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Dietary Recommendations Through the Ages

In 2024, we will no doubt once again be introduced to one or two ‘new’ dietary recommendations to help us lead healthier and fitter lives. The beginning of a new year is the perfect platform for all those whose resolutions include, among other things, a healthier diet and lifestyle, and associated with this, to reduce weight and to go through life with more vitality and radiance.

How is it that recommendations on food and diets change or contradict each other so often? What was considered healthy yesterday is no longer recommended today or even makes you ill.

Let’s take the egg as an example: It contains all the nutrients and is indispensable in the kitchen and on the menu. Whether as a breakfast egg, for cooking or baking, the egg became increasingly popular after the Second World War. According to statistics, consumption rose to 300 eggs per person per year in the 1970s. However, the success story came to an abrupt halt in the 1980s when doctors classified eggs as dangerous due to their high cholesterol content. A maximum of two eggs per week was just about acceptable, otherwise there was a risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the relevant opinions at the time. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Finally, it was discovered that dietary cholesterol has only a minor effect on blood cholesterol levels and the egg was once again classified as a “healthy food”.

For a long time, dietary fat was also demonized and held responsible for many health problems, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This has also changed in the meantime, so that today fat is often given preference in weight loss programs, while carbohydrates, including the good old potato, have now fallen into disrepute.

In between, many bizarre messages appear, such as “sugar causes cancer”, “ancient grains promote eyesight” or “coffee protects against heart attacks” – no wonder many consumers are resigning. How are we supposed to find our way around here?

In the search for explanations, it is becoming increasingly clear that nutritional science and research is far from having clarified the complexity of human nutrition and the link to metabolism down to the smallest detail.

In addition, it is now increasingly recognized that every body reacts individually to a certain degree. What drives up the blood sugar level in one person seems to pass another by without a trace. Even meal plans are only comparable to a limited extent – even those who eat a comparatively one-sided diet eat more than just one food.

In contrast to medication, for example, which contains a precisely dosed active ingredient, a food consists of many ingredients whose effects often only unfold in combination.

Nutritional studies and their significance

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs*), which are carried out when testing active pharmaceutical ingredients, are somewhat difficult when it comes to nutritional issues. A large number of volunteers must adhere to a certain diet for several years, which can neither be anonymized nor completely controlled. In addition, we are not dealing with a single preparation, but with a large number of potentially effective substances. To make matters worse, participants must not be exposed to potential health risks, as was the case in the 1970s. Back then, test subjects were deliberately exposed to a health-threatening vitamin C or vitamin B12 deficiency in order to determine what effects this had on the body.

It is difficult to categorize the natural ingredients in food as “healthy” or “unhealthy”. It is also far easier and more effective to assess additives that are added to food during processing and that sometimes have a massive impact on the metabolism.

As RCTs are unsuitable or hardly feasible for questions relating to nutrition (natural foods) and health, most recommendations are based on observational studies and meta-analyses.

In order to be able to assess the significance of observational data and meta-analyses, it is important to know that they only show what is correlated, i.e. what occurs simultaneously. Whether these are causal relationships is not automatically recognizable.

As the following example can illustrate: Why do the Japanese live longer?  Is the reason for this, for example, because they eat more fish or is it possibly the higher consumption of algae, soy or is it even due to the national drink green tea?

All these examples and many more that could be mentioned here show that studies in nutritional science and the knowledge gained from them are individual pieces of the puzzle that need to be put together in the right proportion in accordance with the individual metabolism.

Metabolic Balance – a scientific study

Many diseases, in particular the modern diseases of civilization (obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc.), are diet-related. This realization also holds the solution: A change in diet must be made that is adapted to the individual’s specific characteristics and at the same time is capable of balancing the metabolism.

In order to find the right diet for the individual, a basic medical history is required, this means, in addition to information on height, weight, illnesses and medication intake, a detailed analysis of 36 blood values is also necessary. Metabolic Balance combines the blood analysis with the personal details and food ingredients to create the basis for the individual Metabolic Balance nutrition plan. This allows the right foods to be selected for each participant – with the nutrients that are important to them and that optimally support and balance their metabolism.

Due to the numerous positive responses from participants, a study on the effectiveness of the Metabolic Balance metabolic program was commissioned in 2008/2009.

At the end of December 2010, an independent study by the Hochrhein Institute on Metabolic Balance was published in the “Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism”, a leading medical journal.

The study results clearly show that overweight people can reduce their weight particularly effectively with the Metabolic Balance program and also maintain it in the long term. The scientists were also surprised by the significant improvement in the blood values of all study participants over the course of the study and the statements made by program participants about a clear improvement in their personal and health-related quality of life.

Our recommendation, also for 2024, is therefore for everyone who wants to do something for their health and well-being: Start your personal, individual Metabolic Balance nutrition program this year and don’t be confused by constantly changing dietary recommendations.


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