Personalized nutrition might sound like another new nutrition craze but in actuality it is the approach to nutrition that is the undoing of all other fad diets, which offer a one size fits all approach. It is nutrition health care that considers the individual complexities of a person in order to provide nutrition education and counseling that is tailored to their needs and specific goals.
This ‘personalized nutrition’ thing may sound akin to common sense; it is however also supported by science. Food 4 Me was a large randomized control trial. It assigned participants into four groups: conventional, personalized nutrition, phenotype and genotype. The results showed us that those assigned to the personalized nutrition group were eating less red meat, sodium and saturated fat when compared to all other groups. (1) Those are healthy changes, but sound like standard recommendations. And yes, it is true that there are nutritional basics that every person needs. However, the needs of an infant vary greatly even from the mother feeding the infant. Each and every one of us holds a different place on the landscape of health. The hallmark of personalized nutrition considers all variables.
Registered dietitian nutritionists are trained to coach clients through the stages of change. To illustrate why having a guide along the journey of change is beneficial, take a moment and imagine that your doctor hands you a list of 5 standard nutrition recommendations and then sends you off to return to your busy day. What are you going to do with this information, well, probably nothing, because according to science we perceive change as a threat to our identity, security and safety. (2)
All too often we know what we should do, but do not do it. Common sense tells us changing habits is not easy. This is why seeking the guidance of a nutrition professional who can tailor nutritional guidance according to your personal needs will help you achieve the changes you desire. With personalized nutrition you don’t have to get out of your comfort zone, you make your comfort zone bigger!
- Carlos Celis-Morales, Katherine M. Livingstone, Cyril F. M. Marsaux, Anna L. Macready, Rosalind Fallaize, Clare B. O’Donovan, Clara Woolhead, Hannah Forster, Marianne C. Walsh, Santiago Navas-Carretero, Rodrigo San-Cristobal, Lydia Tsirigoti, Christina P. Lambrinou, Christina Mavrogianni, George Moschonis, Silvia Kolossa, Jacqueline Hallmann, Magdalena Godlewska, Agnieszka Surwiłło, Iwona Traczyk, Christian A. Drevon, Jildau Bouwman, Ben van Ommen, Keith Grimaldi, Laurence D. Parnell, John N.S. Matthews, Yannis Manios, Hannelore Daniel, J. Alfredo Martinez, Julie A. Lovegrove, Eileen R. Gibney, Lorraine Brennan, Wim H. M. Saris, Mike Gibney, John C. Mathers;. Effect of personalized nutrition on health-related behaviour change: evidence from the Food4me European randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2016; dyw186 DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyw186
- Dowd, E. T. (1999). Why don’t people change? what stops them from changing? an integrative commentary on the special issue on resistance. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 9(1), 119-131. doi:http://dx.doi.org.dist.lib.usu.edu/10.1023/A:1023215012818
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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.