What Should I Eat? The Ultimate Podcast Guide To Choosing The Perfect Diet For You: Part 1

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Nutrition, Podcast

If you read this week's article “What Is The Perfect Human Diet? “, then you are aware that I'm not a big fan of a myopic “one-size-fits-all” approach to diets.

And yet, despite the enormous amount of biochemical individuality that exists from person to person, there is still a plethora of diet books published each year (particularly close to swimsuit season or the New Year) that promise to be the de facto final solution for everything from fat loss to banishing acne to beating cravings and building muscle when, in fact, the same ketogenic diet that helped your neighbor shed twenty pounds can result in rampant inflammation, brain fog and oxidized cholesterol for you. The same could be said for a vegan diet, a carnivore diet or many of the other currently popular eating approaches.

On today's podcast, Part 1 of a 2 part series on customizing your diet to you, you're going to discover more about the concept of biochemical individuality, along with how to test your body to determine the perfect diet for you, and a range of dietary options to choose from that have been vetted by yours truly. Enjoy!

During this solosode, you'll discover:

The concept of biochemical individuality…7:35

  • Book: Biochemical Individuality by Roger Williams
    • No such thing as an “average” person.
    • Nutrition and environment can affect our outcome.
  • Some people do not need to supplement Vitamin C, A, Riboflavin, etc.
  • Others are resistant to things such as Vitamin D; taking the recommended amount damages their system.
  • What worked for someone else may be damaging for you.
  • Ketogenic Diet
    • I used this when racing in Ironman triathlons; I still use it for days I need endurance.
    • Some are high in cholesterol, high liver enzymes.
    • Familial hypercholesterolemia; negative response to high intake of fats.
    • Low amount of Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) is converted into usable DHA or EPA
    • Elongation of Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Thrifty Gene Hypothesis (James Neel in 1962): Why humans build fat mass
    • Some people possess genes that cause them to accumulate fat faster than others.
    • FTO and PPRA genes are responsible for storing fatty acids.
    • Consider a low fat, or plant-based diet vs. a ketogenic if you have these genes.
  • Book: Wired to Eat by Rob Wolf

-Differences in methylation between individuals…30:20

  • Meat eaters: most meat has high amounts of methionine, which is a high methyl donor
  • Methylation occurs when a methyl group is taken from one compound or molecule and is transferred to another.
  • If you're undermethylated, you would benefit from a high intake of muscular meats.
  • Folate acts as a serotonin reuptake promoter. Good for undermethylators.
  • Overmethylation: last thing you need is a bunch of meat for every meal.
    • Consume protein, but don't be an extreme carnivore.

-How to eat according to your ancestry…35:05

  • Northern European: Access to fish, Vitamin D
  • Mexicans, Hispanics, Chinese: More folate-rich foods, leafy greens.
  • Japanese, Continental Europeans: High starch consuming
  • Lactase persistence gene
  • If of European descent, more likely to be lactose intolerant.
  • Genes help determine biochemical individuality

-The best types of tests to figure out what diet is right for you…

-The best diets and books I've come across over the years…44:05

And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Book: Biochemical Individuality – Roger Williams

Book: Returning to an Ancestral Diet – Dr. Michael Smith

Book: The Jungle Effect: Healthiest Diets from Around the World-Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You – Daphne Miller M.D

Article: The Zen Of Customizing Your Diet To Your Unique Body And Goals – For Vegans, Females, Seniors, Kids, Fasting, & Ketosis.

Article: F*@# Diets – Customized, Delicious Nutrition Made Easy.

Article: How To Use Genetic Testing To Personalize Your Workout And Diet.

Article: The Jungle Effect: Book Unlocks the Power of Indigenous Diets

Article: Guts and Grease: The Diet of Native Americans

Article: Country Food (Inuit Food) in Canada

Article: Can a Vegan Go Keto?

Article: How To Be Extremely Active And Eat A Plant-Based Diet Without Destroying Your Body.

Article: Why You Should Think Twice About Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Other Resources:

Wired to Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You – Robb Wolf

A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol – Eileen Laird

The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain – Steven R. Gundry

The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles – Dr. Terry Wahls M.D.

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food – Dr. Cate Shanahan, M.D.

The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World – Sandor Ellix Katz

Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat – Paul Jaminet Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet Ph.D.

