How to Pick the Best Foods for Any Diet Part 4: What Happened in Nutrition Science Over the Past 5 Years?

Nutrition science has gained incredible traction over the last decade, with some of the most important discoveries being made only recently!

And your credibility as a nutrition professional (or aspiring one) hinges on your ability to give the most up-to-date advice out there…

More research has happened in the past 5 years than in the past 50. That’s why we’ve created this article summing up the latest in nutrition science.

It will help you understand what we know… what we suspect… and what questions remain.

In the end, we’ll also show you how you can use our resources to always keep pace with the latest nutrition science.

So, let’s get started with one of the most important recent research projects…

The Human Genome Project: Before and After

The Human Genome Project is the world’s largest collaborative biological project. It started in 1990 and was declared successfully completed in 2003.

The goal was to map the entire genetic material (genome) of humans. Or in other words, to identify human DNA’s 20,000 to 25,000 genes… and determine the sequence of the 3-billion chemical base pairs in human DNA. 

It was quite a milestone for health sciences… but its findings raised more questions than what we started with…

For example, we couldn’t even tell your eye colour by just looking at your DNA.

That’s how genome-wide association studies emerged.

Scientists wanted to link different genes to different traits. Things like your eye colour, height, weight, IQ, and potential disease risks.

This type of research led to several key discoveries…

A few examples of how our genes explain our traits…

When studying human height, here’s what they found:

Up to 80% of the variation in human height can be explained by about 200 genes. But the other 20% of your height variability has nothing to do with genetic inheritance!

And here’s the latest news about your weight:

In 2007, we found the first gene linked to obesity: the FTO gene.

But that was just the first one. Since then, geneticists have linked over 100 genes to obesity. And about 1,000 genes to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, taste hedonics, and overeating!

But even with these many linked genes…

Geneticists found that inherited genes can only explain a small fraction of our tendency to become obese.

It’s the same with breast cancer…

Females who inherit the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene variants have a much higher (45%-90%) breast cancer risk, BUT…

Only 5% of cases inherit a genetic predisposition for breast cancer. The remaining 95% of the women who develop breast cancer did NOT inherit it!

So, you may be wondering…

If genes cannot fully explain our height, weight, risk of disease, or cancer risk… what else does?

Genes vs Environment: Nature or Nurture?

What do you think?

Is nature (your inherited genes) responsible for who YOU are today?

Or is it nurture (your environment)?

Take a second and think about it, based on what you’ve learned so far…


The answer is BOTH!

You and all fellow humans are a product of both nature and nurture.

Inherited genes and the environment.

The only difference is that DNA expression changes constantly. How?

The DNA at the core of your body cells receive signals passed from the ever-changing environment surrounding cell membranes…

And these signals (which have the power to activate or inactivate genes) are influenced by your OWN internal and external environment.

From the foods we eat, to the activities we undertake, to our sleep (or lack of), to our stress load, pollution exposure, and the list continues…

And the only way we can achieve beneficial change at a cellular level is if we focus on those things you CAN control in your life…

From your internal attitudes and thoughts to reduce stress load, to your levels of physical activity, to your food environment and eating practices…

Remember when we were talking about how your genes affect certain disease risk?

In fact, only about 5% of human disease is a result of inherited genes. 95% is NOT genetically determined.

Put simply, your health is influenced mostly by what you eat, drink, breathe, do, feel, think, and touch. As well as your hormones, how you live, and your viral or toxic exposure, to name a few.

Diseases find you when environmental influences offset your genetic capacity to adapt. 

This means, to live in good health, your genes must successfully adapt to your environment. This way, your inherited adaptive capacity and unique biological profile will play a role.

But again, this will be largely influenced by what you eat, drink, think, and so on.

It’s all a circle of influence!

If you want to know more, dive into the fascinating world of epigenetics.

It’s the science that studies how your genes and environment interact.

Exploring scientifically backed answers to your OTHER questions…

Now, knowing all this is essential if you want to help people with nutritional advice.

