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Can A DNA Test Really Tell You How To Eat?

Can a DNA Test Really Tell
You How to Eat?


All of us have unique health struggles, which means finding out the best way to stay healthy is difficult. So much so, in fact, that we often hear a person’s path to wellness described as a “health journey.” When embarking on your own quest to well-being, you will quickly learn that conflicting information is everywhere. Blogs, documentaries, gyms, books, magazines—they all boast their way is the best.  


But what if a DNA test could provide you with a personalized blueprint to how food affects YOUR body?


The internet is particularly saturated with everyone’s opinion. So, how are you supposed to know what qualifies as a reliable resource, and what does not? Studies come out saying one diet is exactly what your body needs, only to be debunked a few short years later.


 Trying to keep up with the overload of nutrition information can be confusing. How can you eat the best food for your body? It’s all about eating for your genes.

Your DNA Is Your Nutritional Blueprint



The key factor that many people are missing is that genes play an enormous part in dictating what someone should actually eat. Just because you know someone who is succeeding with the latest diet trend doesn’t mean you will have the same results.


The fact of the matter is that everybody is different—think about that phrase again. Now slow it down: every BODY is different. We mean this in the most literal sense. This is what genes are all about. They are fascinating and unique codes that see to it that no two people are exactly the same. They help us better understand how we, as individuals, function, and why we are the way we are.


In particular, your DNA affects how your body metabolizes food. The more you learn about nutrition and genes, the more you’ll begin to understand this crucial concept. There are many layers to nutrigenomics, or “the study of the effects of nutrients on the expression of an individual’s genetic makeup,” 1 and it’s important to know how your distinctive DNA affects what and how you eat. 


When striving for healthier habits, most know which foods are “healthy” and which foods are not. But, in actuality, what is healthy for one person may not be healthy for you, and all of this is based on your genetics. It’s best to find a custom strategy for you (and only you).


When followed correctly, a DNA-based personalized nutrition plan can serve as medicine, as it may prevent bad effects from unhealthy foods, help ward off disease, and—in some cases—reverse existing damage! This doesn’t mean you can’t join your friends for treats or share food (with the exception of severe allergens, of course). It just means you need to utilize genetic-based nutrition to reap the ultimate rewards food can provide.


We invite you to step into the world of DNA and explore what it means to get your body what it really needs instead of following the latest fad diet. We’ll help you make specific, nourishing choices; crush your healthy lifestyle goals; and steer yourself down the right path—without wasting precious time or resources trying to figure it all out on your own.


With years of experience in the industry and proven science behind our recommendations, we have prepared this guide to help you optimize your body’s capabilities and feel better than ever. A proper understanding of the items listed on a special DNA test report will serve as a guide to help you take on nutrition efficiently and effectively.


The Connection Between Your
Genes and What You Eat



Your DNA can tell you where you should make changes to your nutrition to help you achieve your desired health outcomes. Science can be life-changing when you connect it to your nutritional habits. With more knowledge, you will find yourself working smarter rather than harder at achieving nutrition goals.


So, let’s provide you with a concrete starting point.

        What Is DNA?

To get a full grasp of how this process works, you need to understand what DNA is in the first place. Each living organism has DNA as part of its chromosomes. This DNA carries genetic information that instructs the organism how to function. Basically, this double-helix structure contains the distinctive, fundamental characteristics of a living thing.


In the most basic terms, chromosomes carry the recipes for creating living things. Human cells have 46 chromosomes. While we grow in utero, we inherit half our genetic information—23 chromosomes—from our mother’s DNA and the other 23 from our father. This genetic material houses all-important information about how our bodies function and look. By look, we mean that genes dictate the color of our eyes or hair, how tall we grow to be, etc. A genome is the total set of genetic information present in an organism. The study of the genome is called genomics.


If you're wondering just how critical this information is to our bodies, genes contain instructions that keep our hearts beating, build our bones, control our digestion, facilitate our energy, and enable us to move muscles—we know, that's a lot. Genes are sections of DNA that give our bodies a template of sorts when it comes time to make critical proteins. These gene codes contribute proteins that go on to build organs, regulate organ systems, and maintain bodily functions.


Look at it this way: we all start from scratch when conceived. Thus, each body needs to know how it, personally, will be built and function. Your genes work together with your environment to generate your individuality-packed code and decide how you develop and adapt to everything around you.


Nucleotides, or the building blocks of DNA, get tagged with an A, C, G, or T. These letters of the “DNA alphabet” represent the essential instruction-giving chemicals found along the strands of DNA. The order is important. The details found in your DNA sample help us create your menu recommendations.


For instance, we might suggest you try sticking to low-sodium foods if we find a genotype of TT or AA in your AGT gene, which produces the protein called angiotensinogen. 2 This protein is a part of the system that regulates blood pressure and levels of salts and fluids throughout the body. 


A genetic variant, also referred to as a single-nucleotide polymorphism (or SNP), is a location where a single nucleotide tends to vary from person to person. This variance leads to changes in how our proteins function. Each is filled with unique information that directly helps determine what will take place throughout the various parts of the body—including the way it metabolizes, or processes, food.


When you receive the results in your DNA test report, you will see that we have analyzed over 100 genetic variants in this way.

The Way Our Lab Works to Pinpoint Your Genetic Variants

It's interesting to note that despite variants being very small, just one of them can lead to dramatic differences in how our bodies process the foods we eat. The impact is significant and direct. Genetic testing for dietary needs was developed once people began to really see the value in learning from genetic information. Put simply, certain nutrients and vitamins can be absorbed and used in daily functions more easily and more fully by some people than others because of genetic variants.


