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A group of scientists may have just found why diets fail and some foods that help a person lose weight can have the opposite effect in another person. According to a recent research paper, dieting needs to be customized to have results.
Scientists were puzzled why some of their subjects had certain reactions to specific foods while others did not. For example, a woman had blood sugar spikes every time she ate tomatoes. Tomatoes are recommended by dietitians for their low-fat and nutritious content.
The latest study, which involved 800 people, revealed that we are very different in our responses to identical meals. Researchers were able to track these responses by the variations in the volunteers’ blood sugar levels throughout a day.
Each participant was asked to wear a wristband that monitored their glucose levels every five minutes for seven straight days. They were also asked to provide stool samples for further analysis. The team used the samples to map the participants’ gut bacteria and track any changes in it.
Scientists were shocked with the wide variety in participants’ metabolic responses to identical meals. For example, in some people eating sushi boosted risk of diabetes more than eating ice cream.
Plus, that woman learned the hard way that what she once believed to be totally healthy was in fact boosting her blood sugar levels and, thus, diabetes risk. While none of the study participants had diabetes, some were borderline pre-diabetics.
“[…] in some cases, individuals have opposite responses to one another — and this is really a big hole in the literature,”
noted Eran Segal, lead author of the study and researcher with of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Furthermore, items that hike blood sugar levels are especially dangerous because they can lead to diabetes, excessive weight gain, impaired kidney and liver function, eye problems, cardiovascular disease, and many more.
Many weight-loss diets strive to normalize blood sugar levels by focusing on fruits, vegetables, rice and healthy grains. But the recent study suggests that these foods may not have the same effect on all people. This may solve the mystery about why overweight people are often suspected that they overeat or don’t stick with their weight-loss plan, although in reality they do all they can.
Scientists believe that it is better to recommend people to seek help of a nutritionist and follow a customized diet rather than blindly follow a diet that was a success for their peers.
Image Source: Flickr