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22 Oct 2020, Edition - 1927, Thursday

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Health Matters

Ever heard of DNA Diets? Diet keeping in mind your genetic requirements

Indrani Thakurata

I have got this statement a hundred times, your mother was heavy so, you have got her genes. And how I would frown at the very statement (hoping to punch that face sometime in my life). And that, during a time, when I am desperately trying to shed some kilos. Our genes are responsible for how our body functions and responds to environmental signals. Scientists and health practitioners all around the world have been unravelling the complex ways on how our genes impacts our overall health. The search for a positive outcome continuous and the solution is finding foods that our body recognizes and can easily process. The need is to need to bring our diet more in line with our genetic requirements. Dietician Sheela Seharawat.writes about DNA diets and the science behind it. Read on…

What is it actually?

Unique to its kind, DNA Diet is a dietary pattern that is designed to assist the health practitioners, nutritionists and dieticians to formulate a healthy eating plan based on individual genetic differences. It provides with an in-depth and additional insight into how different individuals reacts differently to carbohydrates, saturated fats and the intensity of exercise, allowing the dietician to further personalize eating plans to suit the needs.

DNA Diet tests are conducted to determine the gene variations that impacts our metabolism, absorption and storage of fats and carbohydrate and our eating behaviour. Each individuals respond differently to different food combinations and no ONE way of eating is right for everyone. DNA Diet is being used to gain insight into a person’s requirements for healthy eating.

Always remember that a DNA Diet is not any diet plan and simply having the test done in no way helps achieve better health or weight loss. It is a tool that is used to better understand our genetic profiling, helping dieticians and nutritionists to recommend a healthy eating plan that best suited for us.

DNA Diet and Nutrigenomics

Nutrigenomics, is what focuses on how our genes are affected by our lifestyles and vice versa. It is the study telling us how our diet, nutrient supplements and other environmental factors such as chemicals and toxins interacts with our genes and influences our health. It helps people understand their genetic patterns and take control of their health.

It is just like our hairs and colour of skin or eyes are all pre-determined, thanks to our genes, made up of DNA, nutrigenomics uses these DNA to determine whether we have in our genes the tendency to put on weight, or are susceptible to diseases like diabetes or high blood pressures.

We all know that it is not at all possible to change our genes but we can, through diet and lifestyle, influence how well they work and improve our overall health and wellbeing.

Similarly, nutrigenomics or genetic profiling as it is called, investigates and studies our genes that are involved in nutrient absorption and metabolism, our able we are genetically in removing environmental toxins and harmful chemicals and pollutants, as well as our genetic susceptibility for chronic inflammation and oxidative stress that are the underlying causes of many chronic health conditions. It has nothing to do about diagnosing a disease but is about educating us on our genetic strengths and weaknesses. If we are well aware in advance on how our genes will behave we can make simultaneous adjustments in our lifestyle, especially diet and improve our health and wellbeing.

Genetics and health

Personalized diets based on our genetic profiling and associated testing has the potential to identify any underlying causes of health disorders and optimize our health and overall wellbeing. Our increasing knowledge of genetics is always inspiring and clinical research and influencing patient care all around the world. Undoubtedly personalized medicine will continue to grow as more and more people learn about genetics and how it can help improve our health.

The bottom line is that a natural diet can help in our genes to respond in a very controlled way. You can naturally lose weight, forget about your mood swings, headaches and build a bulletproof health in the long run. Your genes depend on good nutrition.

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