Not all of us are eager milk drinkers, and even fewer would think about milk as of wholesome pregnancy aid. Drinking whole fat milk and eating ice cream help women conceive, while a diet consisting of low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk and yoghurt does exactly the opposite, new research says. Low-fat dairy diet is linked to increased risk of infertility due to lack of ovulation, also called anovulatory infertility. If women ate two or more servings of low-fat dairy foods a day, they increased their risk of ovulation-related infertility by more than four fifths (85%) compared to women who ate less than one serving of low-fat dairy food a week. On the other hand, if women ate at least one serving of high-fat dairy food a day, they reduced their risk of infertility by more than a quarter (27%) compared to women who consumed one or fewer high-fat dairy serving a week.

Switching to whole-fat milk may be challenging, since dietary guidelines recommend consuming three or more daily servings of low-fat milk or equivalent dairy products to maintain healthy weight. But if you really want to conceive, change your diet. Women “should consider changing low-fat dairy foods for high-fat dairy foods; for instance, by swapping skimmed milk for whole milk and eating ice cream, not low fat yogurt,”  says Dr. Jorge Chavarro, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. He believes that the presence of a fat-soluble substance in whole fat milk, which improves ovarian function, might explain the lower risk of infertility from high-fat dairy foods.

Keep in mind, though, that fat in milk is still fat that goes to your belly and thighs. It’s important to keep overall consumption of saturated fats in order to maintain general good health and normal weight. Once you have become pregnant, then you should probably switch back to low-fat dairy foods as it is easier to limit intake of saturated fat by consuming low-fat dairy foods.