Predicting the Macronutrient Composition of Mixed Meals From Dietary Biomarkers in Blood. Academic Article uri icon


  • Diet monitoring is an essential intervention component for a number of diseases, from type 2 diabetes to cardiovascular diseases. However, current methods for diet monitoring are burdensome and often inaccurate. In prior work, we showed that continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) may be used to predict meal macronutrients (e.g., carbohydrates, protein, fat) by analyzing the shape of the post-prandial glucose response. In this study, we examine a number of additional dietary biomarkers in blood by their ability to improve macronutrient prediction, compared to using CGMs alone. For this purpose, we conducted a nutritional study where (n = 10) participants consumed nine different mixed meals with varied but known macronutrient amounts, and we analyzed the concentration of 33 dietary biomarkers (including amino acids, insulin, triglycerides, and glucose) at various times post-prandially. Then, we built machine learning models to predict macronutrient amounts from (1) individual biomarkers and (2) their combinations. We find that the additional blood biomarkers provide complementary information, and more importantly, achieve lower normalized root mean squared error (NRMSE) for the three macronutrients (carbohydrates: 22.9%; protein: 23.4%; fat: 32.3%) than CGMs alone (carbohydrates: 28.9%, t(18) =1.64, p =0.060; protein: 46.4%, t(18) =5.38, p 0.001; fat: 40.0%, t(18) =2.09, p =0.025). Our main conclusion is that augmenting CGMs to measure these additional dietary biomarkers improves macronutrient prediction performance, and may ultimately lead to the development of automated methods to monitor nutritional intake. This work is significant to biomedical research as it provides a potential solution to the long-standing problem of diet monitoring, facilitating new interventions for a number of diseases.

published proceedings

  • IEEE J Biomed Health Inform

author list (cited authors)

  • Das, A., Mortazavi, B., Sajjadi, S., Chaspari, T., Ruebush, L. E., Deutz, N. E., Cote, G. L., & Gutierrez-Osuna, R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Das, Anurag||Mortazavi, Bobak||Sajjadi, Seyedhooman||Chaspari, Theodora||Ruebush, Laura E||Deutz, Nicolaas E||Cote, Gerard L||Gutierrez-Osuna, Ricardo

publication date

  • June 2022