Confused about the numerous diets in the marketplace?

Ketogenic, Paleolithic, Mediterranean, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), MIND (mix of DASH and the Mediterranean), Gluten-Free, Anti-Inflammatory, Atkins, The Zone, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw Food, Flexitarian, Pescetarian, Nutritarian, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Low-Fat, Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Calorie, Whole 30, Ornish, TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes), Mayo Clinic, Volumetrics, HMR (Home Meal Replacement), Biggest Loser, CICO (Calories In Calories Out), Dukan, and etc…

Worried about silent heart disease or stroke?

  • Heart disease (heart attack and/or stroke) is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  • One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  • In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
  • About 1 in 5 heart attacks is silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.
  • Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds; and every 4 minutes, someone dies of stroke.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over.

Concerned about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?

  • Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds.
  • More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million.
  • And, in the U.S. Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased 16% during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

There are literally thousands of diets. Some are for losing weight, while others are for gaining weight, lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar, controlling blood pressure, living a long and healthful life, and many other reasons, i.e., auto-immunity/anti-inflammatory and etc.

What if your genetics played a role in your overall health? What you choose to eat? Would this make a difference in how you live your life?

Many people try different diets and with varying degrees of success. Some get great results.

Others throw up their hands. Have you ever wondered why certain diets work for some but not all people?  There is a scientific rationale, and it may absolutely be influenced by your genes.

My father and mother-in-law passed away with heart disease and dementia. What if I could have made a difference in the outcomes?

One of my patients is an athlete. He recently struggled with weight loss. In the athletic

arena, there is the high carbohydrate / low fat group. Then, there is the low carbohydrate / high fat group. Or let’s eat a lot of protein and no carbohydrates or fats.

Well, in my studies the last two years, I learned about some interesting genetic studies.

  • The Heart Attack Gene
  • Atrial Fibrillation Gene
  • APOE Gene (Apolipoprotein E)

While the heart attack gene is important, the genetic test which interested me was the APOE gene. On a simple level, there are three groups: APOE2, APOE 3 and APOE4.

Most people (60 – 75%) are APOE3. And so, maintaining a balanced healthy diet, like the Mediterranean diet, is the acceptable choice for this group.

The challenge involves individuals with APOE2 (~5%) and APOE4 (~20%).

An APOE2 person requires a relatively high fat (30% – 35%) / low carbohydrate diet.

My athlete’s genotype is APOE2. A high carbohydrate diet does not benefit him and creates increased inflammation. After starting a healthy and relatively high fat / low carbohydrate diet, he lost six pounds in one week. And, he had a significant improvement in his energy level.

The APOE4 person is more complex. These individuals need to watch their fat intake, thus limiting healthy fats to no more than 20% of the daily caloric intake.

Here is an example: With 1,500 calories a day, the fat intake should not exceed 300 calories.

Also, APOE4 individuals need to be vigilant about foods which cause inflammation, including the elimination of alcohol.

This APOE4 group can be at higher risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

What if I had known this sooner? Could I have made a difference in the outcome for my father and mother-in-law?

But, now I have the tools to help other people.

If you know your genetics, then the changes you make in your lifestyle can have a great impact on your overall health.

In terms of weight management, how you eat and how you exercise (in short, your lifestyle) plays an important role between your genetic make-up and your ultimate bodyweight.  With variations in genes, each of us responds differently to diet and exercise, thus, it is possible to tailor nutrition and workout plans accordingly.

Here is a one-day sample of a nutritional strategy for the APOE2 person (~1,000 calories):


1/2 cup(s) 41 cal

oatmeal prepared with steel cut oats
1/4 cup(s) 150 cal

cashew milk
2/3 cup(s) 100 cal

1/2 oz 99 cal


1 large 110 cal

smooth peanut butter, no added salt
1 Tbsp 94 cal


turkey breast (cooked)
2oz 154 cal

romaine lettuce
3 leaf 3 cal

1/2 cup(s) 16 cal

1/2 avocado 161 cal

1/2 cup(s) 3 cal


broccoli (boiled)
1cup(s} 55 cal

avocado oil    
2 tsp 60 cal

halibut fish (cooked)  
2oz 63 cal

Here is a one-day sample of a nutritional strategy for the APOE3 person (~1,500 calories):


cottage cheese 4%
1/2 cup(s) 110 cal

egg (hard boiled) 
1 large 78 cal

5-grain honey whole wheat bread
2 slices 220 cal

1&1/2 cup(s) 124 cal


romaine lettuce
2 cup(s) 16 cal

extra virgin olive oil 
1 Tbsp 120 cal

lemon juice
1 Tbsp 3 cal

1/2 cup(s) 3 cal

potato (with skin, boiled)
8 oz 177 cal

1&1/2 cup(s) 40 cal

chicken breast (cooked)
3 oz 140 cal


1 cup(s) 33 cal

extra virgin olive oil  
1 Tbsp 120 cal

lemon juice    
1 Tbsp 3 cal

white beans (boiled)  
1/2 cup(s) 127 cal

salmon (cooked)
3 oz 130 cal

brown rice (cooked)
1/2 cup(s) 109 cal

Here is a one-day sample of a nutritional strategy for the APOE4 person (2,000 calories):


oatmeal prepared with steel cut oats
3/4 cup(s) 450 cal

1 cup(s) 83 cal

2 large 182 cal


2 medium 89 cal

cranberry kombucha
1&1/2 cup(s) 84 cal

low fat cottage cheese1%
1&1/4 cup(s) 203 cal


ancient grains snack crackers
1&1/2 oz 179 cal

baby carrots
1/2 cup(s) 16 cal

Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp 15 cal

corn tortilla, no added salt
2 1/2 tortilla 144 cal

turkey breast (cooked)
4 oz 154 cal


mixed vegetables (boiled)
2 cup(s) 118 cal

wild rice (cooked)
2 cup(s) 331 cal

shrimp (cooked)
6 oz 202 cal

By understanding how your body metabolizes macronutrients, i.e., carbs, fats and protein, consider investigating your APOE Gene status. This will allow for a more precise nutritional plan. Previously, a lot of these decisions would have been based on guesswork. This approach can offer you the lean, healthy physique you desire, along with securing your brain and heart health.

It’s important to know your APOE gene! Be proactive by aligning yourself with a knowledgeable healthcare provider that offers this and other comprehensive testing. If I can be of any service, please reach out to me by completing the Healthspan Quiz at

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only. It is not intended or implied to be a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a qualified, licensed medical professional. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this article with other sources and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.

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