What are DNA based diets and do they work?

Lifestyle | 26 Jul |

Should you try Atkins or Weight Watchers? What about Keto? Which program will help you successfully lose weight? Oddly enough, how well you succeed on a diet may be determined by your genes.

In recent years there has been a growing interest in using genetic analysis to prescribe personalized diet plans. The idea is that this analysis will offer insight into the type of diet that works best for a person based on their DNA. This scientific discipline is known as nutrigenomics.

Nutrigenomics Explained

Nutrigenomics’ mission is to try and explain our body’s relationship with what we eat and drink and how we can use this information to improve good gene activity and decrease harmful gene activity. In other words, nutrigenomics seeks to create dietary recommendations based on your genetic makeup.

Nutrigenomics helps researchers identify people who show intolerances to certain foods, who are susceptible to diseases, or who may not achieve the desired results of specific diets. For example, the CC type of the APOC3 gene influences triglyceride processing. Consequently, they might advise someone with these genes to follow a lower-fat diet. This is because people with the type CC variant are known to have elevated LDL cholesterol levels when consuming higher-fat diets.

The Science Behind DNA Testing

Several studies suggest that our eating habits are influenced by genetics. This research also indicates that we are more likely to comply with dietary prescriptions when we understand how our genetics affects our diet. For instance, in a 2014 randomized controlled trial, participants who knew they had the risk variant of the ACE gene significantly reduced their sodium intake compared to the control group. They also had maintained a lower sodium intake one year later. The ACE gene is a gene that manages the body’s blood pressure levels. Therefore, maintaining a low sodium level is crucial for those who possess the risk variant of this gene.

Furthermore, research published on March 24, 2020, from Western University in London Ontario, Canada, in the British Medical Journal concluded that people who received weight-loss advice guided by nutrigenomics were motivated in the long-term to improve their dietary fat intake. In comparison, people who followed the gold standard in population-based interventions were not as thoroughly motivated.

Another study of note was conducted in 2018 by researchers at Harvard Medical school and King’s College in London. This study looked at how a person’s blood sugar rose or fell when they consumed certain foods. In this way, they could judge what diets would be most effective in preventing heart disease or diabetes in specific people.

Advantages of a DNA Based Diet

The ability to customize diet and exercise plans based on your personal genetics may increase your success at achieving dietary and physical goals. Additionally, they may help increase your motivation to stick to your diet and exercise program. This is in comparison to food and nutrition guidelines that take a one-size-fits-all approach.

After all, wouldn’t you be more likely to stick to a diet that lets you eat foods you like instead of forcing you to eat foods you hate? You may enjoy short-term success on a restricted diet, but it will be hard to maintain the lifestyle long-term. Furthermore, when it comes to diet motivation, small victories are of the utmost importance. When you see results, you’re more likely to stay motivated and keep to your prescribed plan. Therefore, with a diet plan personalized to your genes, like the one mentioned by TechTimes, you’re more likely to find weight loss and fitness success.

How To Get Your DNA Tested

There are a number of ways to get your DNA tested. For starters, you can get an at-home DNA kit from companies like DNAFit, GenoPalate, or myDNA. Alternatively, you can get your DNA tested with the help of a diet program like NJ Diet. These diet programs test your DNA and create a diet and exercise plan based on your DNA results. In this way, you get expert help and advice.

The Bottom Line

DNA-based diets are diets that are derived from information taken from a person’s genetic makeup. The principle idea is that by studying a person’s genes, you can determine what foods positively or negatively influence the body.

Several studies prove the effectiveness of DNA-based diets. Primarily, it has been shown that DNA-based diets help motivate people to stick to dietary recommendations. This is surmised to be because people respond to knowledge, and thus knowing how certain foods affect their body influences their actions positively. Furthermore, these plans tend to be successful, and success further motivates people to stick to their diets.

DNA-testing is available from a number of companies. However, to use this information, you’ll need an expert. Therefore, it’s recommended that you get your DNA tested with a company specializing in creating DNA-based diet plans rather than just ordering an at-home testing kit.

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