September 30, 2020

Blood Sugar: A Surprising Scientific Discovery About Calories.

It is a common belief that measuring the quantity of calories or carbohydrates we consume is an effective way to manage the level of sugar in the blood. Recent scientific discovery now contests this widely accepted belief. New research has shown that keeping track of the amount of calories or carbohydrates present in food is not the best approach to managing blood sugar.  There are so many reasons why people try to manage their blood sugar, one very important reason is health of course. Many people who live with a medical condition known as diabetes which has the potential to be life threatening if not well managed are concerned when it comes to their blood sugar level and try to keep it under control. Others who are trying to lose weight probably because of the medical risks associated to obesity and overweight or just for the purpose of aesthetics also try to manage the level of sugar their blood sugar. Almost everybody has seen an article suggesting that reducing calorie intake is a good way to reduce the blood sugar and even facilitate weight loss. However new research has proven this method does not produce the best result.

An old study established that reducing calorie intake caused a great reduction in resting metabolic rate, heart rate, and temperature. A lot of people have relied on this method to lower their blood sugar without knowing the implications. This means that the body starts adjusting itself to need less energy, hence, a reduction in the utilization of blood sugar for metabolic activities. Consequently, it becomes relatively harder to make predictions about the level of sugar in the blood. This also has direct effects on weight loss as well. Emerging new studies revealed that the proper way to manage blood sugar is by personalized dieting. An approach that considers many factors like age, physical activity level, and some analysis of microbiome to predict the way the body reacts to food. This method focuses on how different bodies process food rather than on the nutritional characteristics of foods. A clinician and one of the authors of this research, Heidi Nelson said that he noticed that his patients react differently to the same diet just like how people respond differently to weight-loss diets.

Researchers developed a model to predict the effect of different types of foods on blood sugar levels in different people. As a part of the research, 327 healthy people were observed for six days to test the new model. Samples of their stools were analyzed to ascertain the microbial composition of their guts. They also record each meal, kept track of their physical activities, and rest. Also, glucose monitors were used to tracking their glycemic reactions. The result of this research was compared with that of the developed model and the model was found to be 62.5 percent matching in predicting blood sugar level. Whereas predicting blood sugar level with the number of carbohydrates as the basis, the level of accuracy was only about 32% to 40%. The achievement of this research when highlighted by one of the researchers is that people can continue to eat all classes of food and manage their blood sugar level properly. A lot of people will be surprised and happy to discover that they may not have to give up their favorite food in order to manage their blood sugar if their microbiome can handle it. This development has exposed the flaws of the popular belief of calorie counting. A participant of the study said he now knows that he does not have to stop eating carbohydrates completely to reduce his blood sugar level but he should eat more egg and cottage cheese as well as to reduce consumption of rice and wheat. He also added that he has been avoiding some breakfast cereals and yogurts too. He has since noticed significant improvements in his health as he said on Mayo clinic’s page that he has become more energetic and lost some weight too. Similar recent studies have also corroborated the findings of this research and encouraged people to look towards personalizing diet to effectively manage their blood sugar. Some food companies like Nestle are now looking into the possibility of incorporating personalized dieting into food products.

Over the years, a lot of people believed in the idea of making a diet in which all the classes of food are duly represented. This diet is referred to as a balanced diet. The idea is to create a diet based on the nutritional values of each food class. Due to some health-related reasons, some people like diabetic patients need to manage their blood sugar levels. Many have believed for so long that counting calories or carbs are the way around this but new research has proven that personalized diet is better.