We all admit that science has evolved the way human spend their lives. The gadgets developed with the help of information technology have improved the quality of life of an average human. However, new gadgets are not the only way that science has affected our lives. Research in various aspects of life has given us a solution to many problems. Personalized nutrition is one of those solutions as well.
With the advancement of research in Health Sciences, it has been confirmed that your diet plays a significant role in making you exposed to some major diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, or stroke. If a person does not have a healthy diet, he is more likely to catch one of these diseases. But a healthy diet for one person could be unhealthy for another based on their age and ability to adapt to certain nutrients. Moreover, we all know that the increase in chemicals in the agriculture and food sectors has had a significant negative impact on human health.
Personalized Nutrition Definition:
Personalized nutrition studies the characteristics of an individual to make a nutritional plan for him that often consists of some food products and services as well. Personalized nutrition is somewhat similar to concepts like precision nutrition, nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics, nutritional genomics, and stratified personal nutrition. This is why the term personalized nutrition is also similarly used for terms like precision nutrition, stratified nutrition, and personal tailored nutrition. However, there is a difference between these concepts, and here is a short overview of them for your better understanding.
Nutritional genomics and nutrigenetics are terms used for the same science that studies the effect of genetic variation on dietary response and how specific nutrients and bioactive compounds play their role in gene expression. Three factors make this science very important. The first is that people of different ethnic groups have great diversity in the genome that they have inherited.
This inherited genome has a significant effect on an individual’s metabolism or nutrient bioavailability. Nutrient bioavailability is the number of nutrients that are absorbed or digested, or metabolized through normal pathways. Knowing how the genes of people from different ethnic groups interact with specific nutrients is crucial in devising a great personalized nutrition plan.
Stratified nutrition deals with groups as a whole. This study mainly works to put together a healthy and tailored nutritional plan for a group as a whole by categorizing the groups of people with shared characteristics such as age and health.
To put it in simple words, nutrigenomics is the study of how nutrients change the expression of your genes. It is a detailed study of how both diet and genes of an individual can determine their body’s health and the risk of developing diseases.
Personalized nutrition is somewhat similar to stratified or tailored nutrition. The only difference is that stratified nutrition deals with groups of individuals by characterizing them based on their shared traits. In comparison, personalized nutrition is the study of finding the best nutritional approach for a specific individual.
Personalized Nutrition Plan:
People tend to follow the same nutrition plan that has worked for people they know while opting for a dietary plan. You might have heard about the popular nutrition styles like the keto diet the Atkins diet paleo, but most of these are different varieties of a low-carbohydrate diet. These kinds of diets focus more on consuming fats instead of carbs. While these nutrition plans may work for some people, expert nutritionists suggest that personalized nutrition is a more practical approach towards better health.
The reason for that is that different people have different allergies and food intolerances. A person may be allergic to some nutrients present in a dietary plan that another person is using. And not just that, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind while devising your personalized nutrition plan.
Food Intolerances and Allergies:
If you are looking forward to creating a meal plan suitable for you, you might already know about your food intolerances. Different people can be intolerant to different types of food. The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance. It is an eating disorder in which your stomach cannot digest lactose, a sugar mainly found in milk or other dairy products.
The food that your stomach cannot digest might contain some crucial nutrients for your body to maintain its health. So, what do you do in this situation? The right idea is to eliminate all the food that your stomach is intolerant to and replace it with some other food that is equally rich in nutrients so you are not deficient.
You might think that a personalized meal plan is only suitable for prosperous or economically stable people and can afford the diet regularly for a long time. However, that is not essentially the case. You can still put together a decent meal plan which is nutritious and tasty while staying budget-friendly. All you have to do is be a little creative with it and look for food that is not expensive and rich in nutrients suitable for your body. You can try out different recipe ideas with them and find the perfect taste of your liking.
Different people from different ethnicities like to eat different kinds of food. Some people like to eat extra spicy food in South Asia, whereas others eat slightly salty food. Keep in mind that you are making a personalized nutritional plan that you are going to follow indefinitely. So make sure that the taste of the food you included in it is according to your liking. You can also add some new food that you are willing to try, but do not add anything that makes you feel unhappy when eating it, solely for the sake of nutrients.
