This is the case of a study telling people what they already have known for decades: that not all diets work for all people. But is this the breakthrough scientific study that the media seems to think it is?
This is why I believe that the media should stay out of scientific affairs unless they are being written about by legitimate science researchers. The study they mention, despite being extremely overhyped, does not claim that healthy foods can be unhealthy for some people. The study only focused on one factor: Glucose Spikes.
For some people, a diet used to control glucose spikes in individuals have the opposite effect, and may actually raise glucose levels. High glucose levels can cause numerous health issues, and it is true that different people react to different foods in different ways. Shocker.
But does this mean that eating a doughnut or fried chicken is healthier than eating legumes, nuts, or a Romaine lettuce salad with Italian dressing? No. High sugar intake is still associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart attacks, and high amounts of saturated fats is still linked to high serum cholesterol, which contributes to atherosclerosis. Processed meat still causes cancer. This is like the last “study” that was debunked that claims that junkfood does not contribute to Obesity.
I find it kinda odd, however, that as soon as the study was completed, the scientists didn’t just publish the story, like Clearfood, they made an animation, and a website, and plan on selling the technology to you:
The main issues I can find is that the study only has 800 people that they studied, and not to mention that the study was self-conducted. Yes, a machine measured the glucose levels of the participants every 5 minutes, but it was up to the user to say what they were doing, record on a mobile app what they ate and how much, when they slept, exercised, screwed, and pooped.
This is problematic because people are REALLY bad at reporting what they ate or the energy that they did. A study in 1992 showed that overweight individuals, for which the Glucose study had 54% of participants, were more likely to overestimate energy expenditure, and underestimate caloric consumption. Most people do not measure out their food, so a typical bowl of cereal might be seen as one cup, when in fact it is a cup and a half of cereal. Or one might overeat and just refuse to report it in order to not feel bad. You could also simply forget to add an item because many people are groggy in the morning. The study was also very short, and does not show how well this diet plan would be in the long-run.
While it is true that foods effects different people differently, I don’t see how any of this shows that diets don’t work with weight loss, or that a kale salad is unhealthy and cupcakes are healthy for some individuals. In fact, the study itself claimed that:
“studies examining the effect of diets with a low glycemic index on TIIDM risk, weight loss, and cardiovascular risk factors yielded mixed results”
There is a simple way of losing weight; don’t eat more calories than you burn. That’s all there is to it! Very few other factors go into weight loss besides genetic conditions, which is extremely rare.
So no, this study does not turn the dieting world on its head. All it shows is that personalized glucose-controlled diets would be beneficial to the individual, and that individuals react differently to certain foods. But like most bell curves, the amount of people that stepped wildly outside the line was rare. Thankfully I am not the only one to think this either.
In short, ignore the media reports of ground-breaking research, and just eat a lean, plant-based diet and stick to it, eating less calories than you are burning. THAT is how you lose weight!