Since the dawn of forever, the diet you want is the diet that doesn’t work. The failure always been attributed to the lack of perseverance, or incorrect following of instructions, but now researchers from Israel may have found the real reason behind it, and the “wonder diet” so many of us crave.
We know that people’s bodies react differently to the same foods, and this may be why some people retain the kilos no matter how often they eat healthily.
This has been put down to blood sugar, or blood glucose, levels. Specifically, the different effect a food can have on the blood sugar levels of different people.
We all need blood sugar in order to function and we typically get it from carbohydrates like rice, bread or apples.
Carbs are just complex sugars, and when digestion releases these into the bloodstream we get a slight rise in blood sugar levels. This is known as the post-prandial glucose response (PPGR) and is normal, but large and regular increases raise your risk of weight gain and obesity, and disorders such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
The Glycaemic Index (a way to measure how much a food will affect blood sugar levels) was developed in response to the view that everyone’s blood glucose response to a food will be much the same, and diets based on the same view soon came into force.
So high-GI foods, such as white bread or croissants, will produce a rapid spike, while low-GI ones, such as vegetables that release carbs slowly, will keep the PPGR down.
Today, healthy eating advice often recommends low-GI foods. However, this new research is turning the long-held belief on its head.
Professor Eran Segal, a computational and systems biologist who led the study, says that “the take-home message from this study is that the GI approach may not suit everybody… if a diet didn’t work for you, it may not be your fault, just that you were on the wrong one.”
His co-author Dr Eran Elinav, an immunologist, adds: “Clinicians believe diets fail because people don’t follow instructions properly. But now it seems likely the problem is many people have been getting advice that was wrong for them.”
Basically, if a diet doesn’t yield results don’t be discouraged – it’s not you, its your biochemistry.
For more information, check out this in-depth article.