DNA Tests and Diets: Can They Encourage You to Eat Healthier?

Updated March 12, 2019

You've tried every diet under the sun and have yet to see results. Before throwing in the towel, think about this: what if the key to a healthy diet that works is embedded in your DNA? That's the approach that genetic testing companies are taking, and people are taking notice of the results.

DNA tests used to be all about ancestry. What is your genetic makeup? Where did your ancestors come from? However, with advancements in the world of genomes and researchers pinpointing defects and biomarkers tied to specific genes and diseases, the tests have become more advanced. Now, when you take a DNA test, you're privy to health information such as which disorders you're at a greater risk of developing, which exercises will help you lose weight and which foods your body processes better or has sensitivities to. And, this information arms you with the tools you need to finally shed those pesky pounds.

The real question is, how will you use this data? If the roadmap is laid out for you, does it inspire you to take that final step and eat the foods your body benefits from? How about exercising? If you know which exercises and how many reps to do to achieve prime fitness levels, will you make the effort?

The general consensus among those who have taken the tests, according to the LA Times, is a resounding "yes." Researchers are noting how specific health advice is having a greater effect than generic statements, and people are taking the insight to heart while putting it to work for them. They're continuing to study just how effective these DNA tests are in motivating people to eat healthy and take better care of their bodies.

Even if people discovered that they carried a gene that indicated a higher risk for obesity, they turned this factor into motivation by acknowledging that while they can't change their genetic makeup, they can be more proactive in their daily actions.

Companies such as FitnessGenes help analyze genomic data to determine the best ways for a person to reach their fitness goals, whether their aim is to lose weight or prevent weight gain in the future.

If you're thinking about taking a health DNA test, or you're simply curious as to which foods are better for you based on your genetics, companies such as 23andMe, FitnessGenes and Invitae are just a few on the market that can provide you with comprehensive results.

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