An Innovative Look at Nutrition
The Wellness Institute offers the latest in personalized nutrition
Genetic-based nutrition services have been popping up among medical fitness facilities, clinics and hospitals across North America, including renowned organization such as the Cleveland Clinic. At the Wellness Institute, the results of the genetic test are combined with professional guidance to provide more complete nutritional advice and a meal plan that helps people integrate the changes into their lifestyle.
With personalized nutrition, a Registered Dietitian (RD) can look beyond recommended daily intakes to optimize a dietary plan that may help prevent lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Recommendations can be focused using genetic risk factors and the way you metabolize different food components. Several studies point to this personalization leading to people making more lifestyle changes and sticking with them.
We are all exposed to conflicting dietary advice, in part because we react to food in different ways based on our genes. This confusion can make people vulnerable to fads and diets that are not evidence-based. When standard advice doesn’t help a person lose weight or they don’t know which advice to trust, they may shy away from making any positive change. Genetic testing removes much of the confusion from conflicting dietary advice. Pairing customized genetic information with expert support for integrating dietary change into a person’s unique lifestyle ensures that the science is applicable in real life.
Jennifer Gashinski, RD at the Wellness Institute explains, “By knowing more about how your body reacts to different foods, clients are able to focus on the changes that will have the most impact for them. It makes change less overwhelming. Without genetic information we can only provide evidence-based general recommendations, but with it we can provide information that is directly tailored to the client.”
Coffee is one subject that provides a good example of where personalization is preventative. For slow metabolizers, a caffeine intake within standard guidelines could increase risk for a heart attack, something an individual could not know definitively without a genetic test.
Because the service is delivered in consultation with a Registered Dietitian, it is partly covered by most health insurance plans. 45 genetic markers are tested using a simple, non-invasive saliva test. Once the lab compiles the results, a report is sent to our dietitian who reviews the results and gives customized advice. As new discoveries in nutrigenomics are made, additional information may be available without retesting.
“It’s a lasting investment in your health,” says Gashinski, “Food trends change but genes stay the same.”
The Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks Hospital is a certified medical fitness facility, which supports evidence-based innovation to help prevent illness, improve quality or life and enhance health outcomes for those with chronic conditions.