To EAT CARBS or NOT TO EAT CARBS, that is the question…
I’ve sent off my DNA test kit and I’m one step closer to knowing!
So… I’ve completed the training and can now arrange DNA testing for my clients for the AMY1 gene. My first client is – Me! I took a cheek swab, have couriered the kit and will have the results in 2-3 weeks.
Why is it so important to know the answer?
For decades, the prevailing nutritional wisdom was that dietary fat was bad, and saturated fat especially was evil. The result was that anyone who was health conscious ended up on a low fat, high carb diet. This caused a bunch of problems, including higher rates of obesity, diabetes and other health conditons.
In response to that, the last decade or two has seen an increase in the popularity in low carb / Paleo diets. This has been more successful than the low fat regime, but we are starting to see a bounce back from that too.
But in both cases, we are making some assumptions. That’s why I’m excited about this particular gene test. It tells us how much salivary amylase we are genetically programmed to produce.
Amylase is the enzyme that digests carbohydrate. Although there are things we can do to increase our amylase production, knowing our genetic predisposition immediately tells us the level of carbs we are most suited for.
We can of course choose to ignore the info, when we’re at a friend’s house and our favourite pasta dish is being served.
But it gives us a template for our ideal diet, which we can come back after any digressions.
If we choose to go low carb for a while to lose weight (for example), we will know whether we need to stay low carb. Or whether we can increase carbs again, once we reach our goal.
On a personal level, I’ve spent the last 20 years mostly eating reasonably low carb, even going a year eating only animal foods. A few months ago, I started eating carbs again, with some good results and some not so good. So my test result will tell me whether I should:
- Stay off the grains and legumes – only fruit, low starch veg and nuts for you, my girl!
- Eat a few whole grains and legumes, but still favour fruit, veg, nuts
- Ideally avoid processed carbs but I can digest starches fine
I know I’m not a 3. I think I’m a 1. But hey, if I was a 2, wouldn’t that be good to know?
To find out more about this type of gene testing, read my previous post about DNA testing here