What if bread was actually ok for you and apples weren’t? What if the foods you have long thought of as “healthy”, are not so good for your unique body? Welcome to the world of personalised nutrition – get ready to be shocked and inspired!
At the start of 2021 I read the book “The Personalized Diet: The Pioneering Program to Lose Weight and Prevent Disease” by doctors Eran Segal PhD and Eran Elinav.
The book is a summary of their incredible findings from their Personalized Nutrition Project study, at the Weizmann Institute of Science. During the study, 800 people wore continuous glucose monitors (CGM’s) and completed gut microbiome testing, to see how they responded to different foods.
“We chose to focus on blood sugar (blood glucose) because elevated levels are a major risk factor for diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. The huge differences that we found in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice.” Dr. Eran Segal1
To summarise: the study showed that individuals react differently to the same foods. A food that might be healthy for you, may be unhealthy for someone else!
Mind-blown! If you have ever dieted and wondered why a food plan works for some people but not others, we now know our genetics and gut microbiome make a significant difference. Eating exactly the same thing as Kim Kardashian or Hugh Jackman will not give you their same results, no matter how perfectly you follow their plan. There is no universal “correct diet”. The correct diet is what is right for your own body.
Needless to say, I was keen to begin my own blood glucose testing of food as soon as possible. I purchased a standard blood glucose monitor (no prescription needed) and followed the testing instructions outlined in the book.
I will post exactly how I conduct blood glucose testing of foods in a more in-depth future article. Make sure you are signed up to the newsletter so you don’t miss out!
My Blood Glucose Food Testing Results
After a month of testing my favourite meals I made some surprising discoveries.
Foods that I have long thought of as “healthy” like apples, sweet potatoes, homemade muesli and rice, gave me my worst blood glucose rises!
And the opposite was also true: I was pleased to discover some foods which I have restricted or avoided in the past, worked great for my blood sugar: white potatoes, croissants, homemade sourdough and my beloved dark chocolate.
The instant biometric feedback of blood glucose testing has been eye-opening. Being able to clearly see if a food is damaging MY body provides incredible motivation to change.
At the end of my month of testing and tracking, I had discovered a menu of meals – my own personalised diet. Since then, I have been sticking to my “good” meals the majority of the time and have removed or reduced the bad blood glucose foods.
While I have been practicing intermittent fasting since 2018 and had wonderful weight loss success and health improvements; since I have discovered the unique meals that work for my body, I am losing at a faster rate than ever before and experiencing major body recomposition!
Many years ago at the height of my bad health, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance a.k.a pre-diabetes. I experienced hypoglycaemia after eating and had big swings in energy where I often needed that 3pm pick-me-up sugar hit. I credit IF with helping me heal this diagnosis; and now with blood glucose testing, I can continue to improve my A1C and hopefully avoid ever progressing to a metabolic diseased state ie. diabetes.
So, if you are interested in blood glucose testing of foods and discovering your own personalized diet, I highly recommend reading Dr. Segal and Dr. Elinav’s book. You can also watch Dr. Segal’s Ted Talk on the topic “What is the best diet for humans?”.
Stay tuned for future articles where I will explain step by step how I tested foods and meals with my blood glucose.1