I couldn’t help but laugh when I came across a recent article calling personalized nutrition the “new” diet. Though I guess, ultimately, it’s both funny and sad.
Funny because that’s how I’ve always approached dieting with my patients. And sad because, if you don’t have access to a doctor like me, you’re stuck with bozos who know nothing about nutrition and think that personalized diet plans are a recent discovery.
There are billions of humans on the planet—so it only makes sense that one single diet could never be the right one for everyone. (And I say this as the author of several diet books.)
But conventional medicine has always just prescribed the same “healthy” diet to the entire population, without exception. And if you ask me, that’s one of their biggest nutritional missteps to date.
So I suppose it’s a good thing that they’re finally coming around on this issue, however late they may be…
From blood sugar to gut bacteria
Longtime readers, and my patients especially, might recognize a few familiar notes in this article’s definition of “personalized nutrition.”
Simply stated, it involves using a patient’s individual profile—age and gender, sleep and exercise habits, and genetic or microbiome makeup—to formulate a targeted diet plan. Again, all of which doctors like me have been doing for decades—and getting laughed at in the process.
But it’s just common sense, really. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s the only way to truly optimize health and manage (or prevent) disease.
Given the emerging links between gut bacteria and obesity, I think it’s fair to say that diets tailored to the microbiome are the real next wave. Soon enough, we’ll be able to predict patients’ gut responses to certain foods with a simple stool sample.
But for now, a lot of the focus remains on post-meal blood sugar responses. As it should be—because as research shows, blood sugar responses to the exact same food item can vary dramatically from person to person.
In one recent study, a bagel with cream cheese only pushed up serum glucose by 6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in some patients… while boosting blood sugar by as much as 94 mg/dL in others!
And of course, there’s the fact that even a lot of “healthy” foods still pose a hazard to your waistline. Or as these researchers put it (and I quote): “…some findings were counterintuitive to commonly held nutritional guidance, as evidenced by blood glucose levels that rose higher after eating a banana than after eating a cookie.”
Have any of these people read my books?? Obviously not. Because if they had, then they would know that a banana has the equivalent of six teaspoons’ worth of sugar—far more than any cookie!
I’ll say it again: Doctors, on the whole, are complete morons when it comes to nutrition. But maybe—hopefully—they’re finally starting to see the light. Still, it’s a good thing there are companies out there hard at work while we wait for the rest of the medical world to catch up.
New tests for old problems
In my office, every diet is individualized to the patient’s body. So yes, I obviously believe that personalized eating is paramount to good health.
And if you’ve read any of my books, then you already know how consistently I talk about testing yourself for food sensitivities. With all the science and technology available to us now, there’s no excuse for not going the extra mile to determine what foods are right for individual patients… and which ones aren’t.
I’ve been doing testing like this my entire career. And every time, there has been a conventional doctor waiting in the wings to tell my patients the test wasn’t accurate… even when they felt better, and started losing weight more easily, once those problem foods were out of the picture.
But maybe this, too, will change with some of the newest tests to hit the market.
DayTwo, Inc. is one of the companies capitalizing on the growing interest in personalized nutrition. They developed a test that predicts your glycemic response to various foods. All you have to do is buy a kit and mail in a stool sample.
The company then offers dietary advice based on your results, which they claim can help anything from weight loss and gastrointestinal (GI) health to mental and immunologic issues.
Other personalized nutrition companies out there that zero in on DNA testing include:
These products promise the same basic information, in the form of a tailored diet plan that tells you exactly what nutrients you should seek and avoid to maximize weight loss.
I haven’t used any of these particular tests in my office. So I can’t personally vouch for their quality. But the concept is definitely a step in the right direction.
As I’ve always said, none of these mail order kits are ideal—but they do give you a place to start in your quest for better health though nutrition.
And yes, there will always be naysayers. But in my experience, the last laugh is ours, every single time.
P.S. I know I talk about my A-List Diet here a lot, but it’s something people can stick to—effortlessly—for life! In fact, I highlighted a success story in the May 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The A-List Diet turns one!”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content. So what are you waiting for? Consider signing up today. And if you’re interested, head over to my website, shop the “Books” tab, and snag a copy for yourself!
“Personalized Eating: The ‘New’ Diet?” Medscape Medical News, 06/13/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/913956)