Design your DNA Diet đź§¬

Food is fuel, natural energy, and it can also help provide the tools your body requires to repair itself. We all generally know what we should be eating – more vegetables, healthy fats and protein sources – and what we should be avoiding: processed and fast food, added sugar, sodium, and toxic fats. Beyond that, there is an amazing ability to further zero in on what your individual body needs and responds well to.

If you’re eating more vegetables but the corn or bell peppers are actually inflamming your body, that would be good to know; this is where food sensitivity can be very helpful. Additionally, your genes have lots of information to offer about your potential top health risks and how to mitigate them.

Curious about why some people with high-blood pressure respond well to a low-sodium diet while others don’t? Why some develop macular degeneration, acne, depression, or diabetes even when living similar lifestyles to others? Why are some people able to drink coffee all day and sleep whereas others are so sensitive that a morning cup o’ joe can lead to insomnia? The answer may well be linked to one’s genes. 

This discipline is called nutrigenomics (short for “nutritional genomics”) and examines the interaction between our diet, genes, and lifestyle choices. It originated from the Human Genome Project, which identified nearly 25,000 genes in the human body. An assertion of the nutrigenomics field is that, while genes play a role in the onset, progression and severity of certain diseases, dietary recommendations can help prevent, mitigate and potentially reverse disease. This is powerful perspective on our health!

A truly customized approach to eating which includes specific recommendations of food, exercise, and supplements based on the results of genetic testing. What might that look like?

Here’s an example: a 38-year-old female presents with low energy and acne, anxiety, and the complaint “I’m working out more but I’m not losing weight”. Upon review of her testing results, we found that the systems and areas most in need of support were cardiovascular health, brain health, and inflammation. While she doesn’t show symptoms of poor memory or a disease like Alzheimer’s at this point, knowing she’s at higher risk and discussing brain-boosting foods and supplements to incorporate was helpful to her. We also made recommendations for reducing inflammation in the body (including avoiding certain foods and ruling out food sensitivities) and for boosting her body’s detoxification (to also help with energy and acne). For her, weight loss is tied more to nutrient-dense foods rather than ‘burning off’ calories with exercise. Her genetic profile suggests she’s better suited for endurance activities (vs. power) and that she responds to training well (leading to better athletic performance, but not necessarily weight loss). This helped to reframe the role that exercise primarily plays in her life – it’s for her heart and overall wellness rather than a huge driver for weight loss.

So even if you have the family history and tendency towards diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, overweight tor obesity, macular degeneration, or other issues – you can still heavily influence whether you develop the disease, how it progresses, and how intense or severe it will be.

The beautiful aspect of a nutrigenomics program, in addition to knowing what you’re more at risk for, is that it’s not just food that can help. We look at modifying lifestyle habits and supplements you can take too. It’s a more comprehensive 3-pronged approach to influencing gene expression and structure.

Who would be a good candidate for testing? In short, everyone, even people who are generally well can benefit from knowing and potentially preventing disease. But also those who are not feeling vital and have a range of conditions, including:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Migraine
  • Skin issues (including acne and rashes)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Digestive disease (including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis)
  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g. Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetes or blood sugar dysregulation
  • Brain issues (memory, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimers)
  • Weight issues

We here at One Bite believe that nutrigenomics is a game changer. With this emergent technology, we can go beyond the components of a general health and more intricately tailor a program to each individual’s needs. 

While the new year generally has everyone giving up alcohol or starting a running program, what is really beneficial is figuring out what works best for you now and for the long run. Ready to see what testing and individualized support can do for you? Schedule your complimentary, 20-minute Discovery Call.

Hungry to learn more about nutrigenomics first? Join our virtual classroom on Thursday, January 27th from 6:30pm-8pm.

We not only bring our stomachs to the dinner table, we bring our genes. Let’s learn how to feed ourselves properly. Now’s the time to ditch your calorie-restricted diet and design your DNA diet instead to improve your health and life!

Singing the Sugar Blues

sugar blues

Sugar. It’s a common ingredient added into countless food items – from cereal and condiments to baby food and supposed ‘health foods’. According to the USDA, the average American, as recently as 2016, is consuming close to half their own body weight in pounds of sugar each year. [Take a look at Tables 51-53 and add together where it says “Per Capita Consumption – Adjusted for Loss” in pounds per year; for 2016, this would be a total daily intake of 74.9lbs]. Our estimated consumption is not just as a result of purchasing and eating the bags of sugar found in the grocery store baking aisle; it’s partially because sugar has many different names which makes it easier to be ‘hidden’ in various products created by the industrial food machines. It’s also because…

Sugar is a drug. Like nicotine, cocaine, or heroin, it is addictive and even considered poisonous by many health experts. Look up the definition of the word ‘drug’ and you’ll see sugar fits. It is a nutrient-less substance – so not only does it add extra calories, but it’s actually responsible for depleting the body of certain vitamins and minerals needed to break down and essentially ‘detox’ the sugar.

