While trying to lose weight, one size approach may not fit all. Instead, selecting a right diet strategy based on fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels may lead to a six- to seven-fold greater weight loss, researchers say.
The specific diets based on these bio-markers will work differently whether a patient has normal blood sugar, has pre-diabetes or is living with diabetes, the researchers said.
“Our research shows that weight loss strategies should be customised based on an individual’s bio-markers, which is a big step forward in using personalised nutrition to help people achieve greater weight loss success,” said Professor Arne Astrup from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
“These findings are particularly important as they allow us to provide those with pre-diabetes a custom strategy to help them lose weight, which can ultimately prevent or delay the development of Type 2 diabetes,” Astrup added.
For most people with pre-diabetes, a fibre-rich diet without calorie restriction will be very effective and has been shown to improve diabetes markers. In this population, carbohydrates or fats should be adjusted based on fasting insulin levels.
For people with Type 2 diabetes, a diet rich in healthy, plant-based fats such as from olive oil, nuts and avocados will be effective to achieve weight loss.
“Remarkably, for many patients, use of these bio-markers can lead to a six-to-seven-fold greater weight loss,” Astrup said.
“Going forward, we can educate patients when a diet they planned to follow would actually make them gain weight, and redirect them to a strategy that we know will work for them,” Astrup noted.
The researchers acknowledged that no one solution will work for every patient, but for many these strategies are likely to be more effective than a generic ‘one size fits all’ approach.
The results were presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions held in San Diego, California.