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April 2, 2008

In 1956 Roger Williams published Biochemical Individuality, asserting that individuality permeates each part of the human body. This book explained how personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, composition of bodily fluids and cell structure influence your overall health. Each person, Williams wrote, has genetically determined and highly individualistic nutrition requirements. This theory influenced some independent-thinking minds in the nutrition world but is still largely ignored by the mainstream.

We are too individualistic to eat the same exact food. Ever notice that men eat very differently than women? Children, teens and adults all have very different preferences. People who work in an office eat differently than those who do physical labor. People eat according to their age, whether they are 25, 55 or 85.

Our personal tastes and preferences, natural shapes and sizes, blood types, metabolic rates and genetic backgrounds influence what foods will and won’t nourish us. So, when the experts say, “tomatoes are good for you” or “red meat is unhealthy,” it’s too much of a generalization. One person’s food is another person’s poison and that’s why fad diets don’t work in the long run. They are not based on the reality that we all have different dietary needs. 


About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.