To break down what we mean further, let's examine a simple, ordinary piece of fruit. Or at least, it may seem simple. But just one fruit can have over 20 different nutrients and your body can react or do different things with each of them. From carbohydrates and fats to sugars and cholesterol, you should know which will benefit you and which will not.


Research has proven over and over again that when people with certain genetic makeups eat certain nutrients at certain levels, more positive outcomes can be achieved.


There are hundreds of foods that can be utilized in different combinations to make up a proper, safe, and effective regimen for one individual person. With these tests, your one-of-a-kind nutritional formula will become more apparent than ever before, and you'll finally know what to do in order to eat healthy for your body. 


The results of nutrigenomics—the study of how nutrition and genomics are interrelated 3—are trusted by people across the nation due to the extensive evidence-based research done in Clinical Laboratory Information Amendment (CLIA), state, and CMS-certified laboratories. These qualified labs utilize the studies from high-impact clinical trials with real, ordinary people—just like you. 


At the GenoPalate lab, genetic samples are stored only for the purpose of creating your recommendations and will be destroyed after sequencing unless you explicitly opt-in to participate in long-term storage for research. After your genetic sample is sequenced, the output file is transferred through SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) to be analyzed. It's de-identified and encrypted while it goes through analysis and testing and is only used to generate your report. It is never sold, shared, leased, or rented to third parties. 

Why and How Genetics Affect Nutrition

Studies examining the connection between a person’s genes and their environment show that there are variables in different individuals’ bodily systems when it comes to nutrient requirements. These requirements largely depend on an individual’s genetic variants, as each person’s individual genetic makeup directly affects the metabolizing of nutrients, their transport throughout the body, and how their body removes waste and toxins.


For instance, someone carrying the MTHFR 677T allele—one of at least two alternative forms of a gene that occurs due to a mutation found at the same place on a chromosome—will need more vitamin B and folate 4 in their diet to keep their homocysteine levels low. 5 The MTHFR gene provides instructions for making an enzyme that plays a role in processing amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Researchers have linked lower MTHFR enzyme activity and higher homocysteine levels to poor cardiovascular health.


One study published in the Nutrition Journal investigated long-term weight management to see whether using genetic information to customize a person's diet—otherwise known as nutrigenetics—could render improvements in these efforts. 6 The administrators of the experiment knew that behavior-based treatment is known to lead to weight loss that can render health improvements for many people, but unfortunately, the bigger challenge is keeping that pesky weight off over time.


Determining the best diet for any individual is never a one-size-fits-all feat, and this has come to light even more ever since the concept of nutrigenetics emerged. Individuals with a history of weight loss struggles were given a test that screened for 24 variants in 19 of the genes involved in the metabolic process.


The Nutrition Journal study showed that the average participant in the nutrigenetic group reduced their BMI by 5.6 percent, while the non-tested control group had an average BMI gain of 2.2 percent. 6 After almost a year, those in the nutrigenetic group were shown to be more likely to have maintained some amount of weight loss than their non-tested counterparts.


Sustained weight loss usually requires more permanent lifestyle changes, eating habits, exercise regimens, and hard work—but if you know what to focus on and understand what your body needs, your health journey may be smoother than you may expect. Yes, to get noticeable results, you may need to make rather significant changes. However, the key to sustaining these lifestyle changes is to start with facts about how your body works and how it is different from anyone else’s. With the knowledge of your genetic makeup, you can set highly achievable bite-sized goals that build upon each other over time. 


Results from the Nutrition Journal study indicated that the nutrition tailored to personalized diets resulted in longer-term BMI reduction, better health plan compliance, and improvements in their overall blood glucose levels. 

More on the Genes and Genetic Variants in Your DNA Test


While you’ll have to get your very own report to get the full scope, we’re going to provide you with a sneak peek of the science-packed information included in a GenoPalate report. Let's take a look at some of the genes involved in different nutritional systems. We will highlight a few of the different genetic variants that are present in different people and what they can do.


As you scroll through, you’ll quickly start to understand the connection between your genes and what you eat, and how recommendations based on your specific genetic variants can have a huge effect on how you gain nutrients from the food you consume. Once it all comes together, you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried out a DNA test sooner!



Caffeine – CYP1A2 Gene 


This is a popular one, especially for caffeine lovers who need their daily fix. The CYP1A2 gene is involved in the rate of caffeine metabolism. 7 Certain genetic variants within this gene lead to a slower ability to clear caffeine from the body, while other variations have a faster ability.


The CC or CA variants have been linked to slow caffeine metabolism, which means it may take the body longer to process caffeine. These individuals are considered "slow metabolizers." Slow metabolizers may have an increased risk of high blood pressure with caffeine consumption. 


On the other hand, people with the AA variant have been linked to fast caffeine metabolism, which means they may clear caffeine from their system at a faster pace than other people. After drinking caffeinated beverages, fast metabolizers may have a heightened focus without feeling jittery, experiencing anxiety, or getting headaches. 


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) tells us that the half-life for caffeine ranges from three to five hours. Thus, if you’ve had 260 mg of caffeine in your morning beverage, you’ll still have around 130 mg of caffeine left in your system after a few hours. But of course, the amount of caffeine and length of time will vary on your genes and sensitivity levels. 


In fact, depending on your genetic makeup, you could be feeling the effects of your coffee or caffeinated tea for many hours—even up to a couple of days after initial consumption! 


Total Carbohydrates – FTO Gene



The FTO gene affects your food cravings and how your body uses or stores food. 8 Variants within this gene are linked to different body compositions.


