British and Danish scientists have created a urine test that reveals whether a person is eating healthy or not. They tested urine samples for substances associated with particular type of dietary patterns. This could help people to improve their eating habits and setting an accurate weight loss plan.

Studies have shown that people tend to underreport bad or unhealthy eating patterns while over-reporting the amount of healthy food they ingest. This problem could be solved with this new urine test, which can tell the metabolic profile of a person.

Most people underreport unhealthy eating while over-reporting the healthy food they ingest. Image Credit: Expert Beacon

People might be eating unhealthier than they think

Scientists from British and Danish institutions including the Imperial College London, Northwestern University and the University of Southern Denmark designed this new urine test with the aim of objectively tell if a person is really eating as healthy as they report.

They say that when asked about how is their dietary pattern, most people tend to rely on their unreliable memory and to over-report healthy things they eat while they don’t say all the unhealthy things they consume.

Most of the people don’t keep a food diary. Therefore they might be eating worse than they think. This makes it harder for a nutrition specialist to recommend a diet to their patients.

The test can tell objectively if a person is eating enough fruits or vegetables, or if a person is eating too many sugary or fatty foods. It can be done in just 5 minutes, according to lead study author Isabel Garcia-Perez, a research associate in the Imperial College London Department of Medicine.

The test can show the biological marks left when we consume certain foods. It could become the best dietary tool for health services. The study made to prove its effectiveness was run between May 2013 and August 2014.

The UK National Institute for Health Research and the UK Medical Research Council funded the study. As well they received monetary assistance from foods and goods manufacturers Unilever and Nestlé. The study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

The test can identify 19 metabolites in the healthiest diet

The study was made with healthy volunteers with ages ranging from 21 to 65 and a body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 35 kg/m2. They recruited 300 people by invitation letter. Out of this big group, only 26 were eligible. 20 of them were randomized in the trial.

They focus on four diet patterns going from unhealthy to very healthy, according to the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The diets increased in their content of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables while progressively decreasing the consumption of fats, salt, and sugars.

The participants had to attend to four stays of 72 hours each. Every time they went they received a different diet. The order of the diet was randomized in every visit.

The visits were separated at least five days from one another. During the tests, the volunteers could only engage in a reduced physical activity.

The urine test showed that 19 substances (metabolites) were highest in the healthiest of the dietary patterns.

Source: Live Science