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The shrinking American family

Tiernan McKay is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Alive!, Occupational Health and Safety, Restaurants and Institutions, Tampa Bay and Arizona Woman. Right now, she is either ridi...

Our diets could be causing a baby bust

A recent article published by the Pew Research Center explores the declining birth rate in the U.S. What does this mean for our country’s future and why are parents shying away from having more kids?
New parents with baby

Families aren’t what they used to be. Sure, the drama may still be the same but the number of kids has definitely changed. There are a number of reasons for our declining birth rate, including, perhaps surprisingly, our diets.

What’s on your plate?

The declining U.S. birth rate may redefine the American family in the very near future. A recent Pew study suggests that the declining birth rate may be due, in part, to the economic conditions of our country, but diet may be a less obvious cause. "I believe that the reason for the declining birth rate in the U.S. is largely due to the increased infertility rates particularly amongst well-educated Caucasian women," says Adrienne Hew, a certified nutritionist based in New Jersey. "Many, if not most educated women in the U.S., follow strict low-fat or vegetarian diets, making them prone to infertility due to an imbalance in the hormones estrogen and progesterone."

Read more about infertility: Is your thyroid to blame? >>

Unintended birth control

Millions of American women intentionally take oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy but millions more may be unknowingly preventing pregnancy with the foods they eat. Popular low-fat and vegetarian diets could be doing more than expected. "Animal fats are necessary for proper hormone production," says Hew. "This imbalance is further exacerbated by the high soy consumption in this country. This includes soy fed to animals, leaving behind high concentrations of phytoestrogens in meat, eggs and milk. In this way, soybeans work as a birth control pill."

Ask yourself: Is soy making you sick? >>

Generational theme

Like today’s birth rates, today’s child-bearing generation is much different from that of the past. Changing definitions of family and shifting priorities may very well contribute to the shrinking family phenomenon. "For others who choose not to have children, it may indeed be that they don't want to ‘grow up’," says Hew. "Compared to past generations, many adult Americans enjoy the freedoms of not having children and may be consciously choosing not to have children so that they can save more money and enjoy more freedoms."

Discover the 5 signs he's never going to grow up >>

Change your diet

If you think your diet may be contributing to infertility and want to make a change, Hew suggests the following action items:

  • Stop all soy products, even organic — Soy is a potent source of phytoestrogens, which throws off your hormone balance. It works very much like a birth control pill. Soy is also one of the most allergenic substances on the planet with almost 300 entries on the FDA’s poisonous plant database.
  • Increase animal foods and animal fats. Cholesterol is vital for sex hormone production in both you and your mate. It is not found in the plant world.
  • Remove all Genetically Engineered Organisms from the diet. GEOs are a very well known cause of infertility. GEO plants are not even able to reproduce from their own seeds. Primary sources of GEOs are soy, canola, corn, cotton (as in cottonseed oil in some foods) and Hawaiian papaya.
  • Identify food allergies and yeast syndrome. Remove those allergens, while building up your gut through careful eradication of excess yeasts and restoring healthy gut flora. All allergies and yeast problems go back to faulty digestion typically caused by diet.

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