Nourishing Traditions – Sally Fallon

Recommended Tests:

Blood: WellnessFX Longevity Panel for Women

Blood: WellnessFX Longevity Panel for Men

Microbiome: Diagnostics Solutions GI MAP

Microbiome: GI Effects Comprehensive Stool Profile Genova Kit – Direct Labs

Microbiome: Viome – use code FITNESS for $50 off

DNA: 23andMe

DNA: DNAFit

DNA: Youtrients Genomic Analysis from The Centre for Biological Medicine – use code CBMBGF ($50 off consultation, $520 off testing, $130 off monthly price for custom supplements)

Optional Tests:

Cyrex Labs Array 10 Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Screen

Genova Individual Optimal Nutrition (ION) Profile – DirectLabs

Metabolic Test – To find a Metabolic Testing Center near you, Google the name of your city + Resting Metabolic Rate Test (RMR) and Metabolic Test (VO2 Max Protocol).

More Resources:

Article:  What Is The Perfect Human Diet?

Book: The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

Book: Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall

Book: Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride

Book: Swiss Secrets to Optimal Health by Dr. Thomas Rau

Book: The Colorado Cleanse by Dr. John Douillard

Book: Eat Wheat by Dr. John Douillard

Book: Body, Mind, Sport by Dr. John Douillard

Book: Healthy Gut, Healthy You by Dr. Michael Ruscio

Book: The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls

Book: Plant Paradox Diet by Dr. Stephen Gundry

Book: Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet by Robert Santos-Prowse

Book: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Episode Sponsors:

Blue Apron Choose your meals. Unpack your box. Create magic. Get your first 3 meals for FREE when you order using my link.

JOOVV Order your JOOVV light using my link and get a special bonus gift.

Birdwell Beach Britches Quality is our Gimmick isn’t just our slogan, it’s a commitment we honor with every stitch sewn. Get 10% off your order when you use code: BEN at checkout. Free shipping for orders over $99.

Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. Support skin, join and gut health. Save 15% and get free shipping on orders of 6+ cartons when you use my link.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about customizing and personalizing your diet? Leave your comments below and I will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question


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58 thoughts on “What Should I Eat? The Ultimate Podcast Guide To Choosing The Perfect Diet For You: Part 1

  1. William says:

    I have tried like over 15 times to get youtrients dna testing through the website and nobody ever follows up what the shit is going on here I have been trying ever since the first podcast with Kharim please respond a correct website or a reason as to why this is

  2. Kelsey says:

    Big fan, thank you!

    I’ve already done 23andMe but you recommended the You Nutrients DNA testing as well. Is there actually a difference or will the You Nutrients test be a waste of money?

    Thanks again!

  3. Mikki says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you so much for all this information! After following paleo, keto, and a mix of just trying to eat whole foods, I know I am missing something and not eating the best for my body. So ready to get testing done and know what I need to do to get balanced out. I suspect I have hormone imbalances including adrenal issues and am unsure what foods are best for me.

    I started looking into all the testing. It appears that if I purchase testing from each section and then pay a functional medicine practitioner to help interpret results, I am looking at about $4,000-5,000. I was prepared to spend around half that. I understand my health is worth investing in. But, I am really hoping there is a better way or more minimalist way to do this?

    Thank you!

    1. If you were to choose one test, I'd say that WellnessFX is very comprehensive, with different options of what all is tested. You're welcome to book a consult at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/coaching if you'd like to take a deeper dive.

  4. Noelle Noli says:

    Does anyone have experience with the different genetic testing Ben lists here? If so, what are the differences and which do you like better? Also, what is offered at the centre for biological medicine? Ben has a link and an entire page on their website but I can’t figure out what they are offering. Thank you everyone! Thanks Ben if you have time to read and respond.

  5. Nicki says:

    Hi Ben, Could you also address the diet for those who are highly responsive to carbs, and responsive to SUFAs (PPARG and FTO variations), as well the responsive to MUFAs (NR1D1 and ADIPOQ variations). Would be nice to eat something other than a steak and salad….

    1. John says:

      Yes, i agree. This would be very helpful and informative if you could address these topics. thanks!

  6. Max Riehemann says:

    Hey Ben,

    This podcast was incredibly informative! Can’t wait to get my test results.

    You mentioned that many of your athletes follow a low carb approach during the day and have a “carb re-feed” in the evenings. Could you go into more detail on this? I am working on taking my performance to the next level in obstacle course racing. What are your recommendations re: macros, timing, etc?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    -Max

  7. Shane Iverson says:

    Your solosodes are super valueable for their practicality. The entertainment value is not as high. But it’s a different beast. I can tell it’s these solosodes I’ll be replaying. Quyana (thanks), Ben.