Perks of a Personalized Nutrition Plan:
We have given you a brief introduction to the advantages of following a personalized nutritional plan. Personalized nutrition can be a life-changer in many situations. If you are a health or diet-conscious person, it can help you increase your life quality. So let us give you a detailed overview of how it works and how it helps you in multiple ways.
Weight management is one of the primary reasons people look for a personalized nutrition plan. If paired with a decent workout, a personalized meal can work like magic in helping people fight against problems like obesity. Similarly, if underweight, you can achieve the body that makes you feel the most comfortable about yourself by following a proper meal plan. Let’s assume you are not obese or underweight; you can still retain your ideal physique with its help.
Motivation to live a healthier life:
Most people following a diet plan that worked for someone else eat foods that they face a hard time eating. We can all agree that it should not be this way and everyone should be able to eat the food they like. A carefully devised personalized nutrition and exercise plan can help you eat the food you want by balancing the number of nutrients so you can achieve both your fitness goals and eating dreams.
You might already have an idea that personalized nutrition mainly deals with gut health. Your gut biome consists of the bacteria that live in your intestines and help in the digestion process. If your gut health is poor, you are more at risk of developing chronic diseases from malnutrition. It also profoundly affects your life in other ways as it can result in an upset stomach, sleepless nights and constant fatigue, skin irritations, and food intolerances as well.
Yes, you read it right. Food intolerances result from a deficiency of bacteria in your gut that help digest some types of food. When there are no bacteria to digest the food, it will result in food intolerance. Keep in mind that food intolerances are different from food allergies. Food allergies are caused by the reaction of your immune system to some types of food. However, there is some evidence that gut health plays a role in developing food allergies as well.
So, how can we deal with gut health issues? Well, the answer is obvious. You need to come up with a meal plan that helps improve your gut health. And that is only possible through adapting to personalized nutrition. If you understand and control the microorganisms present in your gut, you can improve your metabolism and avoid problems like inflammation. If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to maintain the level of microorganisms in your gut microbiota, you can do that by including prebiotics and probiotics in your diet.
Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses:
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most rapidly spreading diseases worldwide. It is not contagious, but it is no less than a pandemic as it is spreading at such a fast rate. There is no permanent cure for it as well. Postprandial Glucose Levels pose a significant threat to people worldwide because they are a substantial reason for developing type 2 diabetes. The rise in blood glucose levels is rapidly increasing in the population, and 37% of the adult population in the US alone is estimated to be affected by it and develop prediabetes. 70% of the people who develop prediabetes are bound to get type 2 diabetes because of their chronically impaired blood glucose response.
To deal with this issue, A group of researchers performed week-long research on a cohort of 800 people, and They deduced that people with the same characteristics reacted differently to the same meals. This proves that global dietary plans are not an effective way of dealing with this issue. That is when the researchers devised a machine-learning algorithm that integrated blood parameters, dietary habits, gut microbiota, and anthropometrics.
This algorithm accurately estimated the postprandial glucose levels in the human body. The researchers then put a controlled dietary plan on these postprandial glucose levels together, resulting in a significantly better postprandial glucose response. In other words, personalized nutrition by prediction of glycemic responses is a great way to create a dietary plan to avoid health issues like diabetes and improve your metabolism overall.
Personalized Nutrition Concepts:
Now that we know why personalized nutrition and exercise plans are necessary, creating and implementing one is the only thing left to do. As we discussed above that there are certain levels of personalized nutrition. But how to create a personalized nutrition plan? If you live in the United States and want to follow a stratified or personal nutrition plan, you will need help from personalized nutrition companies.
It is pretty hard to find an excellent personalized nutrition company that provides its customers with their desired results. That is why we recommend Personalized Nutrition Concepts. It is one of the best, if not the best, personalized nutritionist companies situated in Scottsdale, Arizona. They serve all over the US via skype, facetime, or phone consultations. They have a 5-star rating from all of their customers and efficiently create the best personalized nutrition plan for you.
Habit Personalized Nutrition
Habit is another personalized nutrition company that offers you the personalized nutrition coaching that your body needs. Instead of prescribing everyone the same dietary plan, Habit goes one step ahead. They decide the precise nutrition plan your body needs after taking at-home blood tests and answering a few questions.
They believe that your body knows what it needs, and blood tests are a great way to analyze it. After you answer the questions, they will make the perfect nutritional plan for you. So, if you are enthusiastic about changing your eating habits and want to go one step further, we recommend you try out Habit Personalized Nutrition.
