If you aren’t already using any health improvement tools at home, you have to start now. Whether it’s wearable technology, meditation apps, HRV monitors, at home blood testing, etc. If you’re in the loop, you are likely aware of the recent popularity of food sensitivity testing or food intolerance tests. They are vital, and today we’ll discuss the best home food sensitivity test, why it’s important, alternatives and more.
Your internal health is an everchanging ecosystem that is affected by its environment and the things you introduce to that ecosystem. Lifestyle choices heavily influence how we feel and how smoothly everything internally is operating. From blood circulation, kidney and liver function, and inflammation. And out of all lifestyle choices, the food you eat has the greatest effect on your health.
So out of the things you CAN control, diet is the number one priority. For this reason, food sensitivity tests have become ever so popular. Everyone knows how bad fast food and Coca Cola are. But with food sensitivity testing, you can dig a lot deeper and gain insight into how your body reacts to certain food groups. It’s a tool that give us ultimate control of our health and destiny.
Just think about the metrics that clinics and health organizations use to grade the overall health in a society: obesity percentage, cholesterol, heart conditions, etc. Many of these metrics can be improved with diet optimization.
HOW DOES FOOD SENSITIVITY TESTING WORK?
Before asking yourself, which company has the best home food sensitivity test, it’s helpful to understand the different types and how they work.
DNA FOOD INTOLERANCE TEST
This is the very basic version of food sensitivity testing. You simply submit the required samples needed for a DNA test. It could be blood, mouth or nasal swab, hair or stool. The first thing these companies (Ancestry.com and 23andMe) will do is conduct a DNA test internally. Once they have figured out your background, they will simply analyze the diet of your heritage and recommend which foods to avoid based on the pallet of certain regions.
This comes from broad, general data regarding diets of every region. So if your ancestry shows your part Italian, it will outline foods they generally ate, and ones that they tend to avoid (often times because it simply wasn’t available in the region)
While this might give you a general idea and maybe answer some lingering questions you might have, it’s not personal at all. And as we know, each individual is completely unique and diets need to be constructed with a personal approach.
FOOD REACTIVITY TEST | IMMUNOGLOBULIN G
The second type of food sensitivity deals with immunoglobulin G (or IgG). Immunoglobulin is an antibody, and there are many types. i.e., Immunoglobulin G, A, E and the list goes on. IgG, however, is most prevalent in the human body. What happens when you eat anything, Immunoglobulin G levels will rise and is part of the digestion process.
As for food sensitivity, you need to send it a small blood sample. In the lab, your blood is divided in up to 100 different samples. Then, properties from different food types are introduced into each sample. For one they’ll introduce dairy, carbs into another, and so forth. Then they will analyze the reaction of immunoglobulin G. Typically an over production indicates high food sensitivity.
This is generally considered the best home food sensitivity test among consumer products. Very important to treat it as a “consumer product”.
MICROBIOME TEST FOR FOOD SENSITIVITY
Another way to test for food intolerance is using a microbiome test. Your microbiome is essentially the ecosystem inside your body that houses bacteria, microbes, viruses, fungi, etc. According to a University of Washing paper: “The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation”.
Typically conducted via stool sample, microbiome tests analyze the different bacteria that live in your microbiome. This gives potential indication to what you might be susceptible to regarding harmful foods. However the literature from consumer products is sketchy with lots of industry lingo like artificial intelligence, not to mention the lack of scientific evidence or clinical validity.
HEART RATE VARIABILITY AND DIET
The final way to test uses cutting edge wearable technology. Some companies like WHOOP, KOMODO Technologies and Oura have a heart rate variability (HRV) feature in their products. HRV is a biomarker that gives us real-time data of stress responses from your body when you ingest food.
In technical terms, heart rate variability is measuring the time difference between each successive heartbeat. This is best done using an electrocardiogram (as opposed to some consumer devices that use an optical / BPM sensor).
