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Why Should I Get A DNA Test? Reason 2: A DNA Test Can Tell You What to Avoid

What can a DNA test tell me? At-home DNA testing kits are an excellent way to create a diet or health plan using the very thing that makes you unique: your genes. These kits have been growing in popularity by those looking for a clear path to wellness, and for a good reason.

DNA testing kits can provide health plans that are entirely tailored to your body. Since everyone’s genes are unique, it makes sense that each person will have different nutritional requirements.

Much like a nice pair of fitted jeans, DNA testing offers a personal lifestyle solution for those looking to avoid genetic diseases, shed some pounds, or simply live a healthier life. 

What many people don’t realize, though, is that a DNA test can also tell you what things to avoid. In the second installment of our five-part series on DNA tests, we look at what foods and nutrients may not agree with your genetic makeup. 

EACH BODY IS DIFFERENT. A DNA TEST CAN TELL YOU WHAT TO AVOID.

In addition to giving us guidelines about what we should do for our health, a DNA test helps point out certain things that we should avoid. You have probably heard that too much of a good thing can be harmful, but how do we know how much is too much? For that answer, we need to look no further than our own genes. 

ALCOHOL SENSITIVITY

A woman holds a wine bottle while making a disgusted look.
Alcohol intolerance can trigger unpleasant symptoms such as redness or a feeling of warmness.

Most of us are well aware that too much alcohol can be harmful to our health. However, how do you know when it becomes too much? Some of us have a metabolic syndrome passed down from our parents, known as alcohol intolerance. According to Cleveland Clinic, alcohol intolerance happens when there is an issue with the specific enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. 

For those with alcohol intolerance, even drinking a small amount of alcohol will trigger unpleasant symptoms such as a pink or red face (alcohol flush) and a feeling of warmness. A DNA test can determine whether or not you have the genetic factors that cause alcohol intolerance. 

CAFFEINE SENSITIVITY

A handsome man sips a large cup of coffee.
Is your body sensitive to caffeine? A DNA test can help you find out.

Are you a coffee lover? Caffeine is one of the most common stimulants, and many of us consume it daily. Of course, some of us are more than others. People enjoy caffeine because it keeps us awake and alert; however, it can also cause insomnia, anxiety, stomach irritation, or headaches for some. A DNA test will give you an in-depth look into your caffeine sensitivity. 

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Many of us have lactose intolerance and simply don’t know it. In fact, most of the world’s population only produces lactase when they are babies. This enzyme is made during the first few years of life to help digest our mother’s milk. The result being, most of the world is lactose intolerant. A DNA test can determine if you are in line with most of the population or can handle a second bowl of cereal. 

Carbohydrates

A woman holds up a cheesy slice of pizza.
Your genetics determine your ideal daily carbohydrate intake.

Great news for those on the Keto diet (lousy news for pizza lovers): your ideal carb intake is linked to your genetic makeup. Everyone has a gene called the FTO gene, which is responsible for regulating how your body stores or uses food. There are 8 known variants of this gene that are responsible for different body compositions.

Those with the FTO gene’s AT or AA variants have been linked to body types with higher body mass (BMI) when they consume fewer carbs in their diet. Luckily for these people, they are generally recommended to increase their carbohydrate intake. On the other hand, those who have the TT variant of this gene should avoid carbohydrates. 

The FTO Gene is also responsible for processing fiber, which helps rid the body of toxins. It has even been linked to heart health, digestive function, and colon and rectal cancer risk. A DNA test will give you insight into what variant you have and what to avoid for your health. 

Daily Fat CONSUMPTION

A close up of fatty, uncooked bacon.
Fatty foods may taste great but are they doing damage to your body?

You may have heard about “good” fats and “bad” fats, but how do you know how which fat your body needs and how much? A DNA test can identify the APOA5 gene responsible for creating the proteins that transport fats. This gene family helps to move fats around within the body to where they need to go. This fat relocation service is critical for many of our bodies ’ everyday processes.

There are several naturally occurring variants of the APOA5 gene linked to fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. Many people who have a hard time reducing their body fat or lowering their cholesterol levels may find that they possess a variant connected with decreased LDL levels. 

A DNA test can determine if you have any of these variants and how you should modify your daily fat intake. 

Sodium

A closeup of a spoonful of salt.
Your genes may affect how sensitive your body is to salt.

You might be aware that some people sensitive to salt, but did you ever wonder why you might feel bloated after eating salty food? Your genome contains a gene known as AGT, which is responsible for producing a special protein called angiotensinogen. This protein regulates your body’s fluid levels and maintains your blood pressure. 

There are several variants of the AGT gene known as CC, CT, TT, or TC variants. These variants have been linked to lower blood pressure and better overall cardiovascular health combined with a low-sodium diet. If your DNA test shows that you have any of these gene variants, you may also receive the recommendation to eat less sodium-rich foods. 

Iron

Your body needs iron to grow and develop. It uses iron to create the hemoglobin found in red blood cells, which transport oxygen from your lungs to other parts of the body. 

A DNA test helps detect the HFE gene that regulates the amount of iron you have in your body. It will also look for the variants GA, GG, AG, or AA, which could be linked to iron’s over-absorption. An over absorption of iron is known to cause several life-threatening diseases, including cancer, diabetes, or liver and heart disease. 

A DNA test could alert you if you are at risk for iron over absorption, so you can steer clear of iron-rich foods.  

A DNA TEST TELLS YOU WHAT YOUR body craves

A fit woman is eating healthy food.
Your DNA may be complicated but staying healthy isn’t.

So how can a DNA test tell you what to avoid? It can tell you everything you need to know about what your body needs and what works against your genetics. No two bodies are the same, and a DNA test will help you create a customized nutrition plan to give your body exactly what it craves. 

If you are ready to find out what to avoid and customize your health, you can read more about all of the benefits of taking a DNA test here.

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