Eat for Your Genes
The first pillar helps you recalibrate your carbohydrate, fat and protein consumption to your genetic make-up, to help you lose weight, says Dr Moalem. “The other pillars ensure you can enjoy that ideal weight over a long and healthy life.”
“Everyone, regardless of whether they’re trying to lose weight or not, can improve their genetic health by aligning what they eat and how they live with their genetic make-up,” says Dr Moalem.
“It pays to remember that while there’s been an association between weight and health for a long time, we now know that it’s not always the case – you can actually be skinny and unhealthy, leading a lifestyle that harms your DNA, which shortens your life span.”
That’s why the focus of The DNA Restart is the genes we inherit from our ancestors. “By learning to not only eat for those genes, but to take better care of them as well, through reducing inflammation and activating inherent DNA repair mechanisms, we can reset our course to health and longevity,” he says.
“Called the fifth taste, foods rich in umami qualities make you feel satisfied faster,” says Dr Moalem. Potent sources of umami include miso, tamari, dried mushrooms, yoghurt, tomatoes, prawns, Worcestershire and fish sauces, fatty fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines, and hard cheeses like parmesan.
“By incorporating some simple umami-enhancing techniques, like using whole tomatoes in your recipes because the seeds in the tomato are the richest source of umami, you can capitalise on umami’s ability to make you feel fuller, for longer,” he says.
Drink Oolong tea
Dr Moalem recommends drinking between two and four cups a day. “Oolong tea binds dietary fat and prevents your body from absorbing it, so it’s a natural and effortless way to arrive at your optimal weight.”
Rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, oolong tea can also reduce inflammation, protect your DNA from oxidative stress and encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
To get the most benefit, choose a good-quality oolong tea (look for teabags where you can see the whole leaves unfurl once the bag is submerged in water), boil the jug and then wait for a couple of minutes for the water to cool a little. Pour about 180 ml of water over a teabag and let it steep for one or two minutes. Remove the bag and drink the tea black and unsweetened.
Dr Moalem is a big advocate of ‘slow living’, which includes everything from slowing down your eating speed to developing a healthy, sleep routine.