Biochemical Individuality: Why Your Diet Doesn’t Work. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, we too are all unique individuals.
In other words, dietary requirements can vary dramatically from person to person based on nutritional and biochemical make-up.
This is biochemical individuality.
This also explains why some folks do better with more animal products in their diet, while others do best with less.
When I begin working with a client, far too often I hear “but so and so of the vegan world says I should do this, or this expert from the paleo faction says I should do that.”
Even though my clients have been doing “that” their results are the quite the opposite of what the “expert” says they should be.
Why is this?
There are several reasons a particular diet isn’t giving you the results you want: heredity, constitution, life cycle, and stress.
If your ancestors come from a tropical climate, you may be able to tolerate more carbohydrates. If your ancestors come from a colder climate, higher amounts of fat and protein may feel good in your body. If you look at Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, both are very clear in their classification of different constitutions and the many different types of foods and herbs required to support them.
From a biochemical standpoint, low-serotonin depression types do better with more animal protein; those with high anxiety (too much methyl) that lean in the opposite direction, do better on more vegetables with less animal protein.
In other words, one man’s medicine is another man’s poison.
Throughout your life, your body will go through many cycles of cleansing and rebuilding (anabolic/catabolic cycles). Both processes require very different nutrients so it makes no sense to think that one dietary approach is going to sustain you forever, let alone for months at a time. I made this debilitating mistake for three years on a raw vegan diet.
Environment, stress, food, and emotions all play a role in these cycles. This is where epigenetics – the software that tells your hardware (DNA) what to do – starts giving you errors; just like the kind you see on your computer screen.
For example, let’s say you’re a foreign student from Japan attending school in NYC. Growing up you ate an iodine, omega-3 rich diet of fish, sea vegetables, white rice, sweet potatoes, pork, and eggs.
This diet left you naturally slim and healthy.
You get off the plane and are immediately bombarded with the stress of being in a new country, with a language and diet that are completely foreign to you. Your body is in shock. This shock creates epigenetic errors (deficiencies) that begin to affect how you feel, think, and act. Even though you’ve steered clear of American junk food, the diet in your new homeland is still very different than the ancestral diet you grew up with.
Due to nutrient deficiencies from food and stress, you begin to put on weight, develop clinical depression, and generally feel rotten.
Sure, we all need a balanced ratio of macronutrients (proteins/carbs/fats), but the ratio is different for everyone based on their biochemical individuality.
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