Personalized nutrition is the healthcare of the future. As more research shows how genetics and microbiome differences between individuals impact their nutritional needs, consumers are seeking more custom solutions.
This is great news for nutrition professionals who are offering a more individualized approach to health. By helping clients understand their unique needs and how to meet them, you empower them to experience optimal health.
There are many tests that individuals and clinicians can use to help identify unique nutritional needs. Today we are sharing the most popular ones amongst nutrition professionals and how you can incorporate them into your practice to help your clients thrive.
Popular Lab Tests Nutritionists Love
Nutritional genomics is a fast-growing field of research and Nutrigenomix are paving the way for the clinical application of this research. Their DNA test offers insights on health and wellness, athletic performance and fertility based on the latest scientific evidence. Research also shows that DNA-based dietary advice increases motivation and compliance so this is a great way to get your clients engaged.
Gut Health: GI-MAP
Everyone is interested in gut health right now, and with good reason! But foods that support one person's gut health can be problematic for another. Rather than giving blanket recommendations, it’s now possible to take a look at an individual’s unique microbiome and made recommendations based on that. The GI-MAP can help provide insights into your client’s intestinal health that would influence their nutritional needs.
Food Sensitivities: LEAP (MRT)
Food sensitivity tests are still controversial, but the LEAP Mediator Release Test has been widely accepted by many nutrition professionals. This test helps identify the foods causing the most inflammation in your client's body and the best foods for them to consume. This is helpful for identifying sensitivities that aren’t causing an immediate reaction but lead to chronic inflammation over time.
Nutrient Status: Micronutrient Testing
Beyond the basic nutrient blood tests your client is used to receiving from their family doctor, micronutrient testing can offer unique insights into their nutrient status. Creating a personalized nutrition plan based on the exact nutrients your client needs more of will get them excited to try foods that they may have never eaten before, and it’s a great education on the importance of variety.
As collecting specimens is outside of the scope of most nutrition professionals, these test kits are designed for at-home collection by the client. The client mails their specimen directly to the lab and the results are sent to you.
Creating Nutrition Plans Based on Test Results
Once you receive your client's test results, it's time to incorporate the results into their plan. Rather than providing your client with a list of foods to eat or avoid, you can give them a detailed meal plan that they can follow to make the dietary changes fun and easy.
That Clean Life gives you everything you need to create meal plans based on your client’s test results. You can:
- Search for recipes that eliminate food sensitivities.
- Create meal plans high in nutrients that are lacking.
- Build plans based on unique macronutrient or calorie needs.
All the resources generated with That Clean Life are branded with your logo and business information so you can continue to deliver a high-quality experience for your client.
How to Incorporate Testing Into Your Business
If you would like to incorporate one of these tests into your practice, you will need to contact the lab, apply to become a provider, provide your credentials, take relevant training, and open an account. From there, it’s time to add the testing to your services. Here are some ways nutrition professionals are doing this:
Offer testing as an up-sell.
Give your clients the option to purchase a test kit in addition to the appointments they book with you. Once you get the results, you can discuss them during a follow-up and make adjustments to their nutrition plan based on the results.
Create a high-end program including testing.
For clients looking for a personalized plan from the beginning, a high-end program that begins with testing is very appealing. When the client books the high-end program, you will first have them collect their specimens and once you have the results, you will meet and create a plan based on their unique needs. In this case, the cost of the test is included in their program when they choose to work with you.
Offer testing with follow-up as a stand-alone service.
For clients who are looking for answers, offering testing as a stand-alone service is a great way to get them in to see you. For example, you might offer food sensitivity testing with a 60-minute appointment to go over the results. At that point, the client can decide to purchase meal plans or additional appointments for support with incorporating the results.
Pricing Tip: When deciding what to charge for a lab test, factor in the cost of the test (per the lab's suggested cost to the client) plus the cost of the time you will spend interpreting it for your client. Then add the cost of any consultations or services you are including with the test. Always charge this upfront as soon as the client receives their kit!