Can Technology Help Us Eat Better?

Dr. Snyder’s analysis led him to co-found January. The firm offers its prospects with steady glucose displays after which makes use of synthetic intelligence to assist them make selections about what to eat, together with predictions about how they could react to totally different meals earlier than they even eat them.

The applications, which aren’t lined by insurance coverage, are usually not low-cost. The beginning value for Levels is $395, which features a telemedicine session and two Abbott FreeStyle Libre glucose displays which can be programmed to run for 14 days every. Nutrisense gives its prospects quite a lot of packages that vary in value from $175 for a two-week program to $160 a month for an 18-month dedication. And January costs $288 for its “Season of Me” introductory program that features two glucose displays, a coronary heart charge monitor, and entry to the corporate’s app for 3 months.

But are they value it?

To get a greater sense, I signed up to make use of the Levels program for one month. As a well being reporter who writes about diet, I attempt to comply with a reasonably nutritious diet and train routine with loads of recent meals and few junk meals or sugary snacks, so I wasn’t anticipating to be taught a lot from this system. But I saved an open thoughts.

To get began, I crammed out a short well being questionnaire on-line. Then Levels shipped me two FreeStyle Libre glucose displays, which have been prescribed by a health care provider affiliated with the corporate. As instructed, I hooked up the system — a small patch with a tiny sensor in regards to the measurement of a human hair — to the again of my arm. The sensor measures “interstitial fluid” beneath the pores and skin, which it makes use of to estimate blood sugar ranges.

The monitor helped me determine meals that I had no thought have been spiking my blood sugar, like protein bars and chickpea pasta. But by means of trial and error, it additionally helped me discover options. One day I ate a salad with grilled salmon and seen that it brought about my blood sugar to soar. I quickly realized why: I had drenched my salad in balsamic vinegar, which, it seems, comprises loads of sugar. The subsequent day I repeated the meal however with pink wine vinegar, which comprises no sugar. The end result? My steady glucose monitor confirmed there was no blood sugar spike or crash.

Dr. Means mentioned that persons are usually shocked to be taught simply how a lot sugar is hiding of their meals, particularly in issues like sauces, condiments and dressings. But not everybody is similar, and folks be taught methods, corresponding to pairing carbs with protein or fat — for instance, by including almond butter to oatmeal or an apple — to blunt the blood sugar response to sure meals.

The monitor additionally bolstered the worth of train. I seen on days once I went for a run, or perhaps a 15-minute stroll, that the bodily exercise helped to maintain my blood sugar in a gradual vary after meals.

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