Personalized nutrition programs can help people reach their health and performance goals. They are more effective than generalized dietary advice at producing positive changes in dietary behavior. Personalized nutrition approaches recognize environmental factors influencing food choices and support unique requirements and goals. These include a person’s eating habits, cooking skills, and genetics.
A personalized nutrition program created by a Radiate Nutrition dietitian focuses on you, your health needs, and dietary preferences rather than what “everyone should eat.” Also known as precision or targeted nutritional interventions, this burgeoning field looks beyond broad nutrient guidelines to help individuals meet their specific health goals. Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating, targeted nutrition interventions consider your unique genetics, metabolism, microbiome, and more, as well as non-food factors such as sleep habits, exercise routines, stress levels, and medication use. Using this information, a dietetic professional can provide tailored recommendations about your meals and snacks’ what, when, and why.
Personalized Meal Plans
A personalized nutrition program tailors general dietary recommendations to the individual using genetic data, medical history, metabolism, and more. It also considers environmental influences and food preferences. It is a powerful tool for those who want to make lasting healthy changes rather than short-term “diet” trends. Unlike popular nutrition styles such as keto, paleo, and intermittent fasting, which often restrict certain foods or macronutrients (like carbohydrates or fats), personalized meal plans consider each person’s metabolic responses to food. Most people are familiar with the experience of eating less-than-enjoyable food to achieve health and fitness goals. A customized meal plan incorporating enjoyable foods motivates you to eat healthier long-term.
With the increasing availability of DNA tests, at-home blood tests, and various health data available to consumers, personalized nutrition (PN) is rising. PN is targeted nutrition advice that considers a client’s specific metabolic biology, biochemistry, microbiome, and other data to optimize food intake for health outcomes. These personalized nutrition services use a detailed nutritional assessment that considers nutrient gaps and targets specific healthy eating guidelines, such as the American Dietary Guidelines. They also think medication and supplements could interfere with the absorption of nutrients, gastrointestinal issues, personal food preferences, cooking skills, family health history, sleep patterns, stress levels, and exercise routines. The goal is to provide recommendations that are more individualized than what can be accomplished by automated systems and to help clients build motivation for sustainable change by providing them with tools that meet their needs within their unique circumstances. RDs also identify the unhealthy habits that may sabotage their efforts and teach them how to cultivate more sustainable healthy behaviors that lead to desirable outcomes.
Personalized nutrition has become popular as technology advances to make DNA testing more affordable. Tracking your blood sugar levels, exercise habits, sleep patterns, and weight loss is easier than ever. Personalized nutrition uses individual-specific information founded in evidence-based science to promote dietary behavior change that may result in measurable health benefits. Unlike the “one-size-fits-all” recommendations in many online programs, a registered dietitian will dive into your entire diet and lifestyle. This includes thoroughly assessing your culture, personal food preferences, allergies or intolerances, medication, medical history, and metabolic conditions. Your RD will then be your wellness coach and cheerleader, motivating you to achieve success in healthy eating behaviors. As you experience success, your RD will work with you to find more high-impact choices to continue seeing the results you want in your life. This process cultivates and grows motivation, which is much more effective than the “one-size-fits-all” approach of generic dietary recommendations.
The personalized nutrition approach can be more effective for people at nutritional risk than one-size-fits-all diet programs that rely on generic recommendations and require much self-motivation and discipline. Many of these services also provide personalized genetic and blood tests to uncover more information about your metabolism, health history, and potential risks. However, they tend to be more expensive than a program with a dietitian that provides one-on-one guidance throughout the process.