Fasting Glucose And Insulin Levels Suggest Best Diet Strategy

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that fasting blood sugar and (or) fasting insulin levels can be used to create optimal personalized diet plans, and to predict weight loss, especially for those with pre-diabetes, or diabetes.

The investigators looked at the data from three clinical trials that involved more than 1,200 people. They determined the best diet for most individuals with pre-diabetes is one rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. For those with type 2 diabetes a diet with plenty of healthy fats from plant sources was found the most effective for weight loss. Further, these diet recommendations could help even without calorie restriction.

“Recognizing fasting plasma glucose as a key biomarker enables a new interpretation of the data from many previous studies, which could potentially lead to a breakthrough in personalized nutrition,” said Arne Astrup, M.D., head of Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen.

“The beauty of this concept is its simplicity. While we are looking into other biomarkers, it is quite amazing how much more we can do for our patients just by using those two simple biomarkers. We will continue to participate in and support research to explore additional biomarkers such as gut microbiota and genomics approaches, which may offer more insights and help to more effectively customize the right diet for specific individuals.”

Biomarkers are measurable substances in the body (e.g., blood sugar, insulin levels, gut microbes) indicating the occurrence of something else, such as a disease (e.g., pre-diabetes, diabetes).

The Copenhagen research was supported by an additional collaborative* analysis of six more weight loss studies involving a variety of diet strategies such as increasing fiber intake, calorie restriction, and varying the levels of carbs and fats. As published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the findings support the concept of personalized nutrition plans, based on specific biomarkers, to facilitate successful weight loss and maintenance.

Source: University of Copenhagen
Photo credit: Tom Sens

* Collaborators: University of Colorado, Tufts University, and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN).

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