Arne Astrup: ”Dietary advice will change. Not all of the well-known advice is actually true.”

Danish Food Cluster’s first masterclass breaks health taboos and guides the way to new business in personalized nutrition. 
Masterclass – Personalized Nutrition by the University of Copenhagen

Whether you have type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, high or low insulin resistance, or none of the above, research shows compelling evidence against the “one diet fits all” strategy that has long been used by dietitians and the general public.

We all have different prerequisites, and we all need to eat differently to stay healthy.
An example presented by Arne Astrup relating to the risks of cardiovascular disease is that men under the age of 50 have a lower risk of getting cardiovascular disease from drinking wine and beer, while women below 50 have a higher risk. However, when both parties turn 50, the opposite is true, making it high risk for men above 50 to drink, while women above 50 fall into the low risk category. Therefor it is difficult to argue against the fact that drinking causes cardiovascular disease; yet, as we can see, this is not true for all people of all ages.

With the personalized approach, dietary advice should not be made up of general restrictions against eating specific types of foods. The advice should target specific groups with specific characteristics. By giving general advice, some people will be guided in the wrong direction, and the diets could cause the wrong effect. Whether it is the level of blood pressure, glucose, insulin, or other individual characteristics, different foods and diets will have different effects on different people. This leads to a huge opportunity for the food industry, giving them the chance to develop their products to target specific groups.

The market within personalized nutrition has great potential, and according to Arne Astrup, the food industry needs to realize the importance of it. Previously well-known advice will change and become more individualized, and the food industry needs to get accustomed to this new way of thinking.
The head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports Arne Astrup presented some of the latest insight into the area of personalized nutrition and dietary advice at the first masterclass hosted by Danish Food Cluster.

Research within food and health is changing, and by taking previous research and databases and re-analyzing them from a personalized perspective, new and interesting findings appear. For instance, saturated fat is not just a bad thing for the human body; for some people, it actually has a good effect or no effect whatsoever. Therefore, research is starting to look into individual and personalized factors.

With around 50 participants from both industry and research, the topic was discussed with great interest.

The next masterclass will be presented by DTU in the beginning of 2018.

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