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GenoPlate: Crafting your diet based on your DNA

Posted at 10:23 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 23:23:44-05

MILWAUKEE- A Milwaukee start-up company believes your genes may be the key to the secret of weight loss. 

Sherry Zhang knows molecular biology. For the last 10 years, Zhang has researched and worked in the lab to create GenoPlate. The Milwaukee based start-up gives personalized nutritional advice based on your genetic makeup.

"I want to change how people have access to the biological information that is just sitting there in their body," Zhang said. 

Zhang believes our DNA is key to not only losing weight but living a healthier lifestyle.

"All these fad diets, low carb are produced on certain generalized knowledge. that knowledge can be very good but the difference we bring into the picture is how does it relate to you," said Zhang.

Zhang says the process is simple: Order a DNA test kit, spit in the test tube then send it to the lab and let the science do the work.

"Think about the molecular differences in our bodies that will predispose us to the same foods different outcomes," Zhang said.

Vicki Schroeder was willing to give GenoPlate a try.

"Evidently the genotype I have is from a group of people who had to survive famine. That is also what keeps you from being able to lose weight easily," said Schroeder. "I never had a road map that made sense to me personally."

A personalized road map Schroeder says that has her consuming less.

"The amount of calories I am supposed to be consuming right now is about what you get with a Big Mac, so that was surprising," she said. 

GenoPlate is also helping Schroeder making more informed choices about the types of foods she's eating.

"Even scallops I thought scallops would be bad on this diet and shrimp and I really avoided them. I found out I can have them now and I didn't realize I could have them before," she said. 

Olivia Johnson, a registered dietitian at Aurora St. Luke's, is not opposed to the discovery of DNA diet plans. However, she does caution people not to think this is a quick fix.

"It's missing one key thing that is your current lifestyle. So, for example, do you not feel super comfortable in the kitchen do you need to eat healthy on a budget do you have trouble finding time to exercise," said Johnson.

Meanwhile, Zhang and her team admit they don't know it all, but believe interrupting your DNA can help you take a more intelligent approach to a healthy lifestyle.

"We have a robust knowledge we can start helping people understand their own biology and making the choices tailored to their bodies," Zhang said.