In this mini-series, you’ve seen what it takes to find the RIGHT nutritional strategies.

But still, you may have some additional questions.

For example:

  • What scientific framework should you use to build a personalised nutrition program, 100% tailored around each client?
  • Which evaluations and assessments do we need to perform in order to identify a client’s nutrient deficiency risks?
  • How do we help that client implement your meal plan?
  • What techniques do we use to build, implement, track, and optimise it?
  • What about the day-to-day tactics?
  • How do we help modify their food shopping habits?
  • Which foods are they missing?
  • What science-based appraisals, evaluations, and recommendations should we use for all this?
  • Which nutritional strategies may help reduce health symptoms? What about weight gain, inflammation, bloating, bad skin?
  • What are the best testing procedures for uncovering health risks? What if these risks are linked to a nutrient deficiency? How do we find out? Then, how do we resolve that?
  • What if the client is vegan or vegetarian? How do we help them?
  • What scientific RULES should you follow when it comes to advising nutrition clients so we’re NOT guessing and hoping…?

And maybe some more?

It would take a while to address each of these questions. But they are GOOD questions! With not-so-obvious answers…

So instead of making things up or strolling through the minefield of misinformation that is the internet…

We’ve got something better!

Something to help you build personalised nutrition programs.

To help you become known as a reliable professional…

Getting professionally certified in nutrition

While you may have already noticed that our learners take a number of specialist certifications (see the full list here), if you’re just starting out you may want to first consider becoming a Certified Nutritional Therapist…

Through 17 modules, in a gradual and fun online experience, this foundational certification guides you through the answers to all of the questions we raised above.

From the application of nutrition biochemistry…

Identifying nutrient deficiency risks…

And building a custom-tailored nutritional program for each client…

To getting and using science-based client evaluation tools.

This certification program shows you the REAL science behind successful nutritional advice.

PLUS we make it easy for you to get things done with the client templates and assessment tools we give you.

In the end, you’ll become CERTIFIED and insurance ready.

Even better…

You’ll be certified by the largest online educational institution on nutrition sciences in the UK.

Joining the ranks of over 150,000+ nutrition students and grads!

Ready to take the next steps towards becoming a nutrition pro?

Our world-leading science educators and PhDs are waiting to teach you REAL nutrition science.

Join the ranks of accomplished nutrition professionals today.

Then build a nutrition practice you’ll be proud of…

Click here to enrol and start making a difference today!

See Also

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[CPD Certified Webinar] Child and Family Nutrition Strategies for Your Practice

“How do I know if my child is getting all the right nutrients for proper growth?”

 “Should I worry about feeding my kids the wrong foods for learning and mood control?”

“Our family dinner is a tantrum-loaded warzone… is picky eating solvable at all?”

Speech challenges, learning delays, stunted growth, irrational tantrums, short-fused aggression, hyperactivity, a lack of attention… they can all have a dietary element underneath.

What a little boy or little girl eats can deeply affect their mood, memory, and brain development – with long-lasting consequences carried into adulthood.

So how does diet shape a growing child? And in what ways may you help parents, caretakers, and teachers with the nutrition of little ones?

Completing this CPD-certified training will equip you with vital knowledge underpinning how food can impact your client’s child neurologically, emotionally, and intellectually – alongside insights about adequately running child nutrition programs to best support little boys and girls with their developmental needs.

Here’s what you will discover in this CPD Certified Webinar:

  • Why nutrition and health practitioners should gain a deep insight into child nutrition science when working with parents, caretakers, and teachers
  • Importance of custom-building child nutrition plans considering gender, age, height, weight, and other calculations
  • How adding child nutrition programs to your practice can help clients with the developmental needs of their little ones
  • Advantages of becoming an Advanced Child and Brain Development Nutritional Advisor™ and integrating child nutrition into your work with our Level 5 Certification
  • Personalisation methods and planning tools to use when running your own child nutrition programs to support parents, caretakers, sports clubs, and schools

Remember you have the option of claiming your smart CPD certificate when you complete this webinar!

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