These are the science-backed reasons we should stop chasing diet trends, according to research

They want to dispel the myth that sees Americans fiendishly keeping an eye out for a final word on dieting, particularly the ones that boast miracles.

A new study tracking the glucose levels of 1,100 Americans and UK citizens, posits that there is no such thing as “the perfect diet.”

The researchers had the participants eat similar regular meals, (muffins in the morning, sandwiches in the afternoon), and even though 60% of the study group were identical twins, no two people had the same reaction to the same regimen. “Even we were surprised by the results, ” the study’s lead author Tim Spector told Business Insider.


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Tim Spector is an epidemiologist and professor at King’s College in London. Spector and his team sought to dispel the myth that sees many Americans fiendishly keeping an eye out for a final word on dieting, particularly the ones that boast miraculous weight loss promotion. Every five years or so, a new diet premieres with claims to repudiate the purported benefits of the last one.

Diet fads reinforce generalized nutrition tropes into our head; fats are bad, fruit is good. By listening and learning from his body specifically,  Spector learned that it actually didn’t respond all that well to grapes, so he only treats himself to them about once a week. Most people respond the same way to the basics, like carb intake and fatty foods, but even then, Spector believes it is an absolute mistake to take conventional diet wisdom as gospel.

The Methodology

The study which was conducted in conjunction with researchers at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital was presented at The American Society of Nutrition Conference held in June of this year. The study group was given prepackaged meals to eat and then tasked with taking pictures of their food, monitoring their glucose levels, fats, insulin and blood sugar levels via blood samples. They were also fitted with a device that helped researchers keep track of their exercise habits over the course of fourteen days.

The participants ate muffins for breakfast most mornings within the study period. There were three variations served, you had your heavy fat, low sugar muffin, then there was a muffin with an average amount of fat, and then a muffin that contained more fat but less sugar than the previous two options.

When two weeks passed the researchers went over the results finding zero consistency. It didn’t matter how much or little participants exercised either, the data was all over the place. “There wasn’t a difference between sporty and non-sporty people that we could see,” Spector told Business Insider. “There were many people who ran every day that had a bad fat response.”

Spector urges individuals trying to lose weight to ask a nutritionist to assist them with personal diets instead of trying to squeeze into general abstinence from fats and carbs. Off the back of these findings, Spector launched a personal nutrition company called Zoe. The organization helps users find out how they respond to specific foods, in order to optimize metabolic effects.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.