Is the old ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach ineffective?
Nutritionist Victoria Hamilton looks at the rise of personalised nutrition, DNA testing and how taking a more bespoke approach towards our health could be more effective?
As a race we are coming to expect customisation in all areas of our lives. We like to watch and listen to media when we feel like it, we like to choose what food goes into our take-away lunchtime salad, and increasingly we tailor our leisure experiences to our requirements.
So why would our approach to nutrition be any different?
Personalised nutrition is on a steep upward trajectory and people are beginning to understand that a one-size-fits-all approach to a dietary and lifestyle protocol may be ineffective. We now have the tools and the understanding to take a more bespoke approach to our health.
In this article we discuss the various ways that you can empower yourself to take the reins on your health and wellbeing – using the resources available to make the choices that are right for you, rather than participating in conventional diets which only work for some.
Technologies are being created which embrace both testing and tracking and provide you with an on-the-go solution to support your personalised nutritional approach.
Test to get the best!
Using functional testing can be helpful to understand what dietary approach is best for you, as it can give an indication of the root cause of health issues. And with this information, recommendations can be made for ways to modify your diet to provide health supporting and promoting effects.
Genetic testing has shown an incredible upsurge in recent years, as these tests can now be performed with simple “at home” testing kits at minimal cost. Most companies offering these tests provide a comprehensive genetic health report including a personalised nutritional recommendation which can be useful to incorporate into a wider nutritional protocol working with a health practitioner.
Metabolic testing, stool tests, hormone profiling and testing for nutritional deficiencies are also valuable ways for you to understand what your health risks are, how these should be managed, and which foods and habits are right for you.
Tracking helps biohacking
Fitness trackers, health apps and even wellbeing-tracking jewellery are helping people to monitor their calorie intake, understand their sleep patterns, capture their daily movement and check their heart rate daily. This information is powerful, as it gives you the knowledge required to make positive changes to your lifestyle, affirmed by data. And for those who like to challenge themselves, there are ways to set challenges for yourself which reward you for your positive actions.
The human reward system never felt so satisfied! Technologies for better physiologies Technologies are being created which embrace both testing and tracking and provide you with an on-the-go solution to support your personalised nutritional approach. Research is providing mounting data for the role of gut bacteria in our general and mental wellbeing. There are now even apps available which analyse the results of your stool tests and provide specific meal suggestions which help to proliferate certain helpful bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. Daily tracking of food intake in this way can provide details of how beneficial these foods are for improving your gut health.
There are also apps being designed which provide the consumer with a personalised health coach, so when you are confronted with an unhealthy choice, you have the support of the health coach to get you back on track. The momentum of testing and tracking apps isn’t losing pace, so expect to see more inventive and interesting ways to propel your health using technologies in the time to come.
The next generation of personalisation
The growing trend in personalised nutrition is showing no signs of stopping as we all seek to develop and improve our health for longevity and a higher quality of living. Using testing, tracking and technologies can be a great way to take accountability of your wellbeing as only you can make the changes to better your life. Knowledge is power when it comes to making the right diet choices and having this customised information readily available is making adopting a healthy lifestyle that little bit easier.
Victoria is a certified Nutritionist and has a BSc in Biochemistry with Immunology. Victoria is one of our THRIVE EXPERTS. Victoria offers one2one consultations and meal planning from our nutritional practice!