The AA or AT variants of this gene have been linked to a higher body mass index (BMI) when people with these variants are on a low-carbohydrate intake. To combat this, these individuals may receive a recommendation to eat a higher carbohydrate intake. On the other hand, people with the TT variant see the opposite result. We take your results for multiple genetic variants to give you comprehensive nutrition recommendations based on your genes.


A note on FTO: this gene is also involved in processing fiber in the body. Fiber is necessary for helping rid the body of toxins. It also serves to assist in protecting the heart, helps the digestive system function properly, prevents and treats constipation to promote regularity, and may even decrease the risk of colon and rectal cancer.


Total Fat – APOA5 Gene



The APOA5 gene is a member of a family of genes that make sure your body receives instructions for making the proteins that transport fats. 9 This family of genes is always moving fats around to where they’re needed within the body. The constant movement to appropriate destinations is crucial to our internal processes.


Naturally occurring variations in this gene family are linked to several cardiovascular health outcomes that deal with fat metabolism. People that have trouble lowering their cholesterol or reducing body fat for different reasons may find that their DNA test results report a variant connected with decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol when consuming a low-fat diet. These individuals would benefit from modifying their daily fat intake..


Vitamin A – BC01 Gene 



The BC01 gene carries instructions for making a crucial enzyme in the metabolizing of beta-carotene to vitamin A. 10 Variants can come in TT, GG, and GT (or TG). Your DNA test report could detect a variant linked to higher beta-carotene blood levels than other genotypes—or it could mean there is a lowered ability to convert beta-carotene to active vitamin A, which is needed for biological functions in the body. Besides, a decreased ability to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A can result in increased levels of beta-carotene.


While some may view heightened levels of beta-carotene as a good thing because it has beneficial antioxidant properties, it results in a lower amount of active vitamin A for your body. Getting the right amount of vitamin A is important for vision, reproduction, and proper immune function. A form of vitamin A called retinol can be converted to its active form without the BC01 gene, but it's important to consume foods with vitamin A in both forms: retinol and beta-carotene.


Vitamin C – SLC23A1 Gene 



The SLC23A1 gene gives your body instructions for making one of two transporters essential for the absorption of vitamin C. 11 Getting proper amounts of vitamin C is important for healing wounds, antioxidant activity, and immune function. The variants are TT, GG, and GT (or TG). If we detect a variant in your DNA sample linked to lower vitamin C blood levels, we may recommend a higher vitamin C intake.


Sodium – AGT Gene 



The AGT gene provides our bodies with instructions for making a special protein called angiotensinogen. 12 This protein is a part of a system that regulates your blood pressure as well as the level of fluids and salts throughout your body. The variants in this example are TC, CT, TT, and CC. If we detect a variant linked to decreased blood pressure and better cardiovascular health with low sodium intake, you may receive a recommendation to eat low-sodium foods.


Calcium – CASR Gene 


The CASR gene offers instructions for making a calcium-sensing receptor known as CASR. 13 Calcium binds to this receptor, allowing it to regulate just how much calcium we have in our blood. If your blood calcium concentrations reach a certain level, the specialized receptor will send signals that will block the processes that further increase calcium in the bloodstream.


The variants in this gene are AA, GG, AG, and GA. We might detect a variant associated with higher blood calcium levels than other genotypes in your genetic makeup. Research suggests this may be a result of your body’s inability to optimally regulate calcium levels. It is important, however, to take in the recommended amount of calcium.


Iron – HFE Gene 


The HFE gene will help detect the amount of iron you have in your body. 14 Variants for this gene include GG, AG, AA, and GA. If we detect a variant that studies have linked to the over-absorption of iron (an effect found only in males so far), we will likely recommend you discuss these DNA test results with your doctor.

It’s important to talk with your doctor about this variant because there are potential health risks associated with this variant. Over-absorption of iron can damage your body’s organs and tissues over time and lead to life-threatening diseases—including heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. 


We will explain what this all means in your test results—according to what is most relevant, and thus, most helpful to you.  

The Science of Genetic-Based Nutrition

You’ve already read about some of the many health benefits that come from understanding your genes better, but make sure you also become familiar with potential health implications. There are services out there claiming they have the most accurate DNA test results. When these results are based on questionable research criteria instead of well-researched genes and people use the information to make decisions regarding their nutrition, they can cause more harm than good. 


Do your own research and be wary of agencies claiming they know all but don’t have the proper credentials. Choosing a DNA test that is backed by science is crucial in making sure you’re analyzing your genes safely. No test is a be-all, end-all either. Do what feels right for you and always be sure to talk to your doctor about specifics if you’re unsure about something outlined in your test results. Your body can change over time and nourishment that worked well for you at one point may not continue to be the best for you down the line. 


This is especially true if you took the test many years ago. Your body changes over time, which can alter how you metabolize food. Keep in mind that there will also always be emotional, social, economic, and environmental factors that affect a person’s chance of losing weight and achieving other health goals. In fact, a big part of how your genetic variants affect your body is how they are wired to adapt to certain environmental changes. 


Be sure you look at the information included in your results as suggestions. It is ultimately up to you and your primary healthcare provider to work as a team in order to make executive decisions about what you should and shouldn’t do with your body. DNA test companies are merely the copilot to your first experience in nutrigenomics.  


The Limitations of a DNA Test



While DNA tests are a powerful tool that can provide insight into how your body works and help you achieve your health goals, there are a couple of things these tests cannot offer you.


Two Things These DNA Tests Can’t Do



1. DNA Tests Can’t Medically Diagnose Allergies 


While DNA tests can provide valuable information about your genetic makeup and how it affects the foods you eat, it is not able to identify food allergies or intolerances. The eight most common food allergens are dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, and fish. While allergies to these foods are most prevalent, people can be allergic to many different foods—including fruits, vegetables, and seeds. To determine whether or not you have any food allergies, your medical provider can administer tests such as a skin prick test or oral food challenge where the problem ingredient is given in gradually increasing quantities under controlled environments. 