If you do not want to go through the trouble of going to a personalized nutrition company or call them n order to get a personalized nutrition plan, then there is another option you can try out. This option is to try a personalized nutrition app. There are tons of great personalized nutrition apps that can provide you with interesting facts about the foods you eat.
You can also include your recipes and get a complete nutrient-based breakdown of your meal to help you make adjustments accordingly. While this may not be the most optimal choice to get a personalized nutrition plan, it still works great for most people looking to try out the idea before fully committing to it. Here are a few personalized nutrition apps that work and can be a handy tool for people trying to get healthier.
1. Nutrients – Nutrition Facts
Nutrients – Nutrition Facts is an application available to iOS users for only $4.99. It was previously known as foodle, and it brings massive information about nutrients right at the palm of your hand. You can keep track of your daily meals, and it gives you a complete nutrient breakdown of your daily meals. In addition to that, you can get fun facts about tens of thousands of food, and you can include your recipes as well. When you get a nutrient-based breakdown of your meals in the palm of your hand, you can adjust your meal plan accordingly.
This application is only available for iOS users.
2. Calorie Counter – MyNetDiary
Calorie Counter – MyNetDiary is another excellent personalized diet app that is available on both Android and iOS. The app is free, but it comes with in-app purchases and is rated 4.7/5 stars on iOS and 4.6/5 stars on Android. This application is excellent for people trying to cut down some pounds. This app works like a virtual assistant for a person trying to lose weight. It comes with features like a calorie counter and exercise tracker to preplan your meals and get an overview of where you stand in your weight loss journey.
3. Nutrition Facts:
Nutrition Facts is an application available only on Android, and it has a rating of 4.6/5 stars. In addition to that, and it is free. If you ever wonder about the nutrients in your fruits or salad, you can get the information by simply typing it in the search tab of the application. Nutrition Facts application has data on over 8,700 food items which is easily accessible through the search bar.
MyFitneesPal is a personalized diet app available on Android and iOs with a rating of 4.4 and 4.7 on Android and iOS, respectively. This app is also free with in-app purchases. This app has many useful features like recipe importer, barcode scanner, restaurant logger, calorie counter, food insights, and a huge food database. MyFitnessPal is a versatile application targeted towards a diverse audience. Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, this app will help you wonders.
5. MyPlate Calorie Counter
MyPlate Calorie counter is another personalized nutrition application available on Android and iOS with a rating of 4.5 and 4.6 stars, respectively. This app also comes free with in-app purchases and a huge food database. Other features of this application include a barcode scanner, healthy meal plans, and a detailed overview of your nutrition.
Personalized Nutrition Facts:
There is still a lot of research left to be done in analytical health sciences, and we still have ways to go. That is why there is no specified definition for personalized nutrition. We have not yet fully discovered why the same meals act differently in the bodies of people with the same characteristics.
All of the data that we have collected on this aspect is solely based on observational researches. But people a few decades ago would never have imagined that there is a thing such as personalized nutrition. They would have no idea that the same meal or the same nutrient could act differently in different people’s bodies. But people today are more open to tailoring their own dietary plan that would bear the most fruit. That is why here are a few things that you should know about.
1. The effects of Added Sugar:
Many companies add sugar to their products to make them taste better. This kind of sugar is called added sugar, and its examples are table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Every diet-conscious person knows that too much added sugar is not healthy, but some people think it is empty calories.
Empty calories mean that it does not contain any other nutrient other than sugar (sucrose) itself. Sugar is indeed only “empty calories,” but only consisting your diet of sugary products can lead to deficiencies of other nutrients that your body needs to work at its best. But that is not it. Exessive sugar intake is directly associated with diseases that kill millions of people every year. These diseases include heart diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes as well.
2. The same diet might not work for everyone
Diet that works for one person might not work for another person. Every person is unique in their own way, and it is not just the personality that is different; their functioning of the body may differ as well. This is the case when it comes to devising a dietary plan. Multiple factors need to be considered while creating a meal plan. Not every person has the same metabolism, and not every person can adapt well to a certain nutrition plan.
