But what if there is no grand diet plan that works for everyone? According to new research, conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, the art of weight loss may be far more personalized than we ever imagined.
Through their work, researchers Eran Elinav and Eran Segal have collected data that suggests that different individuals’ blood sugar levels react differently to certain foods.
For example, some of their subjects saw a higher rise in blood sugar levels after eating sushi than ice cream.
While this is good news for the 90% of households that indulge in the sweet, cold treat regularly, it is also grounds for confusion. How can that be? Ice cream, which counts cream and sugar among its main ingredients, is a notorious junk food that is synonymous with weight gain.
So how could it be? How can some people react to sushi differently than others?
The answer lies in gut bacteria. According to Elinav and Segal’s research, everyone’s body has different levels of gut bacteria and is, therefore, able to break down different kinds of foods differently.
For the study, researchers tracked the eating and digestion of 800 people over the course of a week. The participants tracked every morsel of food and liquid that went into their bodies, as well as activity levels, sleep, and bowel movements.
The participants’ blood sugar levels and stool samples were also taken into account, helping the researchers to adequately gauge the different effects the food had on each individual.
The data was then mapped out to see which foods affected the participants’ blood sugar the most.
They found that all participants responded differently. Instead of umbrella dieting solutions for the masses, the researchers suggest a more personalized eating plan for success.
“The huge differences that we found in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice,” said Dr. Eran Elinav.