Your doctor can also do a blood test so your antibody reaction can be measured. Eating foods that your body cannot tolerate is not only uncomfortable; it can be dangerous. In severe cases, eating an allergen can cause a person’s immune system to go into anaphylactic shock and threaten their life. Therefore, it is wise to get checked out before trying any food recommendations from a DNA test that you have never had before, just in case. We care about our users, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.


2. Most DNA Tests Cannot Medically Diagnose a Genetic-Based Disease 


A DNA test can only give limited information about an inherited condition. For these types of situations, it would be wise to plan to see a specialist. GenoPalate, like most commercially available DNA tests, does not test for or diagnose genetics-based diseases, and any such testing should be done by your physician. 


Although, as you will read in one of our user spotlights, you might find hints denoted in your DNA test results that could start you on your path to getting the outside care you  may need.


Does DNA Testing for Nutrition Work?


Some peer-reviewed research argues against nutrition DNA testing while other peer-reviewed research is strongly in favor. 


 One criticism of DNA tests is that they prescribe diets. GenoPalate’s test, however, does not actually prescribe diets. We don’t tell users exactly what to eat, but we do provide them with a list of foods that provide the nutrition their genes need. We do not encourage eating only foods on this list—instead, it is a resource to help users make smarter food choices and develop healthy eating habits. 


We create recommendations for macronutrients, micronutrients, sensitivities, and beyond by looking at multiple genetic variants that are directly related to nutrition—such as decreased insulin resistance, increased HDL, etc.


In particular, one fairly well-known study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association argued that DNA nutrition tests did not work. This study, however, only looked at three different genetic variants in a sample set of only a few hundred individuals. 15 Due to the body’s complexity, there are potentially many more variants related to weight management and BMI, as well as other errors of metabolism. The scope of focus in these studies may be too narrow to obtain accurate DNA test results. 


The JAMA study also only looked at weight loss and included sessions with dietitians. Essentially, there was a very high level of accountability, and dietary adherence was high as well. So, what happens without that support system and level of accountability? Would the test group that was not using DNA-based recommendations—who were reported to have lost more weight—have still done so well otherwise? 


As we mentioned earlier, one Nutrition Journal study set out to find out if nutrigenomics can influence positive changes over time without the constant support of a registered dietitian. Results indicated that participants in the nutrigenetic group were more likely to maintain some amount of weight loss than their non-tested counterparts, and that those who received personalized diets had longer-term BMI reduction, better health plan compliance, and improvements in their overall blood glucose levels. 6  


Nutrition studies are notoriously hard to control for potential bias, such as participants starting a new exercise program at the same time they change their diet (despite being told not to), becoming aware of their calorie intake, or unconsciously making better food choices. Studies that include coaching or education components also tend to have better weight loss outcomes overall, as we saw, as compared to studies that do not include any type of education or support. 


Thus, nutrition studies are inherently flawed as we can never create a truly randomized control trial in humans. The JAMA study results may have been influenced by unconscious bias on the part of the participants, as it was not taken into account if simply being on the diet changed their overall calorie intake, changed their food choices (i.e., they started eating less refined foods or added sugars), changed their exercise habits, or initiated other lifestyle changes. 


Another thing to note is that the JAMA study tried to weaken what we firmly stand for but has not actually been replicated to confirm results. Repeatability is important in any study where the goal is to get usable results that have enough solid backing to guide action. If an experiment has not been replicated enough times that it can be trusted by the scientific world, it is simply not viable. That is why we always turn to science and repeatable proof when we make recommendations. 


How Does a Nutrigenomics DNA Test Work?

You might be wondering what the process of obtaining DNA is like. Go behind the scenes with us as we start to take you deeper into our science-based practices. You’ll be fascinated by how this all works.

Testing Your Genetic Makeup


With the ideal DNA test, the process is made quite simple. A saliva sample is collected using a swab to gather the necessary DNA information for testing. When you purchase your DNA test, it should contain everything you need to swab your cheek. It's a speedy, painless, noninvasive self-procedure, as there are no urine or blood samples needed to get results. 


After you send your sample to be tested, a certified laboratory—preferably one accredited by the CLIA—will then extract your DNA from the saliva you provided via postal service. At that point, a microarray will scan and revealyour genotype for any key nutrition-related variants. 


A microarray is a biochip that gets printed with thousands of little spots in specific positions. Each spot contains a known DNA gene or sequence, and the molecules of DNA that attach to each individual spot will act as a probe in the process. This allows for only the corresponding variants from your sample to bind to them. Since each of these spots corresponds to a different genetic variant, we can easily map out the locations of the DNA. Results will always vary from person to person. 


Once we map your DNA, we match your variants to our nutritional database to help uncover what eating for your genes should look like for you. When we have a good understanding of the nutrition your genes need, we put together your personalized nutrition recommendations to help you make food choices based on your DNA. 

How Is a DNA Diet Different than Other Diets?


There are countless diets on the market today claiming to be the “best.” From paleo, vegetarian, and vegan to low FODMAP, keto, and Mediterranean—the list goes on in a seemingly endless, unbreakable loop of promises. These diets swear by the results their guidelines provide—including easy weight loss, great skin, and unbelievable energy boosts guaranteed to revitalize your life. 


While many people try out these fad diets and realize they aren’t drastically improving their lives as promised, they don’t necessarily seem to be gimmicks either. You’ve seen them work for other people around you. Your friends or family rave about one in particular and constantly tell you they feel good and that it’s due to their diet. How can that be when you haven’t seen the same results for yourself? 


