Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 17 Nov 2018 12am







    Saturday, November 17, 2018-12:18:42A.M.






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Genetics and island diet

MOST islanders follow the advice of experts who say that there is one diet that will help everyone.

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From left, Tapita Alokoa, Mariann Caminero and Christy Sakaziro.  Photo by Antonia LeskosekFrom left, Tapita Alokoa, Mariann Caminero and Christy Sakaziro. Photo by Antonia Leskosek
In Micronesia, we are told to eat local food for healthy living. Locals interviewed by this writer agree. They believe that people can stay healthy if they consume local food. They said they grew up eating fresh fish and produce and that they gained weight after they started eating foreign processed food.

Tapita Alokoa, a native of the Federated States of Micronesia, said local fresh food has more nutrients than imported preserved food.

How our bodies respond to a particular diet depends on an individual genetic type. Texas A&M researchers found that one diet really doesn’t fit all, and what works for some may not be best for others.

Their research used five different diet styles on four subjects: American-style diet (higher in fat and refined carbs, especially corn); Mediterranean (with wheat and red wine extract); Japanese (with rice and green tea extract); ketogenic, or Atkins-like (high in fat and protein with very few carbs); and “standard commercial chow.”

Although some so-called healthy diets did work well for most individuals, one of the four genetic types did very poorly when eating Japanese-like diet, for example.

The researchers said this indicates that a diet that makes one individual lean and healthy might have the opposite effect on another.

William Barrington, PhD, said their “goal going into this study was to find the optimal diet. But really what we’re finding is that it depends very much on the genetics of the individual and there isn’t one diet that is best for everyone.”