A new extensive study conducted by Israeli researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science may be able to explain why some people have successful results on certain diets while others simply do not. According to the researchers, participants of the study experienced different results when they all ate the same meal. This suggests that there is no universal healthy dietary answer for everyone.
The researchers – who were led by Eran Segal and Eran Elinav – found that healthy diets vary from person to person, reports KSTP Nov. 22. The researchers looked at the glycemic index (GI), the one key component that diets such as Atkins, Zone and South Beach all have in common.
800 healthy and pre-diabetic volunteers between the ages of 18 and 70 took part in the study. Each of the participants were asked to consume a standardized breakfast each morning and keep track of their personal data such as body measurements, blood sugar levels, and stool samples. The participants also input lifestyle and food intake information each day into a mobile app, reports the Washington Post.
The researchers learned that factors such as age and body mass index predictably affected blood glucose levels; each person showed different responses to the same foods consumed as other participants. One participant, for example, experienced blood sugar spikes after eating sushi, while another participant experienced spikes after eating tomatoes. “There are profound differences between individuals — in some cases, individuals have opposite responses to one another,” Segal explained.
The study also looked at why some individuals feel hungry after eating what is supposed to be a healthy and nourishing meal. The researchers found that if individuals are eating foods that give their bodies a blood sugar spike, then the body increases the amounts of insulin produced. This leads to an increased absorption of the additional glucose created from the sugar spike and causes the individual to become hypoglycemic and in turn still feel hungry.
Researchers note that we’re “really conceptually wrong” in how we go about treating obesity and diabetes. There is no end all be all solution to cure the escalating numbers of those who are experiencing dietary health problems. We think “we know how to treat these conditions, and it’s just that people are not listening and are eating out of control,” Segal explained, “but maybe people are actually compliant and in many cases we were giving them the wrong advice.”