The problem is that it’s not really about the diet itself. The issue, as we’ve just begun to explain, lies with the all-to-common—and potentially detrimental—belief that nutrition should be a one-size-fits-all approach. Here’s the simple truth that will serve you well if you learn and adopt it sooner than later to jumpstart positive changes in your life: you are one of a kind. 


This concept is what drives the entire movement of eating for your genes—a solution that has provided many with increasingly positive outcomes. We dive deeper to unlock all the secrets once and for all. 


You must feed your body based on its chemistry, or it may never get the necessary nutrients it requires, and you’ll never feel you’re at your absolute best. We want you to reach your full health and wellness potential, and when you take on the personalized nutrition approach, it will come. 


For instance, based on someone’s particular genetic makeup, a low-carb but high-fat nutrition strategy could be the way to balanced cholesterol levels or ideal weight loss. While, for another individual, a low-fat yet high-carb nutrition plan might be the more beneficial option. 


Your genes are analyzed to create personalized nutrition recommendations you can trust. The information you’re given is backed by science-based evidence. Because if the food selections suggested aren't backed by credible studies, why put them into your body? 

What Is the Best DNA Test?



Let’s talk about some of the most popular services out there today that offer nutrition recommendations based on a DNA test. We’ll touch on a comparison between what is offered by GenoPalate, Xcode Life, and DNAfit.


DNAfit 

DNAfit looks at ten nutrients, two substances, and two sensitivities. They analyze 23 nutrient, substance, and sensitivity variants and just look at single nutrient needs. This test doesn’t recommend specific foods and is difficult for users to act on. 


Xcode Life 

Xcode Life examines 23 nutrients, two substances, and two sensitivities. They do analyses on 107 nutrient, substance, and sensitivity variants and—like DNAfit—look at single nutrient needs only. Additionally, Xcode Life does not make the test results actionable and may not be an effective resource for smarter eating habits.


GenoPalate 

Similar to Xcode Life, GenoPalatelooks at 23 nutrients, two substances, and two sensitivities. However, GenoPalate also analyzes 115 individual nutrient, substance, and sensitivity variants and takes into account all of a person’s genetic nutrient requirements. GenoPalate makes specific food recommendations based on the food’s nutritional profile as well as the person’s genetic makeup. Users can incorporate these foods into their lifestyle.

I Just Took a DNA Test—Now What?


So your DNA test results have arrived. Now it’s time for the fun part—this is where your journey truly begins.

Your DNA Now Becomes Your Nutritional Roadmap


With the right DNA information, who needs to seek extra help? Many people make a point of visiting nutritionists, dieticians, or naturopaths to help them create a viable nutrition plan. Once you have the DNA test results you need, the process gets a lot easier. You may be able to cut out some of those trips to doctor’s offices, which can save you time, money, and the hassle of taking repetitive trips to visit care providers. 


These professionals can add a lot of value to your life. But if you have kids, pets, a particularly heavy work schedule, or regular social commitments, you may find it easier to simply take a test at home and save yourself the potential headache of dealing with traffic, weather issues, and having to rearrange your calendar to squeeze in all sorts of appointments. 


 Use your personalized nutrition recommendations in recipes and your daily meal routine. You may already be using some of the foods on your recommendations list, or you may need to switch things up and use different amounts of ingredients—or different foods altogether. Once you start making an effort to make these foods a part of your regular schedule, it’ll become second nature and you won’t even have to think about it. Make one small, attainable change at a time and tack on new habits as you go so your progress will be sustainable (and won’t seem so overwhelming). 


Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to implementing optimal DNA test outcomes. And now, from the comfort of your own home, cutting-edge technology has made it possible to get relatively fast, easy, accurate details that will serve as the roadmap for your new adventure in nutrition. 

With Your DNA Test Results, You Now 

Have a Personalized Nutrition Plan


Again, the advice you receive from your DNA test results is for you only and not to be imposed upon anyone else. That does not mean they are top secret and that you cannot share—by all means, if you’re doing what the DNA test results suggest and feeling great, tell your friends where they can find the test service so they can experience the benefits as well! 


But don’t assume what works for you will work for someone else. These results are unique to you and your personal genetic makeup. 16 What works for one person will likely not work for another, even if the individuals are related. These DNA test results are meant to help you better modify your eating patterns and nutrient intake to help you improve your own health. 


The whole point of tailoring your nutrition plan to your genes is to do what works best for your unique makeup. Each body is different and includes a complex system, and that fact should be respected in order to get the most out of it. Keep this in the back of your mind when finally opening up your eagerly anticipated results. Feast your eyes—and then your stomach—on what’s been curated for you. 


 A sample personalized recipe based on your DNA test might look like this: 


Dinner – Main: Rosemary Chicken


Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil, divided

Instructions:

  1. Salt and pepper chicken, marinate with juice from lemon and 2 Tbsp oil. Marinate as short as 30 minutes and as long as overnight.
  2. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken and rosemary, cover, and cook for 6–8 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken and cover again for 6–8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


Dinner – Side: Sautéed Collard Greens & Roasted Carrots


Ingredients: 

  • 1 bunch collard greens with ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup dry white wine (or water)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for Sautéed Collard Greens:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2.  Add greens and a pinch of salt.
  3. Add wine or water, cover, and cook for 6 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste prior to serving.


Ingredients for Roasted Carrots: 

  • 3 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 3” pieces, halved lengthwise or quartered if large
  • 1⁄4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper

Instructions for Roasted Carrots:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the cut carrots in oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place carrots in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  3. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes. Toss halfway through.

