Healthy Eating Workshop By Carlyle Coash There is a renewed interest in an old idea – the idea that there is no one diet that is right for everyone. While this may seem self-evident, the reality plays out differently. The dietary recommendations that come from government nutritionists, even the notions of our minimum recommended intakes for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients falls into more of a one-size-fits-all situation. So we see many books written now about personalized nutrition, with books titled “foods that fit a unique you”, etc. But how do you figure out the eating plan that’s best for you? Well one tool is something called the Metabolic Typing Diet. The idea was popularized by William Wolcott in his book called, you guessed it, the The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet To: Free Yourself from Food Cravings: Achieve Your Ideal Weight; Enjoy High Energy and Robust Health; Prevent and Reverse Disease. Well you might not have guessed that title. (Just click the book link to get yourself a copy.) When I was in medical school, determining someone’s metabolic type generally involved a laborious and expensive process. This process, used only in research, made it difficult for an average person to gain any use of it. However William Wolcott developed a simple questionnaire that allows you to accurately determine your metabolic type (the questionnaire is in his book), and therefore adding to the accessibility. Let’s keep this simple. The basic metabolic types are the protein type and the carbohydrate (carb) type. Some people now refer to the carb type as the “vegetable” (veggie) type. In general you are neither a pure protein or a veggie type, falling more into what is called a “mixed” metabolic type. For a moment though, let’s look at the two basic types. When we do, some of the differences between the types become easily understood. For example, a protein type needs more protein to function well, while a veggie type needs more complex carbohydrates to do well, and would be better suited to a vegetarian diet. How can you figure this out with a questionnaire? Well, for example, a protein type can miss a meal and not notice it. If a veggie type misses a meal, they are grumpy, uncomfortable and anxious until they find food. Questions about these and other behaviors and traits lead to a specific determination of your type. To create the questionnaire Wolcott took the data compiled from all those more laborious tests and looked for patterns he saw in the people studied. Through this he managed to create a fairly accurate set of criteria to build the assessment off of. His work holds together still, so is worth the second look. As with any tool, the hope is that it assists us making our lives work better. This approach to typing helps us understand how foods affect us and what foods best support us. It can serve as another metric for us as we shop and choose our weekly menus. You will find a lot of negative press about the Metabolic Typing Diet, and most of it is critical of those who promote this eating plan as a path to weight loss. It is not the best diet for weight loss. As a result, the critics miss the value to your energy, vitality and health that come from eating a diet that matches your metabolic type. Regrettable, as I’ve seen this approach help people throughout the years. As an example, this type of personalized nutrition is used extensively to maximize athletic performance. Clearly in this field there is a demonstrated benefit. If you can navigate all the misinformed press, you can benefit too. You can find a simplified version of a metabolic type questionnaire at www.mercola.com (Follow this LINK). Metabolic Typing may not be the answer to all your problems, but playing with a metabolic typing diet is easy, simple and cheap. As I mentioned, I see people try it and find real benefit. Want to give it a try? Fill out that questionnaire and test how different foods effect your overall balance. Let us know if it works for you by sharing your results in our comments section. Until next time – To Your Health.