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The Importance of Personalized Nutrition

July 13, 2020

In order to understand what diet and lifestyle works best for you, you may want to consider personalized nutrition. To better understand the idea of personalized nutrition, we partnered with Registered Dietician, Olivia Wagner (MS, RDN, LDN) to further explain what personalized nutrition is and what’s important to consider when creating a personalized nutrition plan.

What is Personalized Nutrition?
Personalized nutrition develops unique nutritional guidelines on an individual basis. When it comes to personalized nutrition, we must first identify the following:

-a desired health outcome
-a plan on how to achieve that desired outcome
-a way to measure those changes

In personalized nutrition, there is a concept called precision nutrition, which includes factors such as behavior, environment, and lifestyle. Some people believe looking into these factors may be more effective in creating a personalized nutrition plan for an individual, but it all depends on each individual. Just like bio-individuality, everybody and every body is different, which means personalized nutrition will look different for everyone. Different nutrition plans can be developed based on a number of factors and ultimately determines what methods will be most effective in improving a person's health physically, mentally and spiritually.

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How to Personalize Nutrition
Personalized nutrition will look different for everyone, but some general factors that may be considered when personalizing a nutrition plan include age and physiological status. For example, individuals with allergies, chronic disease, infants or pregnant women will all have different dietary needs. It’s important to note that personalizing nutrition should be explored with a licensed professional like a functional nutritionist, who can provide flexible, individualized care to each person based on their specific needs. When working with a functional nutritionist, lab data and tests may be considered to evaluate specific health markers, which can help functional nutritionists create a plan that may better support what the body needs in order to function optimally. These recommendations can either be long-term or short-term depending on the person and their overall goals.

Exploring Functional Medicine
Individualized care is a hallmark of functional medicine. Functional medicine practitioners don’t just focus on a one size fits all method, but instead emphasize an individualized plan to ensure each person receives the care that is right for them. Functional medicine differs from traditional Western medicine in that it looks at how each organ and part of the body work together to function optimally. This practice helps functional practitioners treat the individual holistically instead of each isolated symptom. Similarly, functional nutritionists look to food and how certain foods affect the entire body. A functional nutritionist will consider a person’s current health conditions, how that affects their holistic health and how different foods will affect their overall health to create a personalized nutrition plan to support their overall health and wellness goals.

Personalized Nutrition is More than Food
Although nutrition is an important factor to consider when creating a personalized nutrition plan, other factors like emotions, environmental factors and lifestyle can modify an individual’s plan. Working with a licensed professional to create well-rounded strategies that support lifestyle, nutrition and physiology are all important factors to achieving a happy and healthy life.

Looking to learn more about personalized nutrition from home these days? See options below for virtual appointments.

-Virtual Personalized Nutrition Appointment:  http://livnourishednutrition.com
-Find a Functionally Focused RDN that’s right for you: https://integrativerd.org/find_an_rd/ 

Do you practice personalized nutrition? Share your experience with us @SimpleMills

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