Overview: Personalized Meal Plans to Suit Your Unique Gene Profile
In 2016, GenoPalate, a health and wellness company, introduced a unique approach to nutrition by providing personalized nutritional insights based on an individual’s specific genetic makeup. You have the option to take GenoPalate’s own DNA test or upload your raw DNA data if you have previously taken a test with AncestryDNA.
Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition is ineffective, GenoPalate conducts an analysis of over 100 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in your DNA. This analysis allows them to understand how your body metabolizes different foods, enabling them to offer personalized meal plans and dietary recommendations to support your overall health and weight loss goals.
It’s important to note that at present, GenoPalate’s services are only available within the United States, which may limit access for potential international customers.
Now, let’s delve into how GenoPalate works and what you can expect to receive from their services.
5 Standout Features of GenoPalate
1. Analyzes 100+ SNPs
GenoPalate’s lab looks at more than 100 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These are the most common genetic variants that occur between people. By analyzing these biological markers, scientists are able to discern how your body uniquely processes different types of food.
2. Nutritional Analysis of Hundreds of Foods
Besides looking at your DNA, the scientists at GenoPalate have carefully studied lots of different foods. This helps GenoPalate suggest the best foods for you, that can meet your personal needs and give you the most helpful nutrients.
3. Recommendations Based on Solid Research
The results and nutritional recommendations are based on solid genetic research. According to the company, GenoPalate only selects “evidence-based research from high-impact clinical trials and population studies that directly link positive health outcomes with nutritional genomics.” Plus, GenoPalate’s labs are CLIA and CMS certified.
4. In-Depth and Actionable Insights
The in-depth, actionable insights include recommended macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). The “Your Foods” section of your report lists more than 85 foods that you may benefit from eating more of, based on your unique genetic profile.
5. Personalized Recipes
One step beyond recommending specific foods, GenoPalate also offers an add-on of five personalized recipes (for an additional cost). Choose if you want to receive breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes, and whether you have any cuisine preferences (e.g., Asian, Mediterannean, Mexiican) or dietary restrictions (e.g., lactose-free, vegan, gluten-free.
How GenoPalate Works: Saliva Sample from a Cheek Swab, No Blood Required
Using the GenoPalate test kit is a breeze. All you need to do is a quick and painless cheek swab to collect saliva – no need to worry, it’s really straightforward. Just gently rub the swab inside your cheek a few times, then pop it into a vial with a preservative solution.
Keep in mind, though, that before collecting your sample, avoid eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum, or rinsing your mouth for at least 30 minutes.
Inside each kit, you’ll find detailed instructions, a biohazard bag for your sample, and a pre-addressed box to send it back for analysis. After you’ve mailed your sample, kick back and wait for GenoPalate to give you the green light that your report is good to go.
Understanding Your GenoPalate Results
In a GenoPalate report, you will find a comprehensive analysis of your nutrition profile, providing insights into why it is beneficial to eat according to your genetic makeup. The report links specific parts of your genes to nutrition and delivers science-based recommendations associated with positive health outcomes based on your personalized genetic information. Here’s what you can expect to find in a GenoPalate report:
- Optimal Intake for 23 Nutrients: The report provides recommendations for the ideal intake of 23 essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. This information helps you understand your specific nutritional needs based on your genetic profile.
- 85+ Best Foods for Personalized Nutrition: GenoPalate identifies the 85+ best foods that align with your genetic makeup, allowing you to build a personalized meal plan. These food recommendations are carefully selected based on their compatibility with your genes and their potential health benefits for you.
- Food Sensitivities: The report also highlights any potential food sensitivities you may have, specifically focusing on lactose (lactose intolerance), gluten, alcohol, and caffeine. Understanding these sensitivities empowers you to make informed choices about the foods you consume.
The report’s nutrient list encompasses various categories such as saturated fat, carbohydrates, protein, and calcium. Additionally, the recommended foods are divided into 16 categories, including fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and cheeses, providing a comprehensive selection to build a well-rounded and genetically tailored meal plan.
To guide you through the report, GenoPalate includes informative sections:
- A Crash Course in Genetics: This section offers an introductory explanation of the genes analyzed by GenoPalate and how they are related to food processing. It helps you understand the scientific basis behind the recommendations provided.
- Your Genes + Nutritional Science = Your Foods: The first section dives deeper into the specific genes analyzed, their prevalence in the population, and the recommended intake of nutrients associated with those genes. It establishes the connection between your genetic profile, nutritional science, and subsequent food recommendations. The second part of the report explains the rationale behind the recommended foods over others. The final section of the report presents a categorized list of recommended foods. These categories encompass a wide range of food types and align with your genetic profile. The food recommendations are generated through the analysis of hundreds of options, ultimately matching you with the ones that best suit your genetic makeup.
You’ll be notified by email when your unique report is ready to be viewed via your online account. If you uploaded raw DNA data from another testing company (AncestryDNA or 23andMe), this should be within one to three weeks. If you took GenoPalate’s own test, it will probably take four to six weeks to see your results.
The 20-page report is pretty attractive despite the very in-depth information it contains. It starts with a “Crash Course” on genetics that tells you how your genes and nutritional needs are interrelated.
The report details how your specific gene variants affect the amounts of various nutrients (such as fats) you should be eating:
The report goes on to recommend specific foods that will benefit you. For example, I was encouraged to consume more carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and a few key vitamins found in certain fruits, vegetables, and grains:
GenoPalate prioritizes privacy and takes several measures to ensure the protection and confidentiality of customer genetic data. Here’s an overview of GenoPalate’s privacy practices based on the provided reference:
- DNA Extraction and Testing: GenoPalate partners with a third-party-owned lab to extract DNA from saliva samples collected by customers using their testing kit. The testing kit is registered with a barcode, separating the customer’s identity from the testing results. This helps maintain anonymity and privacy throughout the process.