Even if a person’s physical health improves after trying out a meal plan, it’s no use if he does not like the food he eats. There is no point in beating yourself and ruining your mental health to improve your physical health. The better way to go about it is to try out different things and slowly learn what plan suits you the best. You are supposed to create a diet plan that you can follow for a long time, and it is just not possible to follow it unless you love the food you eat.
3. Eating vegetables will improve your health
It is no secret that many kids listen to the word vegetables and run in the other direction. After all, it is a fact that vegetables are not as appealing as steak to most people, but they are very nutritious. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber. Many studies and researches prove that vegetable intake is directly associated with a lesser risk of diseases and improved health. So, eat your greens, kids. You should include vegetables into your daily diet, even if in a small quantity, and then you can increase the quantity to a decent level slowly. You will definitely notice a significant improvement in your energy level and overall health.
4. Vitamin D is absolutely crucial
Vitamin D is necessary for your body to work properly as it is a very are vitamin that acts as a hormone in the human body. The deficiency of vitamin D can lead to many serious diseases like cancer and diabetes.
So, always make sure that you are never a deficit of vitamin D. It is produced in your body when your skin comes into contact with the sun’s rays. However, there are many areas where there is not enough sunlight. In some parts of the earth, the sun hardly ever shows itself. Sadly, you cannot take enough vitamin D from your diet, so you should try taking a Vitamin D supplement if the sun is not an option for you.
5. Trans Fats are not healthy
A high intake of trans fats can result in chronic diseases such as heart diseases, inflammation, and abdominal obesity. Trans fats lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol, a major reason for heart diseases. It can also be a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are a byproduct of how liquid vegetable oils are solidified by adding hydrogen to them. Partially hydrogenated oils are the major dietary sources of artificial trans fats, so avoid them at all costs.
6. You should know the basics of gut health
Gut health is absolutely crucial for any human to lead a healthy life. So every human should know the basics of gut health and how to keep their own digestive system working as needed. Trillions of bacteria live in the human gut, and those bacteria are collectively called the gut biome. Those bacteria help break down the food that your body would be unable to digest otherwise.
They also play a major role in the development and maintenance of your immune system. If you have an unhealthy gut, you are automatically more exposed to a lot of diseases. So, to keep your gut healthy, make sure to include sufficient fiber in your diet. Plants contain fiber in rich quantities. So again, you must eat vegetables to lead a healthy life once again.
7. You should take gut health into account early in life
Children or infants are more prone to autoimmune or inflammatory conditions such as asthma, allergies, colic, and eczema. Parents should start the process of taking care of the gut biome of their children from the early stages of their lives when their gut is still developing. Babies can often be born with deficit microbiomes, but parents do not have to worry. They can restore it in the early stages of life if and only if they are treated well and given a proper diet.
There are several DNA tests for different types of personalized nutrition plans. So, how would you know which DNA test should you go for? Do not worry because we have compiled a list of the most significant personalized nutrition tests and briefly explained how they work so you can choose more easily.
GenoPalate is a great all-in-one, affordable test. They offer you a choice of 85 different foods further divided into 16 categories. You can see exactly what kind of food is optimal for you. In addition to that, you can also see your individual genetic variation, also known as genotypes. GenoPalate determines your genetic need for 23 nutrients which are the most crucial for your body. So you can see which nutrients you have to add to your diet and which nutrients you have enough of.
2. Living DNA
Living DNA test is really affordable and gives you a detailed overview of nutrients to help you understand the condition of your body. This test determines your body’s metabolism to different kinds of foods. The report comes with a detailed explanation of which nutrient your body needs at the moment. Moreover, you get tips on the workout, which we all know is crucial to having a healthy and energetic body. In addition to that, Living DNA provides you with your ancestry history from over 500 years ago, which is fun to know about.
If you need to know where your body currently stands in terms of health, Vitagene should be your go-to. If you need to devise a quick, personalized nutrition and exercise plan, and you do not want to pay a lot of money, you should definitely try out the Vitagene test. You can get the detailed report in 1-2 days. It is super quick as compared to other personalized nutrition DNA tests. You can upload your DNA data using AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe as well.
This concludes our article on personalized nutrition and its perks. We definitely recommend trying it out, even if you are not as much of a diet-conscious person. It not only helps in losing weight or gaining muscle; it helps you adopt an overall healthier lifestyle. A healthy diet can save you from diseases like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and obesity, so why not try it?