Could a diet tailored to your DNA change your life?
It seems like every other week there’s a new diet out that promises zero effort and amazing results. I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to your weight and health. And, that’s why we’re such advocates of personalised nutrition like nutrigenetics, because you are unique – so why are you following everyone else’s diet?
What is nutrigenetics?
In a nutshell, the aim of nutrigenetics is to recognise genetic predisposition to certain conditions and dieases, and that just a very slight variation in our genes can impact the result that nutrients have on us. By analysing and identifying single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – variations in the genetic code that can sometimes suggest susceptibility to certain diseases and conditions– you can overhaul your diet and lifestyle to improve your health and longevity.
How does it work?
From how tall we are to how we react to carbs, we are all unique and our genes can have a huge impact on our health. Many studies have shown that genetics influences how we process foods and the effect our daily diets has on our bodies and health.
Our individual genetic make-up can also influence how likely we are to gain weight, how our bodies deal with toxins and how we respond to exercise. Everyone has different needs, including micronutrient needs. So one person may require more Omega-3 fats, vitamin B or C than their friend, for example, but they wouldn’t know this without taking a DNA test. Having this expert knowledge means we can then make some small changes to our diet for optimum health.
Those people with what is known as a “thrifty” genotype may be susceptible to gaining weight and body fat when they consume a high-carb diet. Yet, there are other people who can process carbohydrates quickly, and who can enjoy bowls and bowls of rice and not gain a pound!
By recognising these genetic variations, along with functional lab testing (i.e. blood checks) and microbiome/gut health testing, we are able to create a nutrition plan that is personalised to the needs of each person.
But don’t just take my word for it. A study by the esteemed Stanford University found that individuals lost significantly more weight following a diet based on their DNA profile, compared with traditional diets. Stanford found that individuals who were on a diet plan that ‘complimented their unique genetic profile lost 2-3 times more weight over a year!
Genetic tests can also reveal if you are inclined to conditions such as high cholesterol, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Rather than be alarmed, these results can be used to help change your diet to prevent the predisposed condition from occurring.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? While nutrigenetics can be a game changer when it comes to your body and health, it’s important to remember that it is just one part of the bigger picture. The key to good health and longevity is to adopt the recommended nutritional choices based on your unique genetic results, consume healthy foods and incorporate physical activity into your daily life.