Different Strokes For Different Folks

Maybe I’m just a genius (definitely possible), but I’ve always said that fad diets are bull. I’ve also always believed that if we are in tune with our bodies needs, we can feed ourselves in a way that is simultaneously good for the tongue, the soul, the stomach, and the booty–parts that too often are posited as having disparate interests.

Finally, my completely unfounded pontifications have landed a scientific backing. The Weizmann Institute of Science recently conducted an experiment in which they monitored the blood sugar levels of 800 people for a week. The study, aptly titled the Personalized Nutrition Project, found that reactions to identical meals varied greatly across the boards; concluding that responses to food are highly individualized.

Everybody is different. And furthermore, every body is different, which means that the way that I metabolize food is simply not the same as how you do. This is why blanket statements about nutrition might be moot. Professor Eran Segal (who engineered and carried out the project along with Dr. Eran Elinav) stated that their endeavor “highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice.”

Participants in the study were given both a personalized “good” and “bad” diet, each of which they would test out for a week. The very same foods in one individual’s “good” diet appeared in the “bad” diet of another. Researchers found that blood sugar levels directly correlated. This implies that a good/bad foods dichotomy applied on a macro level simply does not stand.

There very well may still be certain foods which are unequivocally unhealthy, like, say, Funyons. But, in the grand scheme of things, when it comes to diet, the rule is different strokes for different folks. So next time your mom tells you to put down the ice-cream because it’s bad for you, say “Whatever Mom, it isn’t bad for me, it’s bad for you.”

Featured photo courtesy of Caroline.