Certain People Burn Carbs Better Than Others

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Here’s another thing to blame mom for: if pasta makes you gain weight. A new study published in the journal Nature Genetics suggests that our genes control how well we digest carbohydrates, and this may impact your weight.

People who have the fewest copies of a specific gene called AMY1—which controls how well your body digests carbohydrates—were eight times more at risk for obesity compared to those with the most copies, report researchers.

While the gene runs in families, you won’t know if you have it. However, this further emphasizes that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. “Two people who eat the same food and live a similar lifestyle but have a different genetic makeup can experience very different results with respect to their weight and risk for disease,” says Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian in Boulder, CO. That’s why your friend might cut back on carbs and lose weight while your tummy bulge won’t budge.

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But of course it’s not only your genes. Many other factors come into play when determining your ideal diet, like your schedule, medical history, personal preferences, and cultural background, Begun adds. Thinking about how a diet will fit in with your lifestyle—and not hopping on board just because it’s the latest celeb fad—is key to successfully reaching your goals.

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