Macronutrients and Your Genetics

Macronutrients make up the bulk of our diets and are vital to our survival. You probably know them by their more common names: protein, fats, carbohydrates (carbs), fiber and water.

However, when we talk about diets, we only look at protein, fat and carbs. That’s because these three macronutrients provide the calories that fuel us and make us overweight when eaten in excess. Proteins and carbs contribute 4 calories per gram while fats provide more than twice that at 9 calories per gram. Those extra calories in fat are the primary motivation behind low-fat diets. We now know that we need fat; it’s required for proper brain function and to stabilize blood-sugar levels. A modern approach to nutrition recognizes that moderation and balance of the three is needed for optimal health.

But this begs the question, “What is the right balance?” It turns out there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Our genetics make us all different from each other, and this means your nutritional requirements are as unique as you are. For example, the beta-2 adrenergic receptor gene expresses itself in carb metabolization. This gene could make some people more sensitive to carbs while leaving others with a high tolerance. People with the carb-sensitive variant normally succeed on reduced-carb diets.

With a cheek swab and quick genetic test, we now can assess your genetic makeup and tailor a diet that works with your body instead of against it.

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