Nutrigenomics: Is the New DNA Diet All That it’s Cracked Up to Be?

Registered Dietician

| 3 min read

Have you heard about the DNA Diet? Do you think that your genes pre-determine what your meal plan should be? There’s a certain logic to that thinking, however like anything labled “diet,” I recommend taking it with a grain of salt because each situation and person is different.
The word “diet” to me connotes that there is a beginning and an end, but I want you to always think of changing your habits to be healthier for the long run. You need a long-term healthy diet plan, not a roller coaster plan with peaks and valleys.
Nutrigenomics is generally about finding the link between nutrition, health, disease and genetics, or about using your genetic makeup to determine the right diet for you. This makes some sense because your family’s medical history influences your health. For example, if diabetes runs in your family, like it does in mine, then you are probably at a higher risk for contracting diabetes in the future. Therefore, you should do everything you can to stay lean, with regular exercise and a well-balanced and portion-controlled diet.
There are companies out there that offer to test your DNA and then recommend a diet to best suit it. You should beware, however: The verdict is still out on the effectiveness, more research still has to be done and it may be quite expensive. Some research states that having a low-fat diet will help some people lose weight based on their DNA, while others should have a low-carb diet because their genetic makeup indicates as much.
Think about it: You don’t need a DNA test to review your family history. Instead, weigh yourself and have a yearly physical to test your blood and know how your general health is now and morevoer, what needs to change.
In my opinion, more research needs to be done regarding nutrigenomics and whether it really makes for a healthy diet plan. It is definitely a growing field and we will learn a lot about nutrition and our DNA in the future. In the meantime, evaluate your lifestyle and be honest with yourself. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, it would be smart to watch how much sodium you are consuming. Same goes for a family history of high cholesterol, you should be aware of the fat and saturated fat in your diet.
Don’t use your genes as a cop-out. You can still make strides towards a healthier lifestyle. Slow and steady wins the race, so evaluate where you are now and start incorporating healthier habits that work for you and your family today. You can do it!
Have you tried the DNA Diet? What are your thoughts?
Photo Credit: no real name given

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.