Perhaps you’ve seen new trends emerging that promise better results in weight loss and fitness when you eat and exercise according to your DNA. This might be especially enticing if you have struggled with managing your weight for many moons. You may believe that you will enjoy these types of foods more or will want to exercise regularly if they align with your genes. What about in pregnancy; can living a lifestyle that “honors” your DNA help impact the health profile of your child before birth?
Rapidly developing technology gives humans more access to resources that are life-changing. For instance, genetic testing, that is relatively cheap and easy to get, has reunited families and in some instances helped solve crimes. We collectively have a need to feel connected and a deep desire to understand ourselves so the promise of “unlocking your genetic code” is definitely eye catching. Here’s the thing though, we must all be curious and gather information when making any health decisions and the good thing about living in the information age is that we have easy access to tons of resources that people before us didn’t have access to.
We know that diets vary across cultures. Here in the USA, we know with certainty that the standard American diet is not ideal and can have grave consequences if not checked. Our advances in technology have pushed us forward, but many of us are looking for a quick fix, perhaps as a result of modern society. This magical quick fix prevents us from asking ourselves the deeper questions, such as, what are the thoughts that trigger me to stress eat? The search for the magical solution is a way of remaining unconscious because looking inward is often thought of as too much work.
The DNA (genetic code) dictates which proteins are made by the body and how the body develops and repairs itself. The DNA has an impact on your size, athletic ability, muscle tissue, etc. The food we eat interacts with our DNA. There are variations in how each person digests and absorbs particular foods even though the basic system is the same in everyone. This is why it’s helpful to pay attention to how you feel after eating or drinking; your body is giving you information.
A pregnant woman’s diet, and the food she feeds her child has an impact on the child’s genes, which can have a positive or negative impact on the development of diseases. The diet, exposure to chemicals in the environment, exercise, stress, sleep, drugs, diseases, etc. all have an effect on our genes. As you can see, there are a host of factors that influence our DNA so improving health should be considered as multifaceted.
The new trend is always interesting, and sometimes fun to jump on the bandwagon, but you should know that there isn’t enough research out there yet to safely follow a DNA based diet or exercise plan. In fact, I would encourage you to question any protocol that asks you to eliminate foods like vegetables, for instance, from your diet. Ultimately, you have the final say about your body and health so choose wisely and gather as much information as possible before starting any new health routine. You will probably thank yourself later on for it!