Personalized Nutrition Diet

The Personalized Diet is full of stories of the amazing (and often unexpected), experiences and discoveries made by participants in Prof. Segal & Dr. Elinav’s research.

For a lot of the people, everything they thought they knew about nutrition, healthy eating, and dieting for weight loss, was proved to be wrong!

Here are 3 of our favorite surprising stories:


“It was the tomatoes!”

For years, I’ve struggled with my weight. I’ve tried many diets. Some worked for a while, but I always regained the weight. When I participated in the Personalized Nutrition Project at the Weizmann Institute, I found out that tomatoes were causing me to have huge blood sugar spikes. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it was tomatoes!

I sat down with one of the study coordinators after the study was over, and he showed me that in all my meals that included tomatoes, I had these obvious glucose spikes! The graphs were very clear and left no room for doubt.

I have always eaten a lot of tomatoes, thinking I was doing myself a favor, but now I realize this could have been a major contributor to my previous diet failures. It wasn’t my fault – it was the tomatoes!

I have now significantly reduced my tomato intake and I’m feeling much more energetic, which still surprises me. I have already lost a couple of pounds, and I have high hopes that I have finally found the answer to my weight struggle, too.


“Eat Ice Cream, Not Rice?”

Keren, my wife, is a clinical dietitian, and when I showed her the data from our study, the results shocked her.

One example that struck her was our finding that some people had a postmeal blood sugar response spike after eating ice cream but not after eating rice, but that others – completely unexpectedly to her – spiked for rice (even brown rice) but not for ice cream. In fact, we found that more people spiked for rice than for ice cream.

As a dietitian, my wife relies on general dietary guidelines because this is how she was trained. Therefore, one of the first things she tells the many newly diagnosed prediabetics that she treats is to stop eating foods such as ice cream and instead eat more complex carbohydrates such as brown rice.

When she saw our data, she realized that for most of her patients, not only was her dietary advice unhelpful, but in fact, her advice could be pushing them more quickly towards the very disease her advice was meant to prevent!

Now she advises her clients based on the trends we saw and advises them to test their own blood sugar responses to meals to see what foods are best for them.


“Breakfast heaven!”

Amy loves toast. She loves it with eggs, she loves it with jam, she loves it with peanut butter, and most of all, she loves it with cultured French butter. For Amy, two slices of sourdough toast with French butter and a hot cup of coffee with cream is breakfast heaven!

However, Amy believed that she should be eating less fat, so to lose some weight, she often skipped toast in favor of grapefruit and oatmeal, ate the toast with tomatoes and cucumber slices, or had toast dry. It wasn’t what she wanted, but it was what she thought she should do. After testing her blood sugar, Amy discovered that oatmeal and grapefruit gave her a very large blood sugar spike in the morning. She was secretly relieved, because she never liked that breakfast very much anyway. And when she tried testing her toast, in its plain dry state, it also gave her a spike – not as large as the oatmeal and grapefruit, but still larger than she liked to see.

Then she decided to see what would happen if she spread cultured French butter on her toast. She made two slices of her favorite sourdough toast and slathered it with a generous amount of French butter. And as long as she was throwing caution to the wind, she decided to put the cream she loved so much back into the coffee she had been drinking black.

She enjoyed every bite, every sip… and then was overjoyed to discover that her favorite breakfast – toast with butter and coffee with cream – didn’t spike her blood sugar! Not after 30 minutes. Not after 60 minutes. Not at all.

Read more remarkable stories like these, understand this new frontier of nutritional science, and learn the tools to discover which of your favorite foods you can include in your own personalized diet plan.

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