Eating healthy is difficult, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or drastically change your life for the better. But in spite of this inherent difficulty, many of us strive as much as possible to consume a nutritious and balanced diet. We aim to eat foods that provide our bodies with a good amount of energy, healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, and that’s not always easy.
However, it’s important that we do make an effort because eating healthily plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight.
Unfortunately, being overweight or obese can lead to many debilitating conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Yes, we’ve all come to the conclusion that a balanced lifestyle is best but how we play that out changes from individual to individual.
Some people only eat pizza on Tuesdays, some have just one cookie every day to satisfy their cravings and some people go vegan. It’s sort of something you have to navigate on your own.
The point is: no one way is the right way. As long as you enjoy the journey, you can do what you want.
For example, we’ve seen articles come out saying you should eat pasta for breakfast or have two burgers at lunch with no damage done to your health and fitness goals (relatively speaking), so with that logic, if one really applies themselves, they could eat something that’s universally bad and still be healthy. Say, french fries.
According to a new scientific study that is definitely too good to be taken at face value, something deep fried and loaded with carbs might be the best option next time you’re cruising past the drive-thru. And it has nothing, or at least not much, to do with outrageous ratios of lettuce-to-ranch dressing.
Your new favourite scientists hail from Israel at the Weizmann Institute, and they are led by Professor Eran Segal.
They reached the very agreeable conclusion after monitoring the rise of blood sugar levels among 800 different people who consumed identical meals. They also tracked their physical activity, sleep habits, and bathroom activity.
They found that people’s bodies react very differently to the exact same foods: what causes a sharp glucose spike in one person might do nothing to the lucky guy or girl who can eat an entire serving of fries with no adverse glycemic response.
Yes, these were the findings of the study. In theory, one person can eat French fries to their heart’s content, and not feel any negative effects.
Too good to be true? One participant’s blood sugar levels spiked after eating bananas but not after eating cookies, while another participant experienced the opposite reaction. Other participants experienced a glucose spike after eating sushi, but not after eating ice-cream, and vice versa.
Mind boggling, right? Reasons people might experience different reactions to food include their genetic makeup, lifestyle, and their microbiome, an ecosystem of bacteria that triggers a response to food.
This suggests that diets built to control blood sugar, therefore curbing diabetes and obesity, should be individually tailored.
This could be why so many people don’t last long on their diets. They have followed something very specific but their body just doesn’t agree with it, so it’s very easy to revert back to your normal diet when your willpower is gone.
The researches behind the study collaborated with Dr Niv Zmora, a physician, PhD student Daphna Rothschild and research associate Dr Adina Weinberger.
The study was pretty unique in its scale and in its inclusion of the analysis of gut microbes, collectively known as the microbiome. Microbiome had recently been shown to play an important role in human health. Participants were fitted with small monitors that measured their blood sugar levels. They were asked to record everything they ate, as well as such lifestyle factors as sleep and physical activity. Overall, the researchers assessed the response of different people to more than 46,000 meals.
“The huge differences that we found in the increase of sugar levels in blood among different people who ate identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice,” said Professor Segal.
He thinks the study shows a need “to develop personal dietary recommendations that can help prevent and treat obesity and diabetes, which are among the most severe epidemics in human history”.
In avoiding those terrible diseases and tailoring diets to your own personal needs, you could look like the celebrities whose diets you were following for so long in a much shorter amount of time.
Gosh, just imagine how easy like would be if your genetic makeup allowed you to eat as much chocolate, fries, and pizza as you want with a pretty much negative effect on your health. A guy can only dream.