The Gene Smart Diet
The Gene Smart Diet: How It Works
Here are more details on the five diet and exercise principles that form the
foundation of The Gene Smart Diet plan:
- Increase polyphenols. Consume more dark-skinned whole fruits, vegetables,
green tea, legumes, nuts, and seeds (and, in the maintenance phase, red wine
and dark chocolate) for the health benefits of these naturally occurring
- Balance the proportion of omegas-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet.
Chilton claims that the right concentration of omega-3 fatty acids can trigger
weight loss. He recommends eating plenty of omega-3 rich fish or taking
- Increase fiber. The book recommends eating up to 30 grams of fiber per day
to control hunger and enhance weight loss.
- Reduce calories to reasonable levels to promote weight loss. Chilton
suggests reducing your daily caloric intake by 20% to 30% of what is needed to
maintain your current weight.
- Exercise at least 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes at a time, to
reduce whole-body inflammation and promote weight loss.
In addition to the diet plan, dieters are urged to consume supplements sold
on the author’s web site.
The book includes grocery lists and recipes, as well as daily menus with
specific suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the five week
adaptive/preconditioning phases. Daily exercise prescriptions detail the
activities recommended each day of the program.
The Gene Smart Diet: What the Experts Say
Although TheGene Smart Diet includes hundreds of scientific
reference articles, some experts believe it's premature to draw conclusions on
whether it's possible to change gene expression to promote weight loss.
"There are hundreds of genes for obesity, and even if you could change just
one, the impact may be very hard to define -- and it is further complicated by
mutations that occur as you age," says New York University professor Judith
Gilbride, PhD, RD, past president of the American Dietetic Association.
She urges caution in interpreting studies related to nutrigenomics (the
study of genes and diet), and says we must keep in mind that every person has a
unique set of genes that may not respond to broad recommendations.
"It is an emerging science that will one day change the way we think about
health and nutrition, but we don’t know enough to make sweeping public health
recommendations at this time," she says.
Chilton says that we are 10 years away from interpreting nutrigenomics, but
he thinks there is enough science to support his five basic principles.
Genes aside, The Gene Smart Diet is a healthful diet. If you reduce
calories, eat more healthy foods, and get more exercise, you will lose weight.
"Following a healthy, 1,600-calorie diet along with exercise is more likely the
reason for weight loss than gene expression," Gilbride says.
Gilbride, however, questions the need for supplements, like the ones Chilton
promotes in his book and on his web site.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice weekly to get
the omega-3 fatty acids you need for heart health; the American Dietetic
Association promotes relying on healthy foods, rather than supplements. Before
taking large doses of supplements, experts suggest checking with your