Best Way to Eat: Personalized Nutrition

Human beings can live on many kinds of diets. They can thrive on them, or they can get ill from them, or something in between. Most people in the world do not have much choice in what or how much they get to eat. In rich countries, people can make choices. The choices can be based on taste, or (supposed) health reasons, or philosophical and religious reasons, or ecological reasons, or food addictions, or marketing, etc.

The amount of overweight people is growing rapidly. I would assume that most people would like to be thin and fit but are unable to for many reasons. Some people give up and assume that dieting is impossible. Losing weight can be relatively easy but keeping the weight off is not.

In the dieting world, there are many macronutrient-based approaches to nutrition. There is the old favorite “low fat”, which can be combined with “high carb”. Then there is the “high protein ketogenic” diet (Atkins). Another popular one is the “low carb, moderate protein, high fat, ketogenic” diet, which is often combined with fasting. All of these (and others) have their proponents. Many people can lose weight with any of these methods.

How can a person find out what kind of diet would be best for them? Is it just by trying all the options? Or should one choose the diet that somehow is the most attractive? Many people choose diets because they are popular at the time. Instead of choosing at random, it would be great if a genetic test could reveal the best way to eat. In addition to the genetics of the person, the genetics of the person’s gut microbiome should probably be analyzed.

There are companies already doing these kinds of tests. With a quick web search, I found an interesting one: For a relatively low cost, a lot of interesting data can be found out: optimal diet, nutrient needs, sensitivities & intolerances. These kinds of data could really be helpful for anyone trying to live healthily and diet successfully. But how accurate is this data? Obviously, it is not just guessing (I hope) but still I think genetics is complicated and it is difficult to be sure about many things. But things are getting clearer and I believe that personalized nutrition is the future.


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