Undergoing a drastic dietary change can often be an incredibly tough transition. As a personal trainer I often see a lot of people struggle a lot more with this lifestyle change, as opposed to adopting the new training regime, which – comparatively – is a lot easier.
There’s certainly an element of routine and even addiction that must be accounted for here, particularly for the case of sugar.
I don’t use the word ‘addiction’ lightly either, it should only be used when applicable to a substance that creates a true dependency on maintaining regular brain chemistry. People often struggle a lot reducing their sugar intake for this reason, they become reliant on the dopamine and opioids that are triggered after they consume a bolus of sugar.
The latest research examining such detrimental eating habits suggests that there is an element of ‘genetic lottery’ to factor into this equation.
The study – conducted at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid – examined the influence of brains genes to understand whether or not food preferences are genetic. Could these small DNA discrepancies be impacting and harming the healthy eating habits of many people globally?
The study collected data from 818 men and women of European ancestry and analysed their personalised diet information, which was collected using a questionnaire. The findings from the questionnaire were significant; they found that genes do in fact play a key role in peoples food preferences. This was particularly evident with individuals who self-proclaimed high chocolate intake, which was linked to variations in the oxytocin receptor gene.
This insight could prove to be incredibly useful for future diet related disease, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and may create a new means of clinical intervention.
Future studies surrounding this topic will investigate whether or not the genetic variants cascade into causation of the aforementioned disease types.