Everything but dairy
Our modern cities are a billboard for the cross pollination of a diverse range of cultures. And how better to get to know our global neighbors than through food? No city can claim status as one of the greats without diversity in population and in cuisine, and it’s the Urban Grazers who can take advantage of almost all of it. “Almost all of it” with one notable exception: dairy products. As infants, we are born with high amounts of an enzyme called lactase. It’s the job of lactase to break down the sugars in milk, called lactose, so the body can use them as fuel. Urban Grazers carry genes that increase the likelihood of lactose intolerance, which puts pizza and ice cream out of reach. It also means that Italian and many popular Mexican dishes are off limits as well.
The good news, and the reason we give the name Urban Grazer to these genotypes, is they are more likely to deal well with some saturated fats in the diet. Higher histamine foods and some carbs won’t be likely to throw them off either. Urban Grazers score at the top of our fat metabolism matrix as well as the top of our carbohydrate clearance scores. When you factor in universal food rules like excluding vegetable oils, refined sugars and not overdoing it with protein, these foodies are off to the races.
What is the scientific basis for this diet? In recent studies with long term follow up, nutrigenomic assigned diets outperformed ketogenic diets by wide margins, both for weight loss and for important biomarkers such as total cholesterol and fasting blood sugar.
In addition, with a macronutrient breakdown of 35% fat, 50% carbohydrate, and 15% protein, the Urban Grazer diet sits within the ranges considered healthy by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Urban Grazer diet follows scientific consensus by focusing on complex carbohydrates as a staple, and emphasizing healthy sources of fat from nuts and seeds, and fatty fish. The Gene Food algorithm scores Urban Grazers into a category that allows for more calories to come from fat sources than some others, while still staying at or below 35% of total calories from fat.
Most closely related diet: California Keto
Primary difference with California Keto: Histamine. Urban Grazers needn’t worry about histamine, at least not genetically. Their primary exclusion beyond avoiding junk food and processed seed oils, is dairy. As a general rule, Urban Grazer will have fewer dietary restrictions than California Keto.
Biggest challenge: Urban Grazers, like all of our diet types that allow for greater amounts of fat intake, need to watch their lipids and inflammatory markers to ensure they aren’t overdoing things. Bottom line is confirm you’re a fat burning machine with your physician by measuring for important heart health markers like APOB, LDL-C, and Lp(a). Genetics are only one leg of the personal nutrition stool, we still need to see the men and women in the white lab coat for a checkup a few times a year.
Red meat friendly? Yes, small portions of grass fed beef on occasion can be a healthy part of this diet.
Keto friendly: Cyclical ketogenic diets, especially diets that are lower in saturated fats, can be healthy as occasional interventions for some people, and Urban Grazers could fit into this group. However, it is important to test for biomarkers of cardiovascular health, such as LDL-C while on a diet that is higher in fat. Further, variants in the PPARA genes may not allow for the elevation of blood ketones necessary to achieve nutritional ketosis.
Carnivore diet friendly? Nope. See our take on the carnivore diet, here.
Does this diet type handle fermented foods? Yes, all day, every day. Urban Grazer can get after the sauerkraut, natto and all the yummy kimchi.
What about pancakes and refined grains: Refined grains are, for the most part, unhealthy food for all of us, especially when oil is added. However, we can’t be perfect every meal. Urban Grazers have the carbohydrate clearance genes to handle a pancake every so often.
Go to breakfast: Eggs and avocado.