Could a 'data diet' be the key to better health?

AGE FOTOSTOCK

For anyone trying to lose weight or switch up their lifestyle, there can be a lot of guesswork involved in planning meals and exercise.

But all that is about to change, with Dr Caitlin Hall, chief dietitian and head of clinical research at Myota (www.hellomyota.com), predicting that data-backed, hyper-personalised diets will be a major trend in the coming year.

Precision gut health data

Of late, there have been breakthroughs in gut health research and innovation in the at-home diagnostics market.

"Until very recently, it's been impossible for consumers to know which types of fibre they should be eating to fuel the activity of their unique collection of gut bacteria (the microbiome)," she said. "Now, consumers can now use high-tech self-test kits to discover their unique microbiome profile and use incredibly specific data about the fibre fermentation capabilities of their gut bacteria to optimise their diets and promote weight loss."

Metabolic breath data

Other new technologies that are enabling a data-backed approach to weight loss include 'metabolic breath analysers'.

"These gadgets gather data from your breath to provide you with an array of useful information about your unique metabolism. For example, before a meal or workout you can quickly use these gadgets to check whether your body is burning carbs or fats for energy, and then adapt your diet and exercise regime accordingly," Dr Hall continued.

Blood sugar data

Continuous Glucose Monitors - devices which have been used by diabetic patients for years to track their blood sugar levels - are now increasing in popularity as a tool to support the data-backed diet trend.

"If you tend to eat a lot of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates across the day, it's likely that you experience the extremes of both high and low blood glucose. A rise and fall in blood sugar is normal, but when they occur too frequently they can impact various aspects of health like energy, sleep, appetite, metabolic health, and exercise performance. In the long-term, this can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain," she added. "Understanding how your blood sugar levels react to different foods can help you tailor your diet and fibre intake to avoid spikes and crashes, stabilising your energy and supporting weight loss efforts."