If you are a doctor or fitness professional, you must have come across different statements by your patients. Some of them may be myths that are deeply rooted in their minds about health and diet plans. I’m not sure about all, but any one of you must have heard a statement such as, “My friend was suggested the keto diet and she lost weight. I followed the same diet but I’m gaining weight instead of losing it.”
You understand the problem here, but they don’t and its highly difficult to make them understand where they are going wrong.
If you are the one who wants to get the answer to the question, “DOES ONE DIET FITS ALL?” then, I suggest you keep on reading; I will give a detailed answer to this question.
But the short answer is an emphatic “NO.”
I know this straight answer is not enough. I will give each detail to justify my statement with logic. I’m here to help : )
Why One Diet Doesn’t Fit All?
We all know that every person is biologically uniqe. Each human responds to the same food differently. Having said that, even identical twins who have nearly the exact same DNA have different responses to each food item they eat.
Many people, myself included, used to think that one diet suits all. Now I give it a thought and giggle up, because when I repeat it in my mind, I get to know that it is common sense that it doesn’t.
Though it is possible that one diet fits many people, it can’t fit all people.
Eran Elinac and Eran Segal conducted a comprehensive study and found that people metabolize the exact same foods in very different ways. This research had some amazing findings that I will discuss with you.
Remember that there is a difference in our genetics, lifestyle, microbes that make us respond differently to food.
This means that a healthy food for one person may not be healthy for the other person.
Prescribing or following the same kind of food by different people struggling with weight is the wrong approach.
Imagine the diversity of the human body.
Research of Elinav and Segal
Elinav and Segal enlisted 1000 people and studied their glucose levels for one week. Applicants were asked to log every sip, bite, exercise, bowel movement and sleep session in the mobile app. You must be thinking why glucose level?
Why Study Glucose level?
This research had a scientific approach, so Elinav and Segal searched extensively for the metric that they should study. Many studies indicated that weight loss carries the risk of heart disease with some diet plans. But, the fact is that many factors are involved in this. So, they searched for the metric through which they could accurately measure the weight management of the maximum number of people.
Why did they study blood glucose levels ,specifically?
High glucose levels promote hunger and weight gain. When we eat, our body digests the carbohydrates in our food in simple sugars and then releases them into the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, the cells in our body remove glucose from the blood and use it as a source of energy. The excessive sugar in our body is stored as fat; this is why we gain weight.
How it worked
As there were 1000 participants, each one of them was attached with glucose sensors. The glucose sensors tracked the glucose levels of each participant continuously for a week. Where an average person takes 50 meals per week, they had a record of 50,000 meals of 1000 participants. What they ate, drank and workout results was recorded in the mobile app. They also took blood samples of participants who ate exactly the same food. This was done so that the scientists could measure all the different effects of the same food on different people.
What did they find?
With all the data Elinav and Segal found, it was shocking to discover that all participants responded differently to foods. More people – 65 % of them – experienced glucose spikes with rice but not the ice cream. Strange right?
We are generally told by clinical dieticians that we should stop eating ice cream and instead eat carbohydrates. So now you can realize with this data that the dietary advice doesn’t help more of the patients, instead it pushes them faster to develop the same disease which her advice was meant to prevent.
The result was clear, that response to food is different to everyone. We should take the diets that maintain normal blood glucose levels.
It clearly indicated that best diet for humans doesn’t exist.
The next step taken by Elinav and Segal was personalized dietary advice.
They selected 26 participants and experimented to see whether personalized nutrition could bring down the blood glucose level. As the meals were customized, the researchers were able to lower blood sugar levels across the board. They not only observed changes in the blood glucose level, but they also observed changes in the gut bacteria, which helps us break down our food for us. They also found out that the microbiome of each individual has a significant impact on their health.. What is most exciting about the microbiome is that we can change it with a simple diet.
The researchers used an advanced machine learning algorithm to achieve rules automatically for personalized glucose responses to meals. The conclusion is that the weight loss doesn’t depend on the diet only but also on the person eating it. Therefore, there is not one diet that fits all. Your dietary failures are not your failures. This is the era of evolution and we are entering a new era of nutrition, so better that we change our thinking from “does one diet fit all” to “what is the best diet for me?”
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