a baby grow, and vegans may need to play catch-up if they haven’t taken the proper supplements.

According to Dugdale, who addressed a fertility fair in London over the weekend, he said: “I fully understand the ethical and environmental reasons why people are vegan and people have to do what they think be good to them.

“Vitamin and mineral level testing tells us if an individual’s diet is meeting their body’s nutritional needs, and vegan patients often have low levels of key nutrients needed for baby development.

“I sometimes tell women who are trying to conceive and who have depleted their levels of these nutrients that they would benefit from starting to eat a small amount of meat and fish.

“Eggs and dairy products contain important nutrients needed for fertility and pregnancy.”

Vegan diet and fertility

While Dugdale isn’t the first expert to deem a vegan diet lacking in micronutrients, leading health organizations have clarified that a healthy vegan diet can provide all the nutrients you need while reducing your risk of all major lifestyle diseases, including heart disease. II diabetes, and certain cancers.

Several studies – including a 2021 UK research – have shown that a healthy vegan diet can actually improve your fertility. One reason is that plant-based diets naturally contain less fat than meat-rich diets, and weight can affect fertility.

A Harvard study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology also showed that ovulatory infertility was 39% more likely in women who ate more animal protein, compared to women who ate plant-based protein foods like beans, nuts and soy.

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