  8. Daniel Gomez says:

    Hey Ben,

    Any recommendations for a similar blood panel to the one that you created for wellnessfx in canada?

    Through some searching I can’t seem to find anything. Maybe Brock knows?

    Thanks for all the work you put in. Love listening and reading. All day every day!

    Dan

  9. Perry says:

    Thanks Ben. That was some of your finest work and very helpful. If only your work pertaining to signals could match:)

  10. Mark says:

    Ben, HUGE FAN! Thanks for all you do. I ordered the Thorne Mediclear-SGS without doing any research whatsoever. Just thinking what the hell – I could do 7-14 days with just shakes to reset my system. I couldn’t find any directions for how to go about this. You mentioned a shake with Thorne, fats, aminos, Stevia, etc. Could you help me out with a recipe and basic protocol?

    1. Dave says:

      Would love to hear your protocol for “reset” using this product.

  11. Jack Kelsall says:

    I love you Ben, but it’s clear that animal products shouldn’t play any part in a healthy diet. Doctors like Michael Greger and Garth Davis do a really good job of filtering through the studies, and disregarding those that have been funded and manipulated by the meat, dairy and egg industry. Plus, I think we should be looking at the longest lived populations throughout history such as the bluezones, rather than our ‘paleo’ ancestors, who surprisingly still consumed carbohydrates as their main food source. The longest lived people within all of the five bluezones were in fact the FULL vegans in Loma Linda California. Also, from a fitness perspective, we see some of the highest performing athletes and worlds strongest men following a fully plant based diet, which shows we do not need meat to perform at high level physically – worth checking out the new documentary ‘Gamechangers’.

  12. Neil Paterson says:

    Hi Ben, absolutely fantastic podcast, thank for the great content.

    I’m still a bit confused about under and over methalation.

    I have the heterozygous C677t version of the MTHFR gene, does this make me an under methalator, so I should be following a higher musclemeat, lower vegetable diet?

    1. Believe you would need to be homozygous for that gene. We can dig into it on a consult if you'd like, as I would need to see your raw results: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching/

  13. Hayley says:

    Hey Ben,

    I’m currently studying a bachelor degree in food and nutrition to one day be able to help people like you do!

    Your podcasts inspire and intrigue me and I am constantly searching through study after study to learn more about the topics you and your guests discuss.

    I have one problem though…i’m all the way down in Australia and I struggle to be able to access the resources and products you guys have available. Specifically the testing resources. Do you know of anyone in Australia, whom you can vouch for, who offers the genetic and microbiome testing??

    Cheers

    Hayley

    1. I'm not positive on that one unfortunately. I'd recommend contacting a company like Viome directly and see if they ship to Australia. You could also post this question to the Kion Facebook Community. It's collection of like minded people from all over the world… Facebook.com/groups/GetKion/

      1. Hayley says:

        Roger that, I think i’ve found one in Aus :-)
        Looking forward to part 2!

  14. Mary says:

    Ben you are brilliant and a fabulous teacher. I have followed you since episode 92 and you have made my life better physically and spiritually. Thank you for all of the time, effort, and self body abuse. LOVE the solo podcasts so give us more from your brilliant mind. Big thanks to Jessa too. I’m 100% Northern European. Got similar SNPs as you.

  15. James says:

    Hey! I love the Article and the podcasts Thanks.

    I am thinking of going to a weight loss program and I found this website www.fondexpromo.com. I have read several reviews about it, but I cannot make up my mind because of the price. I understand it has a tone of features compared to some others programs. But I really would love an experts opinion on this matter.

    Kind Regards

    1. I'm not familiar with it, so I can't really give a fair judgement…

  16. Gunnar says:

    Hey Ben! I was wondering, after having listened to so many of your podcasts, as well as reading a lot of the stuff you write.

    You talk about sparing your carbohydrates, and then having them all later in the day, as a way to utilise healthy fats and still maintaining performance as an athlete. (An example being your brother’s diet, that you shared with us).

    As I am forced to work out in the mornings due to a busy schedule, should this still work, or would I have to switch my carbohydrate intake to earlier in the day, (after the workout? For glycogen purposes?).

    Please note that when I say workout, I mean olympic weightlifting/sprinting.

    1. If you're doing intense morning workouts it would probably be a good idea to add in your carbs either before, during or after workout… Then go the rest of the day without to allow your blood sugar to stabilize

  17. Mark says:

    Are there Doctors/nutritionists that will coordinate all this testing, interpret the results and make recommendations? If so, what is the best way to find them? Specifically looking for a “One Stop Shop” in Houston, TX.

