FIND YOUR ANCESTRY AND YOUR DIET

How Genopalate is helping you eat for your DNA

By Ben Young

AAA World Article

After receiving an Ancestry.com DNA kit as a gift, I went through a phase where I was incredibly interested in my roots. As it turns out, they weren't nearly as exciting as I had hoped. My primarily English, Irish, Scottish, and German background was pretty mundane—my 3% French heritage was really the most exciting part of my heritage.

While I did find my family’s migration patterns from Europe over time to be interesting, I was more intrigued by how the same DNA data sample I provided Ancestry.com could be used to determine how my genetics could show specific ways my body would process foods. A company called Genopalate, working in conjunction with 23andMe and AncestryDNA, analyzes over 75 genetic markers from your DNA sample to determine how your body metabolizes different nutrients. According to their website, they then combine your genetic results with research on nutritional genomics to determine your recommended levels for carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. They even provide insights into potential lactose and gluten sensitivities and your metabolic rate for caffeine and alcohol.

I’ll be the first to admit that I know the diet industry uses a ton of gimmicks to lure you into their web of products, shakes and exercise routines, but Genopalate is different. The process was easy—for $69 if you already have a DNA sample on file with Ancestry or 23andMe ($189 if you’re starting from scratch), users simply export their DNA records and upload them to Genopalate. In a couple of weeks, users are emailed a nearly 20-page individualized report detailing how your body reacts to various nutrients, and what your ideal intake of these nutrients should be based on your genetic makeup. It even provides you with specific foods from each food group that best serve your dietary needs based on your genetics.

I found my report to be incredibly informative. Off the bat, it stated that if I ate a high total carbohydrate diet, I would likely notice improved weight loss, a lower Body Mass Index and improved insulin resistance by consuming a majority of my daily caloric intake from carbs—a welcome notification since I had been suffering on the Keto diet. From sugars to a variety of fats, acids, proteins and vitamins, I was provided with specific recommendations on how to eat for my genetic profile, culminating with a three-page list of recommended foods by food group that was built around my genetic-based nutrition recommendation. For an extra charge, Genopalate can create unique recipes tailored to your nutrition and food recommendation.

While this likely isn’t a silver bullet for the perfect diet, the read was informative and helped me understand more about my diet and helped me rethink how I fuel my body.