Why Personalized Nutrition Is The Wave Of The Future

A new headline about health is released pretty much everyday, which can get a little confusing when conflicting information all seem valid for different reasons. Eat kale! Paleo bro! Green juice will make you superhuman! Don’t take vitamins! Take vitamins! Yeah, it’s all a bit much. But if you’ve ever noticed how something like a low-calorie diet works great for one of your buddies, but you’re have much better results with something the opposite, like paleo? There’s actually a good reason for it. As experts are starting to figure out, it’s really a crapshoot and individualism is key. Research is only starting to dive into the concept that different people respond differently to the same foods, but it makes a lot of sense. And if science can figure out a way to determine for the general public what foods are good for us and which ones aren’t, at an individual level, we might be at the start of a nutrition revolution.

A recent scientific study from Cell Press specifically looked to see how a variety of healthy foods actually affect different people, and they determined that they, in fact, do. In simple terms, this truly means that you and someone else could follow the exact same “healthy” diet and have considerably different results. The study closely monitored the eating habits and health of 800 different men and women. The researchers provided the participants with carefully standardized meals that they couldn’t veer from, and then tracked different things like their blood sugar and body measurements as well as asking them tons of questions about how they felt. The differences in how people responded to the same foods were so extreme that they said that some people even had the opposite reactions, and that what’s healthy for one person might not be for the next. In one example, a participant’s body did not take to tomatoes well, and when she started cutting them out of her diet she started to lose weight immediately. The levels varied of course, but it’s these type of findings that should have us reconsider what diets, trends, and routines we are following, and why they may or may not be successful. More importantly, this research is just scratching the surface of how unique our bodies food and nutritional needs could actually be.

So what’s the end result? Trial and error. At the moment, we don’t know exactly how we differ from the next person unless we’re paying very close attention the foods that we eat and switching things up to see what happens. That’s why it is super important to adopt some levels of trial and error when trying out nutrition plans or diet adjustments. Until we can get a scientific confirmation of what foods are good for our bodies, and ultimately cost-effective, simple ways of testing various foods and variables (on the horizon though), it seems that we need to just trust our instincts and create our own personalized nutrition plans.