    1. Yes! the key is to identify an effective healthcare advocate. Once you identify such a professional, they'll likely be able to recommend other like minded health professionals you need. Here are a few directories that may help you find a good functional medicine or naturopathic practitioner in your area:

      • FunctionalMedicine.org – Find a Practitioner, including MDs, DC, ND, etc.

      • aihm.org/find – to find an integrative health practitioner

      • acatoday.org – chiroprator – Use their "Find a Doctor" tool to use their directory

      • Naturopathic.org – Use their "Find a Doctor" tool to use their directory

      • Undoctoredhealth.com – Dr. Davis is developing his own directory of practitioners

      • HealthProfs.com

      • PrimalDocs.com

      • PaleoPhysiciansNetwork.com

  18. Clint says:

    Hey Ben- loved the episode! Quick question about Northern European descent- what were the typical carb sources from that area? I’ve done the blood testing and have the genetic predisposition to not thrive on a high saturated fat diet. I want to include more ancestral carbs to the mix. My wife has legit celiacs disease so that will limit wheat products. I’ve been including sweet potatoes, and lower sugar fruit. My other thoughts were properly prepared oats and regular white potatoes.

    1. Jessica says:

      This describes me too- I have the gene that apparently means I don’t do carbs well OR saturated fat, which the paleo diet is full of. I personally have been having a lot of cold water fish, dark leafy greens, cabbage, kale and other things like that. I can imagine my ancestors clinging to the god-forsaken cold and wet craggy rocks of the British Isles and Scandinavia eating those things. Coconut milk, not so much. I did spend some time researching the traditional Scandinavian diet and found some interesting books on it, but they all seem post-Columbian. Let me know if you find any good resources!

  19. justhealthythings says:

    Hey I’m thinking about losing weight in 2019 but not know which program to use. What do you think about this product: https://theredteamethod.home.blog/

  20. Mike G says:

    Hi Ben,

    Great episode! I am of Greek descent and very interested in following an ancestral diet. Do you have any recommendations on a good book about the Mediterranean diet?

    Thanks!

    1. Check out this week's new article you'll find what you are looking for there: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/nutritio…

  21. Brad says:

    Another great podcast, keep the solosodes coming, they are a great compliment to your interview podcasts. I enjoy hearing more about how you are applying all you read to your daily routine. Listening to your podcasts over the years has made a big difference in my fitness and wellness. Cheers.

  22. Elizabeth Agge says:

    Hi Ben thanks for. a great episode. However I am drooling in anticipation for the vegan keto information. After 3 months of working hard on a plant based keto diet I have never gotten into ketosis for even one day. I have looked at several videos on YouTube but still without luck. While the gurus recommend not counting calories but to avoid eating low calorie non offer a sample caloric guideline. I’ve lost 110 pounds but over the last two years I cannot lose the final 15 pounds.
    I am.looking forward to getting these various tests you’ve outlined so thanks for that!
    Also any brand of vegan or pescaterian “bone” broth in your toolbox?

    Thanks
    Liz Agge

    P.S. A friend recommended your podcasts in August and thanks to you I started eating high fat in preparation for my first marathon (NYC on November 4) and finished it. Thank you so much!

  23. Alex says:

    Hi Ben, great podcast. I appreciate the podcast comes from the US and you are based over there but after listening to this podcast I’m intrigued to allergies and what might work for me. I was paleo for about a year, have a sedentary job but train heavy 4 times a week. I saw a gut health specialist back in May and have followed his supplementation and diet since then but he was unable to give me any decent testing centres in the UK, I wondered if you had any recommendations? No worries if not but thought it would be worth an ask.

    On a side note I have a chronic adductor issue so going to start drinking bone broth and see what happens.

  24. Scott says:

    Yo Ben! Amazing podcast. Absolutely loved the breakdown on on omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Ate it up like a warm bowl of pho! We need more breakdown on fatty acids in the future! Any how have you heard any recomendations for eating id you are prodominatly irish. You mentioned many people groups but I didn’t heard anything about us Celts. And I mean before potato were brought to Ireland. Any thoughts would be well appreciated! Thanks for all your work, you have greatly improved me and my wife’s rock climbing abilities and recovery times. We are legends in our climbing gym. Thanks Ben. Shalom brotha!

