What Is Bio Individuality?
Low Carb. Mediterranean. Zone. Paleo. There’s no shortage of diets out there, and the list continues to grow. Despite the widespread adoption of these and other diets (54% reported that they were currently on a diet in 2010 according to one study1), roughly 2 out of 3 adults were still considered overweight in that same year.2 Additionally, ailments associated with a poor diet such as heart disease and anemia continue to cause millions of deaths each year.
Fortunately, however, diet fads of years past that were developed with only quick weight loss in mind are slowly being replaced by diets that focus on eating healthy for long-term wellness. At the forefront of this movement is diet personalization, which is also known as bio individuality.
One size doesn’t fit all
A major issue with popular diets is that they take a one-size-fits-all approach. But as we learn more about the human body, we’re discovering that the right food for one person might not be the right food for another person. This is known as bio individuality, a term developed by Joshua Rosenthal. The founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, now the largest nutrition school in the world, Rosenthal is a pioneer in the holistic health and wellness field and actually created another term that you’re likely more familiar with: Health Coach.
The concept behind bio individuality is simple: Each individual is unique, which means that nutritional requirements will vary from person to person. Obviously, a baby has different nutritional requirements from an adult. But we can apply this concept to people who are in the same age group.
Take two individuals in their early 20s as an example. Even if they are a similar weight, their bodies will still differ slightly in their structure and their genetics will also vary—not to mention the variations in their current diets, their health history, their metabolism, and their lifestyle. Therefore, it makes sense that their optimal diets will vary also.
Looking past overgeneralizations
Bio individuality is a more effective approach than traditional nutrition recommendations because it doesn’t take a general diet requirement and try to apply it to everyone. This can often be the equivalent of trying to pound a square peg in a round hole. It’s also the reason why there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to what foods are good for you and in what amounts.
For example, Consensus Action on Salt Health, or CASH, says that adults need less than 1,000 milligrams of salt per day and any more is unhealthy.3 Currently, the CDC recommends less than 2,300 milligrams.4 On the other hand, other studies show that people actually need more salt in their diets and have found a correlation between low salt intake and increased risk of heart failure. One of these studies in particular suggested that the optimal amount of salt intake is between 2,645 and 4,945 milligrams per day.5
But maybe the truth of the matter is that some people need more (or less) of one type of food or substance than others, and that’s why we’re seeing the variation in these and other nutrition studies. Since every body is unique, wouldn’t it make more sense to look at each individual’s nutritional intake instead of judging based on an entire group? Certainly there’s a place for group studies and they can provide value, but by looking at an individual level we can get a more holistic picture of the person instead of relying of specific studies that are only looking at one nutritional factor across an entire group of people.
General bio individuality guidelines
While general nutritional guidelines certainly give everyone a clear path to follow and are based on scientific research, modern advances in nutrition such as bio individuality have given us a better path to follow in terms of overall wellness. Some of the basic tips for catering your diet to your specific bio individuality include:
- Tuning into your body’s reaction to certain foods
- Eating more of the foods that make you feel good
- Reducing or removing sugar and processed foods from your diet
- Changing your diet if it’s not working for you
- Experimenting by going off specific foods for 3–4 weeks
- Getting help from a nutritionist or holistic practitioner6
Gathering and analyzing personalized data
While most of the bio individuality approaches listed above are basically hit-and-miss propositions, the option of working with a nutritionist or holistic practitioner is likely the best solution for you. These types of practitioners offer a variety of tests that can give you an accurate view of your overall nutrition picture to help you eliminate the guesswork. These tests include but aren’t limited to:
- Amino acid test – tests plasma and/or urine to help identify metabolic imbalances
- Metabolic analysis – test that assesses urine metabolites to evaluate 4 areas of metabolism
- Oxidative stress analysis – utilizes a blood sample to evaluate the body’s oxidative stress and antioxidant reserve
- Kinesiology test – involves testing muscles for strength and weakness
- Vitamin test – blood test that measures the body’s vitamin levels to gain perspective on dietary insufficiencies
- Digestive system test – test that analyzes the stool to see how well the digestive system is functioning
- Mineral and heavy metal test – involves analyzing a hair sample for mineral deficiencies and excess heavy metals7
Bio individuality and ZYTO Scanning
Along with these and other nutritional tests, another way to get personalized data about the body is by getting a ZYTO biocommunication scan, or bioscan. A ZYTO scan isn’t a diagnostic test but rather a scan that measures the body’s galvanic skin response. With ZYTO scanning, digital signatures representing selected items are introduced to the body and the body’s response to each item is measured.
Similar to the concept of bio individuality, a ZYTO scan takes the uniqueness of the individual into account by determining the body’s biological coherence to nutritional products, foods, services, and even lifestyle choices. The ZYTO Foods for Wellness Scan available in the Select and Elite software is particularly valuable to those looking to make better choices when it comes to the types of foods they eat. Scanning is easy and non-invasive, and you can get personalized data from the body’s responses to digital signatures of hundreds of food items in just a few minutes.
With both bio individuality and with ZYTO scanning, we no longer have to worry about the problems associated with taking popular diets and generic diet guidelines and applying them to everyone.
1. “23 Exceptional Fad Diet Statistics.” Health Research Funding. Healthresearchfunding.org.
2. Hendrick, Bill. ““Percentage of Overweight, Obese Americans Swells.” WebMD. WebMD.com.
3. “Why is salt bad for our health?” Consensus Action on Salt and Health. Actionsalt.org.uk.
4. “Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cdc.gov.
5. “CDC Salt Guidelines Too Low for Good Health, Study Suggests.” HealthDay. Consumer.healthday.com.
6. Wilson, Belinda. “Bio-individuality: The new and simpler health philosophy.” news.com.au. News.com.au.
7. Oler. “The Important Role of Biochemical Individuality in Health.” Natural Solutions for a Healthy You. Naturalsolutionsforahealthyyou.com.