Remember, as mouth-watering as this dinner may seem, it is merely a sample and should not be assumed right off the bat that it will work for you or any specific person. While you are welcome to make this recipe, we cannot ensure that its macro- and micronutrients will work best with your genetic makeup. We recommend waiting for your own personalized DNA test results to come in. With all the necessary science and details to back your report, you will be able to understand your unique renderings.


If you take away just one thing from this article, let it be the concept of owning your unique genetic makeup and making calculated choices solely based on what your body needs rather than someone else you know (no matter how close you are with them).


How Genetic Information Can Help 

Maintain Weight Loss and Insulin Levels


When it comes to the popular topics of insulin management and weight loss, your DNA test report can come in handy for these, too. Again, there aren’t very many things your test results will not be able to help with! Let’s take a closer look.

Weight Management

When it comes to weight loss, there are reasons that the diets, tips, and tricks you’ve tried before haven’t worked. Perhaps you have trouble following the strict guidelines or unappealing nature of the latest fad diet. You need something that you can make a part of your regimen for the long haul, not a fleeting trend. Luckily for you, the DNA test results bundle will come in handy by suggesting ways to maintain the recommendations found within it.


Nutrition 

Portion control is a huge trend when it comes to trying to lose weight. But it isn’t just junk food that poses a danger to your weight. Many don’t realize that even healthy food options can be problematic in large quantities as well. The old adages “everything in moderation” and “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” still ring true. Just because something is considered a healthy food does not mean you should eat as much as you want of that food. Rather, you should aim to abide by not just the ingredients but the portions denoted in your personalized DNA test results. 


On the other hand, if you simply cut your caloric intake and it gets too low, your body may slow its metabolism and start holding onto whatever fat and sugar it can instead of burning it because it essentially thinks it's starving. In this case, your body will do what it can to hang onto the few calories you are consuming as a built-in survival technique. 


Individuals who drastically cut calories for a prolonged period of time—for instance, under 1,000 kcals per day—can have significant decreases in metabolic rate that may last up to 6 months or more. 17  However, most individuals do not cut their calories back enough to induce these changes—there are other factors in play, such as muscle loss, change in TEE due to decreased needs, and changes in the regulation of ghrelin, which increases hunger and makes a person more prone to over-consuming calories. 


Additionally, without enough food to fuel the various complex bodily processes, your body will break down muscle for its coveted energy. This is the opposite of what you want, seeing as you are trying to lose fat and tone your muscles. In addition, you’ll likely feel hungrier and binge on the closest snack, whether it’s on your recommended foods list or not. Thus, it’s important to work your DNA test results into your normal life so you can get accustomed to the lifestyle changes they encourage. 


Exercise 

Exercise will help your internal processes move efficiently and help you build optimal, lean muscle while losing only the fat you don’t want to store on your body. It’s not about your diet alone—you should, as a good rule of thumb, plan to couple healthy dietary changes with movement (if you aren’t already doing so). 


Create an enjoyable exercise routine that you can take on in conjunction with your DNA test results for a comprehensive health and wellness strategy. If you find activities that get you excited to move your body, you will learn to look forward to your workouts! 


Some of the most effective exercises for weight loss include the following: 

  • Walking
  • Jogging/Running
  • Cycling
  • Weight training
  • Interval training
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

Experts advise aiming to exercise about 30 minutes three to four times each week. When you’re ready to ramp things up even more, try bumping up those half-hour sessions of moderate activity to a daily 30 minutes. From there, you can increase your workout to 300 minutes—or five hours—or more per week, and up the level of difficulty, while you’re at it. If this list seems intimidating to you, walking is a perfectly fine place to start. In fact, studies confirm cardio is incredible for your long-term health and one of the best things for your body to experience on a regular basis.

It’s important to consider that having certain medical conditions may prevent the weight from melting off quite as easily you’d hoped for. These medical situations include hypothyroidism (having an underactive thyroid gland), PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and even sleep apnea. 

Some medications can make weight loss difficult too, and your doctor should inform you of this upfront when prescribing medicines that are known to have this common side effect. Your custom DNA test report will give you hints about certain sensitivities and challenges that could be hindering your success in this area.

Insulin Level Control


It’s not just about weight loss—the ability to maintain insulin levels deals greatly with your genetic makeup as well. This can also be determined from the right DNA test.


The IRS1 gene, for instance, helps transport sugar from your blood to your cells in order to convert it to energy. 18 Studies have found that certain variants within this gene are connected with decreased insulin resistance when consuming an adjusted intake of carbohydrates. Decreased insulin resistance results in the improved regulation of blood sugar. Depending on the variant you have, your body could be dramatically more sensitive to higher carb levels.


Another interesting gene, known as TCF7L2, gives instructions for making a protein that helps balance your blood sugar. 19 Another one, called the ZBED3 gene, houses instructions for making a regulatory protein involved in insulin resistance.


You don’t need to concern yourself with memorizing any of these specific genes. Wait until you receive your report, as it will tell you what to do with the information it offers! Depending on your genetic variants, some of these examples may or may not be the most relevant to you and your unique situation.


The markers detected in your genes will help us to outline the exciting new plan that is unique to you and optimal for your overall health. Leave the jargon to our scientists and other nutrition experts while you sit back and have all you need simply delivered to you!


3 Reasons You Should Eat for
Your Genes  


If you think the research we’ve outlined still doesn’t explain why so many people are turning to these DNA tests yet, don’t worry—we’re about to make things crystal clear. You, too, can become a believer and join the growing number of individuals reaping the rewards of feeling great from the inside out.

Take Control of Your Health


One perk people enjoy when utilizing these methods is that they feel like they don’t have to take a passive role in their health. They are in the driver’s seat and can actively decide whether or not they are going to take the test and what they are going to do with the DNA test results. 


