Humans have highly variable genotypes. The genotype is simply the pattern of genes each of us has that determines how we make proteins and enzymes that run our body. Each individual has about 22,000 genes that determine or makeup and function. Each gene can have up to 4-5 little variations called polymorphisms. Most gene polymorphisms cause the gene to make an enzyme or a protein that functions somewhat weaker than the ideal pattern. If it is an enzyme that is involved in processing sugars and carbohydrates, that individual may have weakness in managing a higher carbohydrate diet and a predisposition to diabetes.
Given the number of variations each gene can have, each human has hundreds of genetic variations which give each of us our strengths and weaknesses. No two individuals are likely to have the same exact pattern of genetic make-up, and therefore no two individuals are likely to have the exact outcome from the same dietary pattern. The trick is to understand as much as possible about each person’s metabolic ability. This can often be determined by looking at blood chemistry patterns on standard metabolic panels.
The question, “what is the best diet” can only be answered, “it depends on who you are genetically”. Some persons are better suited to a higher carbohydrate dietary pattern which means lower fat, and yet others are more suited to a higher protein and fat/lower carbohydrate diet. This latter pattern appears to be about 3 times more common in western populations.
After looking at the individual’s genetic/dietary pattern, knowing the true diet chemistry is important. Computerized dietary analysis can be used to analyze over 100 features of the diet composition. A diet diary is kept for 3-5 days and then analyzed by a database that contains the chemical content of each food yielding a total diet chemical analysis. Patterns of variations from the ideal pattern desired for each individual can be examined, and eating patterns to produce ideal chemical balance can be formulated.
A 5-day dietary analysis is shown below. It can look at the relative percentage of energy derived from carbohydrate, protein and fat as well as the complete chemical breakdown of the whole diet and each individual food.
Once the imbalances and the desired balance are determined, hypothetical dietary changes can be substituted and analyzed for chemical balance to ensure the proper outcome will be obtained.
Each of us is a unique make-up of complex enzymes and proteins that determine our metabolic pattern. Likewise there is a specific dietary pattern that matches each pattern of metabolism resulting in the best health outcome for each of us. Computerized dietary analysis along with a careful patient evaluation allows us to determine the ideal dietary pattern for each individual to ensure the best outcome.