Dieting can be difficult, even for the most prepared and dedicated among us. And when the going gets tough — which usually happens right after you start restricting what you eat — dieters turn to whatever means available for assistance.
On that note: there’s a hot dieting service in town that you might not know about yet. Nutritional genomics studies the connection between your genetics, the food you eat and your health.
“It’s a field called nutrigenetics, and it’s based on the idea that because people have different genetic variations, they may have different dietary requirements,” said Dylan MacKay, a professor and field specialist at the University of Manitoba. “Two different people who have different genetics may respond differently to the same diet. So, potentially by seeing how diet responds to different genetics, we can personalize diets to make them better for an individual.”
Who wouldn’t want to understand their genetic makeup, how it interacts with the food they eat, and possibly, how they could use that knowledge to help achieve their dieting goals? A personalized diet designed for our exact genetic composition? Yes please.
Many companies like DNAfit are popping up, offering people the opportunity to send in their saliva and peek into their DNA, including the foods that could help to improve their diets.
But as a relatively young field of science, there’s quite a bit to consider before going ahead with a nutrigenics test.
“The issue is that the science is not really mature or strong enough, in my opinion at least,” said MacKay. “There are some shadier companies. There are some better companies. The better companies use a lot of scientific evidence and try to back it up, but even those good companies will tell you that a lot of the evidence is not as strong as you’d like.”
So if you’re looking to get your DNA mapped in order to lose a bit of that particularly stubborn belly fat, consider doing your homework first. MacKay suggests talking to the companies you’re considering and asking how and why they came up with the tests they did, and also whether or not the tests have been validated.
Or you could wait a little longer for the science to develop. Something tells us this particular field isn’t going anywhere.