Once provided, they have the necessary tools at their disposal in order to make the best ingredient selections at the supermarket and decide what might be best to stay away from, or to at least have more moderately than they thought.  


User Spotlight: Amanda 


Amanda tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall but definitely likes to bake a good dessert every now and then. She balances her sweet tooth with a popular gym program, which she's been attending five to six days a week for more than a year and a half now. She was coming up on her 400th class, in fact, at the time of writing her story.


Within only a couple of months, her GenoPalate results have helped dramatically with the healthy eating portion of her life. With her report, she’s able to focus on healthy foods that work best for her and plan her meals around those specific ingredients. It has helped her zero in on what’s important so she has a clear path. 


GenoPalate has provided Amanda with a great starting point for where to go with her meal—and sometimes she feels that starting point is all she needs! Everyone at the company has been incredibly helpful and responsive to any questions she’s had, so she’d say it's definitely been a great experience learning from them so far.

She’s simply been blown away by the remarkably short amount of time it’s taken for her to already start seeing results from sticking to the detailed recommendations of her DNA test report! 

Make Smarter, Stress-Free Decisions

Once you know, you know. The list of recommended foods—and macro-level percentage recommendations to guide you in proper consumption amounts—that you will soon be holding in your hand after sending in your DNA test will be plain and simple. You can choose to follow some or all of the suggestions. 


Again, these results are fact-based, which removes the wonder and guesswork. You’ll save time shopping because you’re spending less time worrying, researching, or frequently driving to nutritionist appointments. 


If you’ve ever found yourself standing in a store aisle staring at the options and scratching your head or taking a piece of food from a platter at a social function and then thinking to yourself, “maybe you should put that down,” the stress-free nature of receiving DNA test results might be for you. 


The knowledge contained in the DNA results can serve as a valuable guide when preparing meals or attending events at restaurants or other people’s homes. Take the information with you everywhere you go so you never have to second-guess yourself. 


User Spotlight: Mary


Mary learned of these specialized DNA test reports after reading about them in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She had her DNA tested because she only really knew half of her biological identity. Her biological father had died ten years prior, so she was interested in what she could find out from a DNA testing nutrition organization.


Mary is always interested in learning, and as she gets older, she notices her body is changing. She knew she had to make better food choices, but felt there is so much confusing nutrition information out there. For this reason, the idea of personalized nutrition was really appealing to her. She was amazed at how easy it was to follow the report she received and how easy it has made grocery shopping, too. 

Mary has been a fan of the movement for over nine months now and no longer worries about which foods to buy and eat. Her new hobbies include cooking, nutrition, holistic healing, and anything that has to do with helping her relax, feel good, and not put on weight as she ages (which she knows is largely connected to her DNA test report). 


She has determined that the people at these science-backed organizations who do the testing and develop these products are trustworthy as they are truly passionate about their service. They have answered any questions she has had along the way, she noted. Mary has also really enjoyed the new app she’s come to use regularly. She has her ideal foods in an easy-to-understand format. Eating for her genes has taken the guesswork out of eating for optimal health. She makes much better choices now.


Feel Better Overall by Treating
Your Whole Body

When you’re eating right for your body, you’ll begin to feel great from head to toe, in mind, body, and soul. You may feel less tired and get sick less frequently, have more energy, and even think more clearly. You may work harder or smarter, play with your kids or pets more, and find that you have an overall improved quality of life. 


When people eat things they shouldn’t, they tend to feel more sluggish or rundown, so to speak. Making a point of putting the right things into your body is a holistic health choice you will thank yourself for in the long run. 


User Spotlight: Debi


Before getting her report, Debi had been ill and slowly getting worse for the past two years. Her weight was continually going up, and her ability to do anything was decreasing daily. Her eyesight took a turn for the worse. She felt as though she couldn't breathe and was very tired all the time. While she was dealing with shortness of breath, she developed thrush as well.


For Christmas, Debi’s 23-year-old daughter bought a DNA test for her. She began her gene-based "substitution" program, but she didn't put the entire plan into operation right away. She also ignored the parts about being genetically predisposed to type 2 diabetes. As it turns out, Debi discovered that the root cause of her breathing problems was not asthma, like she originally thought. A test revealed that she did, in fact, have type 2 diabetes, and that the source of her breathing issues was food-related! 

All Debi could think of was that at 68 (exactly her age), her grandmother was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and died from complications after years of insulin. She also virtually had no life and required nurses visiting twice every day to administer insulin. Debi wanted better than that for the remainder of her own life. 


Then, she remembered her nutrigenomics report. She opened up her DNA test report and, now, with fresh eyes, saw all the warnings. Debi should have been eating the percentages that the report recommended, and she wasn't—she was just substituting foods. With the DNA test results, though, she believes she can get her A1C down to an acceptable level and not need medications. 


Inflammation is a major cause of type 2 diabetes. The detailed report pointed out that she may have an intolerance to dairy and wheat. As it turned out, the prediction was correct, as Debi found she was allergic to both and had always eaten them because she was never "feeling" side effects. The side effects were internal inflammation. Now she is dairy, wheat, and corn-free, and she does not miss them. 


She learned to take the DNA test report seriously and read it ALL. She was losing weight for the first time in decades. It was the diabetes that had been working against her, and she’s been able to keep the weight off because she only eats what is in the expert recommendations she received in her DNA test report. 


Could a DNA Test Be the First Step 

to a Healthier You?

You’ve read the studies and gotten a sense of the impact and the reasoning behind genetic-based suggestions. Perhaps you’ve been feeling like you’ve been doing everything you can and that your efforts have been futile. Now you know the secret you’ve been missing all along—your very own genetic makeup. 


