Diet & Nutrition

The DNA Diet

Can your genes tell you which nutrients you need more or less of? Our editor found out.

I recently had my DNA analyzed by a company called GenoPalate.* By studying
a person’s genes, they can tell which foods, and particularly which specific nutrients, you need more or less of.

“You probably know your genes are those little things that control your eye color or height,” says GenoPalate founder Sherry Zhang, PhD. “But your genes hold so much more power than that … a power that determines how even things you eat affect you differently than they might a friend or family member.”

I think most of us can relate. For me, it’s milk. I envy people who can enjoy a creamy latte made with milk. My stomach would be in knots if I drank one. (Thank goodness for almond milk lattes!) Turns out, my genetic makeup puts me at high risk for lactose sensitivity. I was not surprised to read this. But I was shocked by a few other genetic variations in my report—e.g., I’m not likely to be sensitive to gluten (I thought the opposite would be true), but I am to omega-6 fats (found in plant and seed oils). Who knew?

Related: Eating For Your Genes

The most fascinating aspect to GenoPalate is their analysis on nutrients. I learned I have a genetic variant in the MTHFR gene, responsible for folate absorption. According to GenoPalate, 33 percent of the population shares this mutation. This makes folate supplements with 5-MTHF (the metabolically active form) important for me.

I share all of this to illustrate just how much nutrition shapes our health at a cellular level—we literally can eat for our genes.

Note: If you’ve already had your DNA analyzed by or, you can use that analysis for GenoPalate. This cuts the cost way down.

*GenoPalate has not paid me to write about them. For more information, visit