  25. Hunter says:

    Mr G-

    Great episode as always, lots to digest and hopefully now in a more bio-individually approved manner! Question, your protocol for the Elemental Diet, could you link to the exact directions/products/protocol you use with your clients? That would be amazing. Thanks for all of the stellar work you do as always!

    1. Rebecca says:

      Maybe this will help :)
      https://chriskresser.com/can-a-short-term-elemental-diet-help-treat-sibo/

      http://www.siboinfo.com/uploads/5/4/8/4/5484269/homemade_elemental_diet_options.pdf

    2. That is private information and it is custom tailored to each client, but I always use Thorne SGS: https://getkion.com/shop/meal-replacement/thorne-…

  26. Alden Huckvale says:

    Have you reviewed the “Garden of Eating” nutrition and cookbook that is available at Amazon now?
    I’ m very interested in your opinion on this book as it seems to meet all the requirements you lay out in this podcast.

  27. Sven says:

    Ben, despite my huge mancrush on you I must tell you, the new intro music really suck. The difference between the old one and the new one is like the difference in Glutathione production after a proper coffee enema.

    Other than that, excellent solosode!

  28. Ryan says:

    Hey Ben,

    As someone who enjoys eating a lot of nuts and seeds, I found the part about excess omega-6s potentially leading to inflammation particularly relevant.

    How can one find out whether they haves upregulation for the elongation of omega-6s?

    1. Yep, a genetic test. 23 and me or Youtrients. Links in the shownotes!

      1. Ryan says:

        Thanks Ben. I did 23 and me, but was having a hard time locating the relevant rsIDs and risk alleles. I have since found this very useful article (https://www.geneticlifehacks.com/omega-3-vs-omega-6-fats-and-your-genes/) which others can use in combination with their 23 and me raw data to see if they have any genetic variants on the FADS1 and FADS2 genes.

  29. Lornna Olson says:

    What a fantastic podcast- thank you for taking the time to do this. I very much look forward to part 2. I’m curious to learn if you will mention Valter Longo’s Fasting Mimicking Diet as a means to fast without actually eating no food.

  30. Roy says:

    Hey THANKS Ben! A GREAT summary of the next steps I will be taking to sort out the rest of my life conditions. I am so glad we have the ability to compile so much data from testing. Your work has helped me in ssso many areas of my life. I can’t wait to hear part two.

  31. Ryan says:

    Which one of these tests will help you determine if you are undermethylated or overmethylated?

  32. Floyd Aldrich says:

    So if we can’t afford the $1200 for labs or most of the other testing ,are we out of luck?

    1. No. Those are the "cadillac" of tests that I recommend and they are fully comprehensive, but there are plenty of other options.

  33. Preston says:

    This is a brilliant podcast. Really need more of this in the diet/nutrition space. That is, having a template to determine the optimized individual/tailored diet is really important. I hope there is a book forthcoming from you on this ;-) (no one is really doing that in the diet space in an really good methodical way – background/understanding, assessing your predisposition through genetics-testing-experience, diet options, laying out your diet plan, how to make it easy/hacks, etc — you seem to be doing that in this podcast series). I’ll be following this framework walong with your KionU training with my clients!!

    Thanks!!!

  34. Dale AKA Healthnut says:

    Ben, I did a 23andMe test twice and both came back as no data available. I was adopted and still dont know anything about my ancestry. Any other recommended tests?

    I am 47, weigh 145 from 162 at 5’9 after the Dr. Pompa cleanse Jan – March 2018. After 5 ingroinal hernia surgeries now with mesh, ruptured ACL that was repaired with my hamstring graft, my knee is still unstable with fast movement beyond 8 seconds.

    I am going to do a series of blood tests recommended above and reach out to you for a recommended diet to cleanse and put on healthy weight with muscle. Any feedback is appreciated.

    1. Yes the Youtrients one: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/youtrients

      Listen to my podcast with the founder here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacki…

      I also highly recc booking a consult with me. I can definitely help. Options here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching/

  35. shona says:

    Hi , you mention quite a few ancestral diets but what diet should someone from an Indian/ pakistani ancestory follow?

  36. Floyd Aldrich says:

    I don’t see a link to the podcast?

    1. Jana says:

      me neither!

    2. patty says:

      me neither! where’s the link to listen to the podcast?

    3. James Newcomb says:

      Hey all, got it all sorted. The link is now there. Sorry for the trouble.

    4. Johane Andrews says:

      https://player.fm/series/ben-greenfield-fitness/what-should-i-eat-the-ultimate-podcast-guide-to-choosing-the-perfect-diet-for-you-part-1

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