You are an individual with specific requirements for optimizing your health and wellness. A diet that works for someone else may not work for you (or vice versa). However, you see so many “blanket” recommendations on what to eat or which supplements to take that you wonder how much of it is relevant to you. Unlike others, you may be able to drink coffee in the evening without disrupting your sleep, but you have a terrible reaction to gluten (a protein in wheat). Perhaps you require more folate (vitamin B9) than others, but sodium has less of an effect on your blood pressure.
There are genes – and variants of these genes – that can explain why you are unique. And now, thanks to recent scientific and technological advances, there is a smarter way to know what nutrition and lifestyle strategies you need to thrive, as opposed to the old method of following recommendations for the “average person” and seeing how it goes for you as an individual. This personalized (or “precision”) nutrition opportunity is based on a rapidly expanding field of research that specifically looks for some of your unique needs in your own DNA. Consider what you could do if you knew which diet, food, or nutrients to prioritize and which won’t make a difference in the long run.
Nutrigenomics: Nutrition and genomics that help you choose foods and nutrients based on your genetic code.
Let’s go over these examples to see what you can do when you learn your unique gene profile and use precision nutrition.
High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. This is due in part to the way your genes allow your body to process fats. If you knew you had a genetic variant that made you prone to high cholesterol levels, you could tailor your diet to include more plant-based meals, heart-healthy fats, and higher-fiber foods.
2. Weight loss resistance
Consider whether your genes influence your ability to lose weight. If this is the case, you can be more flexible with your weight-loss goals and incorporate some cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness to assist you.
3. Reduced ability to use folate (vitamin B9)
Green leafy vegetables and beans contain folate. Supplementation is frequently advised for women who are or may become pregnant. If your genes code for a decreased ability to use folate, you may need to eat more folate-rich foods or take a supplement to ensure you get enough folate to compensate for your diminished ability to use it and maintain good health.
4. Caffeine sensitivity is low
Some people can metabolize (process and eliminate) caffeine more quickly than others. If you know you are a “fast caffeine metabolizer,” you may be able to enjoy caffeine without worrying about some of the common side effects that occur more frequently in “slow caffeine metabolizers.”
5. Not particularly sensitive to high sodium levels
Salt contains sodium, and an excess of sodium can raise blood pressure. Some people, however, are more sensitive to sodium than others.
It is extremely unlikely that you will develop celiac disease.
If you don’t have gut symptoms and are unlikely to develop celiac disease, you may not need to avoid gluten (a protein commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley).
Remember, these are just a few examples of how genetic variations can affect your health and wellness, and how you can [strategically/proactively] address them to achieve your health goals.
Nutrigenomic testing is now widely available. It’s never been easier to answer the question, “What should I eat to optimize my health based on my genes?”
Science is rapidly unraveling the mysteries of the human genome, which presents an excellent opportunity for you to achieve optimal health through a strategy tailored to your genes.
If you want to learn more about nutrigenomics and be smart about where to make targeted nutrition and lifestyle changes that will work for you, talk to a credentialed professional who can help you get your test done, go over the results with you, and work with you to create a strategic plan to reach your personal health goals.
Ever wonder why some of your attempts to improve your health succeed while others appear to flounder? Are you curious as to what kinds of meals, nutrients, or ways of living will have the greatest impact on your health and wellbeing? You need a genetically informed, individualized diet plan to ensure you get the most out of your efforts. Schedule a consultation with me right now to find out if my program is right for you.
© Copyright Dr. Eudene Harry M.D. All rights reserved.