Enter the word “diet” into Google. Not surprisingly, here’s what comes up on the very first page:
- Nutrisystem diet
- Weight loss diet plans
- Atkins diet
- Gluten-Free diet
- Ketogenic diet
- Paleo diet
- South Beach diet
- Low-fat diet… and the list goes on.
The good news is that there are many diets to chose from… the bad news is that unfortunately fad diets generally aren’t that effective long-term because they fail to take into account that we all have different dietary needs and requirements. These individual needs are what we call our bio-individuality.
If you are practical to your approach about nutrition, you must take into account that there is no universal “right” way to eat, exact meal plan, or list of “good versus bad” foods (unless of course you have a specific disease like Celiac , which requires complete adherence to a gluten-free diet) that works for every person. Instead, there are an abundant number of factors that influence which foods will and won’t provide the nourishment that each of us requires at a specific time in our life.
If you think about it, women are much different eaters than men, children or teenagers require more nutrients and energy than older people, and those with more active lives (work or personal) will more generally eat differently than those with more sedentary lives.
So where do you begin? And more importantly, how do you know which diet is right for you?
What Is Bio-Individual Nutrition?
Bio-individuality means that there is no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone. Each individual has unique needs based upon personal differences in constitution, metabolism, body form, cell structure, and mind-emotion makeup… all of which influence a person’s overall health and the foods that enable them to look and feel their best.
Just like we all have different tastes in fashion, books, music and movies, we now understand through scientific research and studies in behavior psychology… food for one person can be a medicine and to another a toxin.
As we continue to look at the growing list of benefits of bio-individual nutrition and dietary protocols, one thing is obvious… they do offer a high probability of desired health outcomes because they are honed to each individual. General textbook health recommendations don’t always work the way they were intended and in today’s climate of complex health conditions, people need to use bio-individuality to resolve root cause issues.
Rooted In Science and Proven Frameworks
Bio-individual nutrition is both a science and a method of applying healthy food and nutrient choices based on the individual biochemical needs of the unique person.
- It’s scientific because it is based on a person’s unique biochemical needs derived from a variety of sources (patient history, diagnostic testing and bio-marks, genetic profile, current health condition, and more).
- It’s a proven method because it uses frameworks of digestive health, nutrition and meal planning to provide the right options for each person.
In a world where a new diet fad springs up every few months, using a dietary approach based on scientific research and clinical experience to individualize and apply the most supportive food and nutrition plan for each person is the only answer that makes sense.
How Does Bio-Individual Nutrition Work?
Your rational mind is always in search of finding the magic bullet… the single consummate way of nourishing yourself that will solve all your problems related to diet. Unfortunately as human beings, we are subject to the laws of nature and the powerful forces that drive biology and physiology.
If you want to determine the right dietary protocol and foods for a person, you have to do some good detective work right up front. You want to evaluate the following: all the systems in the body from a functional perspective, current symptoms, family history, digestive health, immune health and inflammation, microbiome imbalances, vitality, lifestyle, and more.
Once you understand a person’s individual makeup and have compiled a thorough health profile, the next step is to derive a unique dietary strategy. There are many dietary “templates” to chose from and depending on an individual’s needs, one or a combination of several of these can helpful medicine: gluten-free , paleo, vegetarian, vegan, SCD, GAPS, ketogenic, FODMAP, and more.
It’s important to evaluate a dietary protocol’s effectiveness and have the flexibility to change things up. It may makes sense for some one with a particular health issue (like autoimmune disease) to be on a gluten-free-anti-inflammatory diet until their gut heals and their inflammation subsides. Then slowly reintroduce other appropriate foods back into the diet. Another example is that if someone wants to lose weight they may find that a ketogenic diet works best for a while and then they switch to a whole-food diet for long-term.
The body changes as the healing process evolves and so the best advice is t learn to be mindful of which diet (or combination of dietary principles) and foods are needed for healing at any given point in time.
Bio-Individuality Seen Through Many Lenses
Your unique bio-individuality can be viewed through the lens of different practice modalities. Some successful methods are Ayurveda, body type, blood type, ancestry type, and metabolism type, each of which affords their own unique perspective to what works for a specific person’s needs.
These practice methods can also be synthesized with one or more modern diet plans (like gluten-free, vegetarian, GAPS, etc.) to fulfill both short-term and long-term personalized nourishment requirements.
Ayurveda. Is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems and was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. Ayurveda seeks to bring into balance three elemental substances, the doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). The belief is that when the doshas are out of balance, disease occurs.
Body Typing. Certain body types are best suited for certain diet protocols because of their metabolism i.e., fat is stored differently from one body type to another. When you start eating for your body type, you’ll be quick to discover an ease to eating, digestion and overall body function. It’s not uncommon for a person’s energy to improve and weight to come off more effortlessly.
Blood Typing. Every human is classified into one of four primary blood types: A, B, AB, and O. The theory is based on an assumption that each blood type represents a different evolutionary heritage. If people eat food that is compatible with their blood type they will be healthier, but on the other hand if they eat food that is not compatible, they will experience health problems.
Ancestry Typing. Another popular model is to eat like our ancestors. The most important part of ancestral eating is to eat food how it was eaten traditionally i.e., no processed foods, additives or artificial anything, instead a diet of organic, non-GMO and sprouted corn and rice and grass-fed, full-fat and preferably raw dairy is consumed.
Metabolic Typing. Each of us has a unique metabolism and the rate at which we convert food to energy differs. Depending on a person’s individual metabolism, calories can be converted quickly into usable energy or they can be slowly converted and mostly put into storage in the body.
Just to Recap Bio-Individual Nutrition
- There is no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone all the time
- Do the necessary detective work upfront to uncover your unique bio-individual needs
- The best strategy is to synthesize one or more popular diets and match it more exactingly to your bio-individuality
- Your dietary needs change over time depending on health condition, biology, age, and lifestyle.
Have you been wondering what kind of diet might be good for your particular body and health needs? I can help out with that through one of my many wellness programs. Click HERE to find out more.
Disclaimer: the views and nutritional advice expressed in this publication are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical advice. No information provided should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. All information in this publication is for educational purposes only and Aine-Marie and Advesta Health encourages its clients and members to continue to work in a partnership with qualified medical professional. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider or seek medical assistance. Reading, sharing, or downloading this publication does not establish a doctor patient relationship with Aine-Marie or any Advesta Health employee or consultant including any of our licensed health practitioners, coaches, dieticians or nutritionists.