A Truly Personalized Diet

As discussed in last week’s post, “Guidelines are Guidelines; Nutrition is Personal,” it is widely accepted that there is no “one size fits all” diet. A recent study might show that we’ve all been underestimating just how personal a diet should be.  

An ongoing study in Israel is investigating how different foods impact blood sugar levels  differently in different people. Everything from chocolate to fruit to rice may vary in blood sugar impact from person to person. Doctors Eran Segal and Eran Elina are the lead researchers of this surprising study, and they believe the disparities are related to gut microbes.  

By comparing the gut microbes of the hundreds of study volunteers with their blood sugar responses, Segal and Elinav have been able discover that our microbes might be the key to why our blood sugar spikes with different foods are so individual. The chemicals they produce, it seems, control our bodies to this extent. What is particularly exciting about that fact is that - unlike our gene - we can actually change our microbes.

If these researchers are correct, it could mark a dramatic change in how we think about—and market—healthy foods.