An Israeli group of scientists found that the universal diet is largely a myth because people’s bodies have surprisingly different reactions to the same foods despite those foods being touted as a ‘healthy.’
This may explain why not all diets work with all people and why some diets fail from start. A new study conducted on 800 Israeli adults showed that even if we consume the same meal our bodies metabolize it differently.
Researchers suggested that the new findings are clear evidence that universal diets are doomed to fail on large population groups, so clinicians should help their patients who want to lose weight and stay healthy with personalized diets.
High blood sugar levels were often associated with obesity and diabetes by past studies. Fortunately, we can keep track of these levels using a glucose monitor. Diabetes patients have at their disposal glycemic index (GI) charts, that rank foods depending on how much they hike blood sugar levels.
Doctors and nutrition experts alike use GI to assess how healthy a diet really is. But GI may be inaccurate because when the standard was first developed, researchers used only small groups of people to see how their bodies react to certain foods.
In the new research, scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel learned that GI is not the same for a certain type of food when it comes to all people. Scientists monitored blood glucose levels in study participants, asked them questions on dieting and other lifestyle options, took stool samples, and measured their meals via a mobile-app. Nearly 47,000 meals were measured in the process.
Their findings confirmed what previous research had found: body mass index and age greatly influences blood sugar levels after meals. But researchers found another thing – the same food may produce different responses in different individuals of the same age and BMI.
”In some cases, individuals have opposite response to one another, and this is really a big hole in the literature,”
noted Eran Segal, lead author of the study.
Segal explained that the measurements made on such a large group of people helped his team realize how inaccurate data they had on the most basic concept in their lives, i.e. what they eat.
Researchers recall that one middle-aged woman who tried all her life to lose weight and stave off diabetes through various ‘healthy’ but unsuccessful diets learned that the problem may rely with her body’s response to an otherwise healthy food.
Surprisingly, whenever she ate tomatoes her blood sugar levels spiked. This reaction was not common among her age group.
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