Added sugars are typically found in processed or prepared foods – sugar-sweetened beverages (which doesn’t just include sodas or juice, but some non-dairy milks!), breakfast pastries, dairy desserts, candy- to name a few. Naturally occurring sugar, such as that found in fruit, is not included as an ‘added sugar’.

Recommendations for added sugar consumption vary widely. The Institute of Medicine reports that added sugars should not exceed 25% of total calories consumed. World Health Organization takes a more conservative approach and recommends less than 10%.

Studies have shown that people who consume higher amounts of added sugar, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to gain weight and have a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, unfavorable lipid levels (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Blood sugar equilibrium is one of the most important keys to health.

Getting rid of sugar in your diet takes more than passing on dessert. It involves a multifaceted approach to being a ‘sugar detective’ and becoming creative in how we can healthfully live without it.

Are you ready to take the One Bite Wellness ’25 Sugar Detox Challenge’? Join us in revitalizing life and health by breaking the bonds that make us slaves to sugar. We will explore hidden sources of sugar, re-creating healthier home and work environments, understanding & combating cravings, and learning how to have delicious meals.

Dangers of Dairy

Most have see the “got milk?” campaign and heard the claim “milk does a body good”; the product is promoted for its benefits mainly related to the importance of calcium in the human body. The USDA pyramid calls for everyone over the age of 8 to have 3 cups of dairy per day. What does that translate to in terms of various milk products? From the ChooseMyPlate.gov website it could be “1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soymilk (soy beverage), 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.” Yes, this counts:

photo source:  abcnews.go.com

photo source: abcnews.go.com

That’s ludicous enough, but here’s another fun fact: the US Department of Agriculture has both the duty of supporting agriculture as well as promoting the dietary guidelines telling Americans what to eat. Conflict of interest much? Quite a few nutrition experts we’ve learned from- including Dr. Hyman, Dr. Marion Nestle, and Dr. Walter Willet- suggest that the USDA’s recommendations mainly reflect politics, not science, and that dairy may be nature’s perfect food…

…for a calf.

As for humans, it may be worth exercising caution. Here’s why:

1. Not everyone tolerates lactose well. Many people who experience negative reactions to milk may not be allergic to it (though an intolerance to dairy is possibly) but they may have lactose intolerance, meaning that they aren’t able to digest the milk sugar found in the milk. These undigested sugars often end up causing gas, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Unfortunately certain ethnic groups such as Asians, Native Americans, and Africans have a higher rate of lactose intolerance than their Caucasian counterparts.

2. Bone Health? The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, including more than 75,000 women who were followed for 12 years, found that there was not any protective benefit of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. Surprisingly, the increased intake of calcium from dairy sources was associated with a higher risk. You can decrease your risk for osteoporosis by exercising and increasing calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables, beans, tahini as well as calcium-fortified products.

3. Contaminants. Synthetic hormones, such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST), are commonly used in dairy cows to increase milk production. This commonly leads to mastitis or inflammation of the cow’s mammary glands and the treatment involves antibiotics. Traces of hormones, antibiotics, blood, pus, and other dirty items can end up in milk – which is, in part, why it’s pasteurized or even Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurized (this also helps keep it shelf-stable longer). All to keep you safe, right? Some argue that pasteurization kills the bad and good bacteria as well as denaturing proteins.  Also, cows are often fed GMO corn and soy products. These are all items for consideration.

4. Even without the addition of synthetic hormones, there are still anabolic hormones contained in milk and these are designed to take a just-born calf at about 85lbs and grow it into a 1000+ cow. What do you think it’s doing to humans?

5. Extra calories. In a time where we are experiencing an epidemic of overweight and obesity, do we really need more calories from beverages or cheese? With the former, consider that water and tea, even coffee, are much lower calorie alternatives.

6. Other connections. Over the years, we’ve seen that dairy can affect individuals in a variety of ways – sinus & ear infections, skin issues such as acne, as well as diarrhea and/or constipation. It’s important to pay attention to your individual results.

Milk and dairy products are not inherently evil but they also aren’t necessary for a healthy diet. Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruit (and fortified foods, if desired). They can help you reach your vitamin and mineral requirements without the potentially adverse effects of dairy.

If you desire to consume milk or dairy products, consider buying the highest-quality sources; other alternatives are using non-dairy milk, or going without.

Sources:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy.html
http://www.dairymoos.com/how-much-do-cows-weight/

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