The Importance of a Personalized Approach

By Anita Jones-Mueller
November 30, 2016

It may be time to throw out the one-size-fits-all box.  As research and technology progress, the idea of personalization for optimal health has gained momentum.  Wearables provide more and more data on our individual health habits.  Terms like “personalized lifestyle medicine” are becoming more and more mainstream, and unique recommendations for diet and lifestyle are becoming the norm. 

Personalization is changing the face of health as we know it. 

When it comes to diet especially, it’s hard to resist a plan and choices hand-picked just for us.  This draw is more than just feeling understood, it’s the feeling that these hand-picked choices are about to make our lives easier.  These unique recommendations are often viewed as the best approach for successfully achieving a healthy diet for several reasons including:
1.  Personal Goals
Goals and motivations differ from person to person.  Is your goal weight loss or weight gain?  Are you managing blood sugar for diabetes or sodium for high blood pressure?  Are you motivated to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce blood pressure or simply increasing the overall quality of your diet?  Different goals often require different food choices, making diet personalization a must.

2.  Lifestyle
Are you a young professional who frequents high-end restaurants, a busy parent who relies on fast and budget-friendly meals for the family, a boomer with more free time and heightened interest in nutrition or someone else entirely?  Meal recommendations for one group may not make sense for another. 
Tailoring your diet to your life, goals and tastes removes barriers to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.  Emerging technology now delivering this personalization is making it even more powerful! It is a matter of molding the diet to the person rather than molding the person to a cookie cutter diet.  Some researchers are even delving into personalization on a genetic level for even more success.  Isn’t it time to embrace your uniqueness and choose a more personalized approach to diet?

Working with a registered dietitian is a great start.  These food experts are passionate about designing a unique diet with your goals, lifestyle and tastes in mind.  When eating out, search for menu choices at favorite restaurants that support your personalized diet.  What will you find?