- Data Encryption: GenoPalate encrypts customer genetic data, adding an extra layer of security to safeguard the information during storage and transmission.
- Retention of Genetic Information and DNA Samples: Third-party laboratories retain customer genetic information and DNA samples for a period of ten years. However, customers have the option to withdraw their consent for research and biobanking at any time. If consent is withdrawn, GenoPalate ensures that the data and DNA samples are deleted within 90 days.
- Non-Sharing of Identifiable Genetic Data: GenoPalate commits to not sharing customer genetic data with third parties as long as the data remains identifiable. This protects the privacy of customers’ genetic information.
- Sharing with Government, Law Enforcement, and Professional Advisors: GenoPalate reserves the right to share genetic data with government authorities, law enforcement agencies, and professional advisors when required by applicable laws and regulations.
- Acquisition and Data Sharing: In the event that GenoPalate is acquired by another company, customer data, including genetic information, may be shared with the subsequent company owners. This ensures that the new owners can continue providing services and support to customers.
- Sharing of Non-Identifiable Genetic Data: GenoPalate may share genetic data once it is de-identified and can no longer be linked back to individual customers. This aggregated and anonymized data may be used for research purposes or shared with partners and researchers to contribute to scientific advancements in the field of genetics and nutrition.
GenoPalate Pricing: High Prices Unless You Already Have Raw DNA Data
Although there are one or two more expensive competitors, it’s hard to recommend GenoPalate to anyone on a tight budget. Small discounts may be available occasionally. However, the best way to save money is to upload your raw DNA data if you’ve already taken a test with either AncestryDNA or 23andMe. You’ll get exactly the same report as a result.
If you do decide to pay for GenoPalate’s services, you’ll find that it accepts payments in US dollars via most major credit cards. Refunds are available only at the company’s discretion.
GenoPalate Customer Support: Limited Self-Support Resources, but Rapid Email Responses
GenoPalate’s website includes a decent set of frequently asked questions, arranged into logical categories. That’s as good as it gets for self-support resources since the blog is rather bare and there seems to be no knowledge center. The company’s social media pages are active, but probably won’t be of any real help.
You can contact the company by live chat and telephone (during business hours), email, or postal mail. I received relatively rapid responses to my emailed questions:
The Report Could Be Worth the Cost
GenoPalate is not for the cost-conscious customer. However, if money is not your main concern – and you’re solely interested in dietary insights – you might quite like the attractively presented, personalized nutrition report.
If you already have raw DNA data from a previous provider, you probably have nothing to lose by uploading it here to get exactly the same report at a lower price. In this case, it could be worth the cost, just beware that you’ll still have to pay extra if you want personalized recipes.
How accurate is GenoPalate?
While no DNA test can boast 100% accuracy, GenoPalate takes the appropriate steps to ensure that your results are of the highest possible quality. All samples are analyzed in a CLIA-certified lab. The GenoPalate scientists look at more than 100 genetic markers that provide insight into how you uniquely process different nutrients.
The information that is included in your report has all been derived from evidence-based research from high-impact clinical trials and accredited studies. Bottom line? You can rest assured that the recommendations that you receive – if followed properly – will help you meet and maintain your personal health goals.
How does GenoPalate compare to other Diet and Nutrition DNA kits?
Whereas GenoPalate focuses solely on how your unique DNA influences your diet and nutrition, many competitors – including DNAfit and Vitagene – also include fitness insights and recommendations, and even ancestry reports. GenoPalate is much more specialized and provides deeper insights within this single category.
GenoPalate is also different than competitors like Everlywell or LetsGetChecked, which require a finger prick blood test. These companies are measuring your current levels of vitamins and minerals, whereas GenoPalate determines whether you are genetically predisposed to a deficiency. One issue with the blood tests is that these levels naturally fluctuate over time; for example, you may typically have an iron deficiency, but it will not show up on your report.
Some additional key differences also set GenoPalate apart and could make it the best choice for you. For example, it is one of the only vendors that provide actual recipes (for an additional cost) based on your personal dietary requirements; most others will only provide recommendations to include or avoid certain ingredients.
How much does a GenoPalate test cost?
There are a couple of different options when it comes to ordering a GenoPalate test kit. You can order the report on its own or along with five recipes; you can also save money by uploading existing DNA data (assuming you’ve already taken a test with 23andMe or AncestryDNA).
GenoPalate is more expensive than many of its competitors, with a starting price of €176.09. Depending on whether you can upload raw data and if you’d like to include the recipes, you can expect to spend anywhere from about $70 to well over $200.
This test may not be worth it to the most budget-conscious buyers. However, if you are solely focused on insights and recommendations for your diet (fitness not included), then it may be worth the high(er) price tag.
Is it safe to take a GenoPalate test?
From a privacy standpoint, it is safe to submit a DNA sample to GenoPalate. When you submit your sample, your DNA will be de-identified and encrypted in the company database. This means that not even the scientists analyzing your sample or creating your report will see any of your personal information. After your report has been generated, your sample is disposed of in accordance with CLIA-standards. You can also request that your GenoPalate account be deleted.
Who should consider taking a GenoPalate test?
GenoPalate definitely provides a high-quality product, but it might not be for everyone. You should consider taking the test if you are primarily interested in diet and nutrition insights, since fitness and ancestry reports are not included. This could also be a great option if you would find value in personalized recipes, since many competitors do not offer this feature (although, you will have to pay extra).
Since this report is on the more expensive end, it may not be the best option if you are particularly price-sensitive. However, it should still be in your consideration set if you have already taken a test from AncestryDNA or 23andMe, since you can save money by uploading your raw DNA data.