The Future: A Personalised Diet
‘In the future, all labels – for example being paleo or vegan – are all going to fall away. And eating will become about what’s right for you, about personalization,’ says nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik.
We’ve already seen that with vegan. There are vegans who eat zero animal products, but there are also now ‘plant-based’ eaters, like Deliciously Ella, who don’t eat dairy or meat but do eat honey. Then there’s Pegan, a paleo-vegan cross, and the people who will eat goat’s dairy but not cow’s… The idea is to discover what suits you, not by just by being a label, but by listening to your body.
There’s a theory that the reason diets ‘don’t work’, is that they only work for some people. Personalised testing should be able to help more in the future. While genetic tests can give broad guidelines, if you suit a low carb diet for example, as knowledge grows, they’ll become more accurate and specific. So, if you wanted to faint on the 5:2, but you have a friend who thrives on fast days, you’ll find out why.
It seems none of us suit the same food, after all. The Personalized Nutrition Project in Israel has looked at what different foods do to people’s blood sugar levels, important as this is linked to obesity and diabetes. It found people varied hugely; some had a huge blood sugar response to white bread but others didn’t. It also showed whether they’d slept or exercised made a radical difference too.
How can you find out what kind of eating suits you?
1) Eat mindfully, says meditation teacher Emma Mills. ‘If you’re listening to your body, you can hear what’s making you feel good and what’s not. With that awareness, you won’t need willpower to avoid what doesn’t suit you, it will become effortless.’
2) Do a food, energy, exercise, sleep and emotions diary. Do you feel sleepy after carbs at lunch? Do you feel starving at 11am when you’ve had porridge for breakfast? What about when you’ve added nuts to it?