The tailor-made eating approach
Paleo, Keto, 5:2, FODMAP, gluten free, intermittent fasting, vegan, carnivore and more – with so many food and diet lifestyles currently trending, we should have no trouble finding one that works for us. Yet the quest continues for the ultimate eating approach that delivers long-term and sustained health benefits rather than brief and short-lived outcomes.
So what are we doing wrong when it comes to finding the right diet solution for us?
As it turns out, there may be one approach that a lot of us have yet to try out properly. One that’s not been publicised as much because it’s so unique that it is specific to each of us. Simply referred to as personalised nutrition or tailored nutrition, this approach according to the British Medical Journal uses genetic, phenotypic, medical, nutritional, and other relevant information about individuals to deliver more specific healthy eating guidance and other nutritional products and services. In other words, it takes into account our own genetic health factors and traits, combined with our body’s responses to external environmental triggers, to come up with a dietary programme that’s attuned to our specific health needs.
In fact, a major European study conducted with the largest randomised controlled trial found that personalisation based on analysis of current diet was more effective in assisting and/or motivating study participants to make, and to sustain, appropriate healthy changes to their usual (habitual) diet and lifestyle.
While more research is required before we can definitively claim that personalised nutrition can deliver proven benefits, the findings so far are promising and this is certainly an approach worth keeping an eye on in the not-too-distant future.
So where can you start if you’re thinking of taking a more personalised approach to managing your diet?
Speak to a qualified health expert or specialist first
While Dr Google is often the first port of call for most of us these days, when it comes to our health, we should always consult with experienced and qualified experts and professionals before embarking on any health regime. So it’s best to consult your doctor for a referral. You can also search on the Dietitians Association of Australia website for an Accredited Practising Dietitian in Australia.
Start keeping a simple food diary
Noting down what you’ve eaten throughout the day at specific times not only helps you become more aware of your own dietary habits and behaviours, but it is useful information when consulting with your health expert, as it gives them valuable insight into the diet that may be contributing to the condition you’re seeking to improve.
Ordovas, Jose M., Lynnette R. Ferguson, Shyong Tai, and John C. Mathers. "Personalised Nutrition and Health." The BMJ. June 13, 2018. Accessed September 23, 2018. https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2173.
Celis-Morales, C., KM Livingstone, CF Marsaux, et al. "Effect of Personalized Nutrition on Health-related Behaviour Change: Evidence from the Food4Me European Randomized Controlled Trial." Master's thesis. Int J Epidemiol, 46(2):578-588 (April 1, 2017).
"Accredited Practising Dietitian in Australia" March 2018. Accessed September 23, 2018. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dietitians.