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The DNA Test That Can Tell You What Foods You Should Eat
April 20, 2017 / Phil M
Wouldn’t it just be brilliant if we had an exact diet plan telling us exactly what we should and shouldn’t eat to remain a healthy weight? Well, we kind of do – introducing the DNA diet! It might sound overly scientific and confusing, but it really isn’t rocket science. If you’re fed up about trying all you can to lose weight but nothing is happening, this is where DNA testing can come in handy. Just carry on reading to learn all about this new diet trend!
What Is A DNA Diet?
More scientifically, the DNA diet is based off of nutrigenomics, which looks at the effects of food on gene expression. So, by simply looking at your DNA and gene make-up, you can identify what foods your body reacts well to, as well as foods that really aren’t doing you any favours. Of course, we already knew that everyone reacts differently to the food that they consume. After all, how else was Jenny managing to scoff 5 bagfuls of crisps without gaining a single pound, whereas all you had to do was look at them to gain half a stone?
So, with this realisation in mind, scientists are able to draw conclusions from gene variations and how they affect our metabolism and tolerances to different food types, as well as other responses such as body composition and cardiometabolic health.
How Does The DNA Diet Work?
Whilst a select few DNA tests use blood samples to gather results, most simply need a saliva sample to determine which genes are affecting your diet. With this sample, genetic markers are discovered, which will uncover exactly why certain foods are making you put those pounds on, and why certain foods aren’t having an effect on your body at all.
What Will The Results Tell Me?
Well, once you’ve got those all-important results back, you’ll be able to understand where you’re going wrong with your diet, allowing you to alter it and eat foods that will help you to lose the weight you’ve been scowling at for months! So, you’ll receive some results, all revealing gene markers that you carry in your DNA. From these markers, you will be able to understand any intolerances you may have, or any other sensitive areas. For example, scientists have recently discovered a ‘sweet tooth gene’, where people have a particular predisposition for obesity due to their natural tendency to reach for sugary foods – it’s all implanted in their DNA.
From all of this overwhelming information, you’ll be able to establish a healthy diet based on the nutrients that your body likes and dislikes, so you can lose weight quickly but safely. Plus, this diet will be completely sustainable, as it’s totally tailored to every day foods that your body can and can’t cope with. Look at low carb diets, for example. People go on these diets for several weeks in order to drop pounds, but will put them all back on again as soon as they lay off of the diet. This will never happen with a DNA diet though, because you are only restricting the foods that your body disagrees with, so you won’t be deprived in a similar manner to standard diets.
This isn’t the only benefit about nutrigenomics though, as it will also allow you to understand how to manage your exercising activities. Usually, people participate in large volumes of exercise in order to keep weight off, or sometimes because the dieting side of things just aren’t working for them. But, what’s the point in spending hours a week exercising when you don’t actually have to? We aren’t saying to stay inactive, but once you’ve learnt how your DNA is impacting your metabolism, you can tailor the exercises that you participate in, as well as how often to do them for. This could also save you money, as you may be able to cancel those fitness classes that actually, you don’t need to bother with anymore. A successful diet must achieve the correct MET score, so once you’ve got your DNA diet sorted, you can decide on the remaining activities that you need to do to reach that score – simple!
Myths Behind Metabolism Are Unveiled
For years we have been baffled about how our different metabolisms work, and why some people are able to digest food much quicker than others, as well as how different weight-related illnesses actually work – DNA testing can answer these questions! Take type 2 diabetes for example – there are several studies suggesting that too much consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates will lead to this type of diabetes. But, when researchers investigate into the matter, no clear link between the two factors is ever found, so what really is the science behind this medical condition? Well, people suffering with type 2 diabetes may be genetically disadvantaged, making them sensitive to the effects that certain foods have on their blood sugar levels.
Heart disease is a very common illness among our population, however there really is no clear diet suggesting how these people can improve their overall health, but DNA testing could do this! Preliminary research suggests that those with a heart disease predisposition should follow a low-fat diet in order to maintain good health and reduce the risk of adopting the illness, however others seem to actually manage better on a high-fat diet (as long as these are ‘good fats’). The same goes for other diets, such as carbohydrates – some people benefit from cutting them out, whereas some people benefit by increasing their carb intake.
We could even take coffee for an example. There are numerous existing studies that suggest drinking java lowers the risk of heart disease due to the antioxidants and other beneficially minerals and nutrients in coffee beans. Having said that, there are a few studies to actually contradict these theories, as heavy coffee drinkers can often have a higher average risk of heart disease instead. From this research alone, it’s clear to see how our diets are completely tailored to how our body reacts to certain foods, so DNA testing can make the process of identifying the perfect diet much easier, and destroy the myths that we once knew nothing about.
Food Intolerances
Coeliac, lactose intolerant, nut allergy… there are endless amounts of food intolerances in the world, yet many people are actually oblivious to the fact that they have one! Of course, severe intolerances to nuts or gluten are easily spotted due to the instantaneous, negative affect that they have on your physical health. However, even slight intolerances can really affect your ability to lose weight, but you might not be able to feel any proper physical effects by consuming them. People are often left baffled about intolerances, as sometimes family members can suffer from one whilst you seem to have no relation whatsoever – but DNA testing could prove that you actually do.
So, when you receive those all-important gene markers back, you could come to the sudden realisation that actually, you should really stop indulging in your favourite milkshake or creamy cheesecake.
Is DNA Testing For Dietary Purposes Ethical?
Well, not exactly. When getting your DNA test results back, you’ll be told by your doctor or nutritionist that you have a heightened risk of either heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration or so many more different conditions. Because of these, companies offering DNA testing will try harder to sell their medical services to you so that you feel safe and at lower risk of developing these illnesses that are ultimately detrimental to your health. Plus, because most businesses offering a DNA testing service sell directly to the customer, there is often very little to no involvement from a qualified doctor, so can you be completely certain that these services are reliable, or even remotely legitimate?
People are also upset about the lack of free will that these explanations give people, as essentially, it comments on how we have no control over our bodies, and that all functions are completely determined by our DNA. Not only does this impact us, but it could also impact our children as well. Of course, we pass our genes and chromosomes onto our offspring, so we are essentially passing an inevitable health problem to our children which they’ll never manage to alter.
How Useful Is DNA Testing For Dieting Purposes?
Well, whilst DNA testing does bring back significant results about your gene markers, the actual relation between them and the fitness performance of your body is very slim, so currently you could suggest that DNA testing isn’t the most effect way to compose yourself a new diet. Let’s look at the FTO gene for example – this particular gene is just one of the hundreds associated with obesity, but pinpointing its actual effect on our bodily functions and how it properly contributes to obesity overall still remains largely unknown.
The nature vs nurture debate has played a huge role in many different topics over the last few years. When thinking about the effects that our DNA has on our overall health, it’s impossible to eliminate external factors that will equally impact our fitness levels and overall health. However, it’s important not to lose all hope here, as nutrigenomics has rapidly improved in the last few years, so there’s no saying that breakthroughs won’t be made soon. A lot of progress has been made in this field, and with even more advanced technology emerging in the health industry, scientists should gain a better understanding of how exactly DNA testing can construct the perfect, personalised diet for everyone.
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