We are fond of saying ‘on man’s food is another man’s poison’ and that is exactly what came to mind when I saw this post written by Alice G. Walton on Forbes on ‘Why Healthy Food To One Person May Be Unhealthy To Another’. Most people tend to generalise on things that are appropriate for individuals or things we think should be appropriate, forgetting that we are uniquely different in our own various ways. From our thoughts, to our metabolism, orientation, etc.
When it comes to food, our first thought is always, how good does it taste before or never how will my body react to this meal.
According to Alice, nutritionists have observed that what may work for weight loss for one person doesn’t always work for another. And now, a study in the journal Cell begins to figure out why this is the case. It turns out that people metabolize food very differently depending on their individual makeup – and the makeup of their gut microbes. What may lead to a slow, steady rise in blood sugar for one person may lead to a bizarre spike in blood sugar for another. So knowing that foods that are healthy to one person may be unhealthy to another could lead to a fundamental shift in the way dietary recommendations are made moving forward.
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute measured a number of variables in 800 people: From physical measurements to glucose levels to gut microbes through stool samples to blood tests. They sometimes gave people identical meals to measure how each person responded to the same food, and provided them with a mobile app to keep tabs on the foods they were consuming in their daily lives. Their main aim was to monitor how each person’s blood sugar responded after they ate a given food.
As you’d expect, things like body mass index and age affected how people’s blood sugar response. But there were many individual differences beyond those basic variables
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