You’re always striving to do better. But doing the same thing as other people and not seeing similar results can be extremely frustrating. We’ve been there. Everyone has. However, now you have something they don’t—the resources and knowledge to help you overcome those obstacles. 


You’re now equipped with the essential information you need to make the right choices for your body. Coupled with the right DNA test, you’ll be on your way to better nutrition decisions. Up until now, you may have thought you knew what to put in your body because you’d heard popular suggestions from others who think they know best. But the truth is that it’s not up to others what is best for you. Only your body can tell you that. Once you understand the foods your body needs, you eliminate the wasteful element of the process. The report delivered to you will either be one supplemented with previous DNA test results you’ve submitted to us (if you’ve used another DNA testing service like 23andMe before), the full GenoPalate DNA test if you’ve never had one done by a third party before, or the full package along with five tasty, healthy recipes. 


 This is all up to your preferences. Choose the package that works best for you and we’ll make sure your package contents are tailored to your specific needs. If you select the option that comes with our recipes, you can expect to feast on various meals that are centered around your body’s one-of-a-kind genetic code. 

Ready to learn what your genes tell you about your nutrition? Download our sample report.

Or, head to the next step and really get things started by ordering your DNA test right away if you don’t want to wait!

We can’t wait until you have your DNA test results in your hands and are able to witness the power such a small and tangible yet insurmountably valuable item.

It is the key to your success.

References


1. Mead MN. Nutrigenomics: The Genome–Food Interface. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2007;115(12). doi:10.1289/ehp.115-a582 


2. Norat T, Bowman R, Luben R, et al. Blood pressure and interactions between the angiotensin polymorphism AGT M235T and sodium intake: a cross-sectional population study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;88(2):392-397. doi:10.1093/ajcn/88.2.392 


3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Nutrigenomics and the Future of Nutrition. March 2018. doi:10.17226/25049. 


4. Dose-dependent effects of folic acid on blood concentrations of homocysteine: a meta-analysis of the randomized trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005;82(4):806-812. doi:10.1093/ajcn/82.4.806 


5. Ashfield-Watt PA, Pullin CH, Whiting JM, et al. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677C→T genotype modulates homocysteine responses to a folate-rich diet or a low-dose folic acid supplement: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002;76(1):180-186. doi:10.1093/ajcn/76.1.180 


6. Arkadianos I, Valdes AM, Marinos E, Florou A, Gill RD, Grimaldi KA. Improved weight management using genetic information to personalize a calorie controlled diet. Nutrition Journal. 2007;6(1). doi:10.1186/1475-2891-6-29


7. Palatini P, Ceolotto G, Ragazzo F, et al. CYP1A2 genotype modifies the association between coffee intake and the risk of hypertension. Journal of Hypertension. 2009;27(8):1594-1601. doi:10.1097/hjh.0b013e32832ba850 


 8. Sonestedt E, Roos C, Gullberg B, Ericson U, Wirfält E, Orho-Melander M. Fat and carbohydrate intake modify the association between genetic variation in the FTO genotype and obesity. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;90(5):1418-1425. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27958 


9. Zhang X, Qi Q, Bray GA, Hu FB, Sacks FM, Qi L. APOA5 genotype modulates 2-y changes in lipid profile in response to weight-loss diet intervention: the Pounds Lost Trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012;96(4):917-922. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.040907


10. Ferrucci L, Perry JR, Matteini A, et al. Common Variation in the β-Carotene 15,15′-Monooxygenase 1 Gene Affects Circulating Levels of Carotenoids: A Genome-wide Association Study. The American Journal of Human Genetics. 2009;84(2):123-133. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2008.12.019


11. Timpson NJ, Forouhi NG, Brion M-J, et al. Genetic variation at the SLC23A1 locus is associated with circulating concentrations of l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C): evidence from 5 independent studies with >15,000 participants. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;92(2):375-382. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.29438


12. Hunt SC, Cook NR, Oberman A, et al. Angiotensinogen Genotype, Sodium Reduction, Weight Loss, and Prevention of Hypertension. Hypertension. 1998;32(3):393-401. doi:10.1161/01.hyp.32.3.393


13. Oseaghdha CM, Yang Q, Glazer NL, et al. Common variants in the calcium-sensing receptor gene are associated with total serum calcium levels. Human Molecular Genetics. 2010;19(21):4296-4303. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddq342


14. Allen KJ, Gurrin LC, Constantine CC, et al. Iron-Overload–Related Disease inHFEHereditary Hemochromatosis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008;358(3):221-230. doi:10.1056/nejmoa073286


15. Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Gobbo LCD, et al. Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion. Jama. 2018;319(7):667. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0245


16. Murgia C, Adamski MM. Translation of Nutritional Genomics into Nutrition Practice: The Next Step. Nutrients. 2017;9(4):366. doi:10.3390/nu9040366


17. Redman LM, Heilbronn LK, Martin CK, et al. Metabolic and Behavioral Compensations in Response to Caloric Restriction: Implications for the Maintenance of Weight Loss. PLoS ONE. 2009;4(2). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004377


18. Qi Q, Bray GA, Smith SR, Hu FB, Sacks FM, Qi L. Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 Gene Variation Modifies Insulin Resistance Response to Weight-Loss Diets in a 2-Year Randomized Trial. Circulation. 2011;124(5):563-571. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.111.025767


19. Gloyn AL, Braun M, Rorsman P. Type 2 Diabetes Susceptibility Gene TCF7L2 and Its Role in -Cell Function. Diabetes. 2009;58(4):800-802. doi:10.2337/db09-0099


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