Whoa, New Study Says We’ve Been Dieting All Wrong


Terry Richardson for Harper's Bazaar

Sorry, but you read that right. According to a new study monitoring the effects of a controlled diet on the body that looked at 800 participants and 46,898 meals, results varied from person to person. In fact, the study calls into question the entire strategy in which we’ve been applying the glycemic index from Harvard to our diet—a chart that measures 100 common foods with the assumption that the lower the glycemic count in a food, the less it will affect the body’s blood-sugar level.

The new study, led by Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, reflects that glycemic count does not have a concrete effect on each person, and it suggests the reaction to different foods varies from person to person.

In one instance, a woman's blood-sugar level spiked whenever she consumed tomatoes—but tomatoes only score a 15 on the glycemic index. Yikes! As it turns out, peoples' bodies respond differently to foods. Given the amount of time and money invested in responsible dieting, this information is more than a little alarming.

So, what’s there to do, outside of banning diets and throwing all of our energy into a more rigorous workout routine? This new research creates a demand for personalized diets to guarantee effectiveness.

But since it’s not like all of us have a nutritionist on retainer, ask your general practitioner or find a dietitian to help figure out what makes the most sense for you. A lot can be said for monitoring your body’s personal response to food and lifestyle habits, too. Try jotting down your meals each day in a Moleskin Classic Notebook ($18) and evaluating how different foods make you look and feel. After all, who knows your body better than you?

What do you think of this new research? Will it change your approach to dieting? Let us know below!