It isn’t a miracle diet, but a diet plan that challenges your own genetic predisposition.
We often use genetics as an explanation for why we find it so hard to transform our bodies. And yes, it has a lot to do with it: if your family tends to be overweight, it’s likely that you will too. For example, if your grandmother and mother have wide hips, you may have inherited them too.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it: your body shape doesn’t depend 100% on genetic inheritance, but rather on your life habits. And that’s precisely what the epigenetic diet aims to explain: genetics marks us during the first years of life, but from a certain age the environment and your lifestyle have a stronger influence.
What is the epigenetic diet?
It’s a diet that compensates the predisposition of our genes to weight gain, premature aging and/or any disease associated thereto. We’re born with the same genes we die with; we can’t change them because they’re the ones that formed us in the womb. But we can change the way they work.
“Factors such as lifestyle, diet, physical exercise or sleep quality have the ability to turn off genes that cause pathologies,” Amil López Viéitez, Ph. D. in Pharmacology, nutritionist and creator of the Coherent Diet, explained. It refers to conditions such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance (monogenic pathologies, controlled by a single gene) or diseases such as obesity or hypertension (polygenic pathologies, involving many genes).
The epigenetic diet: improving our present and future through a personalized diet
To get an idea of how genetics can influence our weight, López said that “people with certain polymorphisms in genes TAS2R38 and FGF21, have a greater predisposition to emotional compulsive intake in response to stress, anger, frustration, boredom or anxiety.” They also tend to be gluttonous and snack between meals.
How are genes analyzed to obtain a diet plan?
First it’s necessary to undergo a nutrigenetic test, which involves the extraction of a saliva or blood sample to perform the genetic profile. Thanks to the access to powerful databases, we can know the type of polymorphism of each gene and how we can turn it off or on depending on the therapeutic objective. In other words, this test can tell you what you should eat with moderation so that it doesn’t harm you.
Based on this, we can establish what type of diet is best for each person, although we’ve already anticipated that studies tend to position the Mediterranean diet – it’s no surprise – or Asian diets, such as the Japanese or Korean diets, in the top positions.
Date: November 26th, 2019
By: Cristina González
Nutrigenomics Institute is not responsible for the comments and opinions included in this article