As health care professionals we have seen many fad diets come and go. Many of these diets are based on whole foods and are backed by sound nutritional science. So why is there still such a persisting problem with obesity and all of its related disease symptoms?
We have also seen many clients succeed on these diets while others fail - often unfairly so.
They put in the effort and commitment, yet do not get the results that their dedication would deem just. In some patients a high fat, low carb dietary intervention reduces inflammation markers in the blood, whilst in others, a higher fat diet can elevate both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ types of cholesterol.
So how do we know if a patient is going to improve their weight and reach their goals? Before even adding in the challenge of client compliance, we need to align the best dietary and lifestyle approach to each individual.
Precision health allows us to do this. Genetic profiling allows us to live a longer, healthier and happier life. Understanding your unique genetics allows us to work ‘with’ a client’s body, rather than battle against their best way of functioning - even when it might not align with the latest scientific research. They might be doing everything right, just not right for them.
Each of us is incredibly unique. It stands to reason the same inputs with regards to diet, exercise, sleep, and supplementation may yield different results in two people. Understanding your genetic profile provides a blueprint for which we can design a science-based plan to improve your health. It helps us get to key issues quickly and reduces perceived rates of failure when implementing lifestyle plans because results can be seen more quickly.
The true benefit of implementing health care protocols based on genetic profiles is the mindset and compliance we have seen in clients. When people who have “tried literally everything” see fairly rapid improvements for the first time, it’s motivating and there’s this sense that they aren’t failing their new diet, their old diets have failed them.
This mindset shift tends to move over into other health-supportive behaviors such as social connection, productivity, movement, and genuine happiness. When you feel successful, that success rubs off in other areas.
For us, as health care providers it's deeply satisfying to remove the question of “will it or won’t it work?” Removing the self-doubt before a person even begins to try is a huge barrier we immediately overcome.
Lastly, the most significant benefit of understanding a person’s genetics goes beyond health-related goals such as weight loss. The more information we know the closer we can monitor those aspects of your body that your gene sequence predicts might cause you difficulty. For instance your heart for coronary artery disease, or your breasts for cancer. We can schedule more frequent blood lipid panels or mammograms. Such an approach becomes personalized, predictive, and even preventative medicine at it’s best.
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As health care professionals we have seen many fad diets come and go. Many of these diets are based on whole foods and are backed by sound nutritional science. So why is there still such a persisting problem with obesity and all of its related disease symptoms?Read more
A timely article in the New Zealand Herald this week addresses the current epidemic of burnout; a topic that we will explore across a three-part series.Read more
We continue on from last week’s introduction to burnout to looking for ways to identify it in ourselves and others.Read more