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Episode 52: Personalized Nutrition
You consume food that makes you feel great, gives you energy, and boosts your mood, but have you ever considered eating based on your specific body needs? Do you ever wonder if your diet aligns with your specific physiology and genetics? Does your specific physiology and genetics determine your nutrition and diet?
In this episode, we’re going to find out if eating based on your genes and specific physiology has any relation or association with obesity. I’m going to walk you through conducted studies around specific gene variants, your body composition, dietary factors and see how they translate to obesity. Hopefully, we can cut through the conflicting studies and find something actionable to become healthier and prevent obesity.
Tune in to this episode and learn about:
The Fat Mass and Obesity-associated (FTO) genotype
- A study that explored the association between the FTO genotype and the dietary intake of fats and carbohydrates in relation to obesity
- Limitations of this study such as it relied on the subjects’ ability to recall their food intake and it did not address extreme diets in individuals
The Diet Intervention Examining the Factors Interacting with Treatment Success or DIETFITS Study
- This tested whether weight loss success can be increased by properly matching the diet approach (Low Carb vs. Low Fat) to the individual’s genetic predisposition.
- Instructions were given to the DIETFITS study participants:
- Maximize the vegetable intake,
- Minimize the intake of added sugars, refined flours, and trans fats, and
- Focus on whole foods that were minimally processed, nutrient-dense, and prepared at home whenever possible.
- These techniques proved to be crucial in weight loss as the focus was on making sustainable lifestyle changes
- The reported reduction in calorie intake was about 500-600 kilocalories per day despite not being instructed to follow a calorie restriction
- Behavioral counseling was an integral part of the study and can help people become more aware of their behaviors and how to change them for the better
- At the end of the study at 1 year, the researchers did not find any difference in the weight loss whether the diet was matched to a specific genotype or not
The POUNDS LOST Trial
- A 2-year randomized clinical trial examining effects of four calorie-restricted diets of varying macronutrient composition on weight loss in free-living adults with obesity
- The study did show some correlation between the genotype and response to a high carb or low carb diet.
The Personalized Responses to Dietary Composition Trial 1 or PREDICT 1 Trial
- Multiple factors ranging from gut microbes, blood sugar, fat, and insulin levels to exercise and sleep impact an individual’s ability to achieve optimal metabolic health.
- Everyone has a unique response to eating food, hence there is no one “right” way to eat.
- Genetics play a minor role in determining the personal nutritional response
- The optimal time to eat for nutritional health also depends on the individual and is not fixed
- Optimal meal composition in terms of fat, carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber is also highly individual.
- The relationship between calories consumed in a meal and nutritional responses is weak and the former food is consumed in whether its cooked chopped ground produces drastically different results.
“While this individual-centered approach is what we are now aiming for in medicine, it ignores the population causes of obesity. We have seen the rise of obesity globally in the past few decades despite the inter-individual differences.”
“I think one sure thing we do need to do is start eating healthier and more clean.”
“Listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs, it will tell you one way or the other, what is going to nourish it.”
Thank you for listening to another episode of Decoding Obesity!