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Picking the right diet for your genes

Your genes can interact with the food you eat when it comes to weight loss—but just how much of an impact does it make? A systematic review of the literature has revealed some interesting associations between genotype–diet interactions and weight loss. For instance, a low-fat diet may be more effective for individuals with specific genetic backgrounds, while a Mediterranean diet may benefit those with other genetic backgrounds.

Personally, I find the research on weight loss, genetics, and diet to be interesting. However, the differences in weight loss outcomes based on genetics are more of a statistical change (a couple of pounds, in many cases) instead of a real game-changer for weight loss. The best weight loss diet is one that is both healthy and something you can maintain long-term.

If you have questions on healthy eating, talk with a nutritionist, functional medicine doctor, or someone with a solid background in the subject.

Most diet-gene interaction studies look at overall fat, carbs, or protein. They aren’t getting into the details of whether the carbohydrates were whole grains and fruits vs. processed junk. Likewise, high-fat diets aren’t differentiating between pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed butter, or industrial seed oils.

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Goni, Leticia, Jose Ignacio Riezu-Boj, et al. “Interaction between an ADCY3 Genetic Variant and Two Weight-Lowering Diets Affecting Body Fatness and Body Composition Outcomes Depending on Macronutrient Distribution: A Randomized Trial.” Nutrients, vol. 10, no. 6, June 2018, p. 789. PubMed Central,

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About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.