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Vegetarianism Revisited: A Review of "The Genotype Diet"

Posted Aug 24 2008 4:43pm
I was at Barnes and Noble again, and I was flipping through a book on mixed martial arts. The name of the book escapes me, but I was reading how Randy Couture eats an "alkaline diet." Essentially, it is a diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans, but no meat or grains. If you know of Randy Couture, then you know he is a big strong fella with excellent conditioning.

I've written about my experience with vegetarianism before. I'm still on a flexible pesco-vegetarian diet, which is a fish and vegetables diet with meat and starches on occasion. Since that last post, my conclusions are still the same:

- Vegetarianism is great for conditioning. My endurance is much better on a pesco-vegetarian diet, and I don't do any cardio. I believe that cardiovascular health is much more dependent on diet than exercise.

- You give up size and muscle density as a vegetarian. Big muscular vegetarians were big and strong before they took the meat out of their diet.

I found that my genes are geared for fish and veggies after reading the book "The Genotype Diet." This book goes over 6 distinct genotypes, each with different dietary needs. The concept is that you must eat right for your genotype, otherwise you'll encounter health problems and weight gain.

At first I thought genotypes would run along racial and ethnic lines, but this is not the case. The genotypes came about from thousands of years of evolution. Some people are geared to eat a hunter's diet, some are geared for a gatherer's diet, and so on and so forth. Even though my wife and I are of the same ethnicity, she and I have completely different genotypes.

If you subscribe to the genotype diets, then this is the one major difficulty: you may find it harder to cook and eat in a family or group situation, because you'll likely have more than one genotype. What my wife and I ended up doing was creating a list of common foods we could both eat and a common list of foods we were to avoid. Although the Genotype Diet has made things more complicated, it has also made my dietary decisions much clearer.
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