HRV captures stress responses from your autonomic nervous system when you eat. Once you have established your baseline HRV (your average), you can track it in the coming hours after you eat. You’re waiting for the HRV to get back to baseline as fast as possible. The longer it takes, the tougher the digestion. You might want to consider cutting the foods that slow down that process. With heart rate variability, you are trying to eliminate the number of stressors harming your body. That could be food, alcohol, pills, and excessive exercise.
WHO’S DOIN’ WHAT
23ANDME FOOD SENSITIVITY
23andMe started out doing DNA testing and moved its way towards food sensitivity testing. As discussed earlier, they use DNA and ancestorial history to recommend which foods you should eat and which foods to avoid.
The problem with this approach is that it’s least detailed. It’s not specific to you and just provides general data. To them, it’s simply about selling people another product. They are trying to create as many product lines from a DNA sample as they can.
EVERLYWELL FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST DETAILS
Everlywell is a company that develops different types of at home health kits. For the food sensitivity test, they will need a blood sample via finger prick. Then they test your Immunoglobulin G response to up to 96 types of food.
The problem with this is that clinicians and doctors hate it. It’s not clinically proven because no one know exactly how much IgG creation constitutes high intolerance. You might say doctors hate it because it means less doctor visits and they lose money. There’s some truth there, but also a lack of research on the topic while these companies are raking in millions.
VIOME MICROBIOME TEST
Viome is a company that has taken a new approach to food sensitivity testing and for that matter, overall gut health. However, microbiome testing has no proven efficacy.
The results of your microbiome test aren’t specific enough to be meaningful. And the big reason is that you cannot manipulate your microbiome into changing based on the food you eat. While other types of tests can show meaningful results to diet change, your microbiome lags. So even if you change your diet for the better, the contents of your microbiome won’t change.
KOMODO’S AIO SMART SLEEVE
The AIO Smart Sleeve is a smart compression sleeve with integrated sensors that give you a peak behind the curtains of your internal health. The Sleeve pairs to IOS and Android apps and allows you to track your HRV (among many other features) any time you please.
There’s also a history section that allows you to track HRV trends and daily stress levels. The food function is also neat. Before you take your HRV test, you input the food you ate. Then in the history you can see how your body reacts to each food.
BEST AT HOME FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST
Considering heart rate variability has been studied for decades with over 10,000 studies proving its effectiveness, it is in fact the best way to test for food sensitivity.
How so? You might ask…
You’re not going to be pricking your finger and sending I blood samples every day. But with an HRV monitor, you can do it EVERY DAY. Also, you’re getting better data from it than IgG or microbiome tests.
HRV simply gives you more data, and if you’re really interested, you will follow along and see how your body is reacting to food every day. You will start noticing trends. You’ll say “oh, I ate very late this day, the next day my HRV was low all day”, or “I’ve been eating the same salad for a few days and my energy is low, and so is my HRV.” It is priceless.
CAN’T FAKE IT
With heart rate variability, you are getting real results, un filtered, every single day. As opposed to sending your sample to a “lab” that takes 3-4 weeks to process. We have no idea what happens at these labs. Combine that with the fact that IgG and microbiome testing isn’t supported by majority of health professionals, it doesn’t make sense.
This is kind of a no-brainer. Most food sensitivity tests are $150 and up, and that’s for one time. The AIO Smart Sleeve costs less than $150, comes with a free app and you can use it every day for years.
So, which of these is the best at home food sensitivity test? We’re not going to recommend a product, but when it comes to which method is best, the answer is clear. Heart rate variability gives you so much more than the other options. Not only can you use it for food sensitivity, but it has tons of other features as well. You can track workout recovery, daily stress levels, sleep quality, how medication affects you and more.
It doesn’t really matter which product you get. It could be Apple, Fitbit, WHOOP, OURA or AIO Smart Sleeve. They all have the feature, and each has their own unique way of presenting HRV data.