Low Carb

Fat v Carbs on BBC

What happens if you do the exact opposite of what the current dietary guidelines say and what your average physician tells you, and go on a low-carb and high fat diet? That’s what Jamie Owen wanted to figure out in the short BBC documentary “Fat v Carbs”.

He had quite some success – losing weight and lowering his cholesterol (to the amazement of his not-so-updated family doctor). High-fat enthusiasts Dr. Zoe Harcombe, Dr. Aseem Malhotra and Sam Feltham are all interviewed.

If you’re in the UK you can watch it on BBC. Or watch it on YouTube above.

Fat v carbs – it seems like we have a clear winner. Or what do you say?

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34 Comments

Top Comments

  1. bill
    What a shame he's expected to take
    advice from his obese doctor.
    Read more →
  2. Eddie
    I enjoyed watching the documentary, thank you!

    It is so sad to see so many struggle with T2D and obesity, without the knowledge on how the LCHF approach can help improve or eliminate T2D and also to achieve weight loss. Also last night on BBC 1 panorama had an hour long documentary on the diabetes epidemic in the UK. In the documentary, it was so frustrating and shocking to see so many T2D patients suffer so badly with limb amputations. If only these patients were given the advice or option to try the LCHF approach to manage their condition at diagnosis! Also, how shocking that they spoke about how gastric surgery is a game changer on weight loss and also to reverse T2D! Come on, how can removing part of your stomach be good for long term health!!

    Thank god for websites like DD. I just hope that people continue to spread the word, so that more people suffering from T2D and obesity get the opportunity to try the LCHF approach before losing limbs or making a decision to have part of their stomach removed!

    Keep up the great work DD Team!

    Replies: #2, #20
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Eddie
    I enjoyed watching the documentary, thank you!

    It is so sad to see so many struggle with T2D and obesity, without the knowledge on how the LCHF approach can help improve or eliminate T2D and also to achieve weight loss. Also last night on BBC 1 panorama had an hour long documentary on the diabetes epidemic in the UK. In the documentary, it was so frustrating and shocking to see so many T2D patients suffer so badly with limb amputations. If only these patients were given the advice or option to try the LCHF approach to manage their condition at diagnosis! Also, how shocking that they spoke about how gastric surgery is a game changer on weight loss and also to reverse T2D! Come on, how can removing part of your stomach be good for long term health!!

    Thank god for websites like DD. I just hope that people continue to spread the word, so that more people suffering from T2D and obesity get the opportunity to try the LCHF approach before losing limbs or making a decision to have part of their stomach removed!

    Keep up the great work DD Team!

    Replies: #2, #20
  2. Thanks Eddie!
  3. NancyJ
    I have been on the LCHF lifestyle fo over 2.5 years so I know how good it is for health. I'm concerned that people watching this episode will end up more confused than ever. They have a distinguished looking doctor saying that Jamie Owen's health will be ruined, then they have the very young and fresh faced Sam Feltham saying that the status quo is wrong. We are programmed to believe the distinguished doctor and dismiss the "rash" young man.

    Also his doctor really bothered me. She "checked his health" pre and post the 3 week trial. When his cholesterol and weight improved she then said that we have no way of knowing if the diet damaged his heart or kidneys. Well, I believe the heart health marker she uses for her patients is probably total cholesterol (although I think it is useless), so according to her evaluation the heart function improved. If she really had been concerned that LCHF would damage his heart and kidneys, then she should have measured the health of his heart and kidneys in a meaningful way before and after the intervention.

    I'm just frustrated by this piece.

  4. Diane
    The programme was quite interesting. However, Jamie Owen lost weight but didn't lose any inches off his belly. It seemed to me that he was eating too much protein and was therefore most probably still burning mainly glucose. Perhaps the weight he lost was water weight from losing stored glycogen, not fat - there was no sign of loss of visceral fat from his abdomen. Had the diet been higher in fat and lower in protein then I think he would have lost inches from his waist. Three weeks is also not really long enough to get the benefits of a low carb diet.
    Replies: #10, #30
  5. Diana
    The documentary was very good. I think however, that Jamie should have been on the diet longer for the documentary instead of 3 weeks he should have done at least 3 months for a better perspective on the LCHF diet.
    Reply: #26
  6. Ron Griffiths
    I concur with the comments about the short timescale. It did, I hope bring a realisation to the public that there is questionable advice from PHE. I got frustrated by his doctor and the Obesity doctors complete lack of knowledge on nutritional biochemistry, and then totally annoyed by the standard mantra spouted by the dietetic spokeswoman (she looks lie she should try LCHF!) quoting "Lack of substantial long term evidence of its safety"! ?!?The 50 year evidence from the current guidelines has proved anything but healthy with so many people becoming diabetic and obese. The PHE advice to everyone to base their meals on starchy carbohydrates, (without knowing what the individuals insulin resistance is like) is nothing short of medical negligence!
  7. M. Harrison
    The government has to keep the economy going, if we all start eating fresh food and non processed, what happens to those companies and the jobs?

    I totally agree that good fats in a high fibre diet derived from veg and some fruit is the way to go. People have to get out there and start reading and listening to others and make their own decisions on how to keep themselves and family healthy. People also need to want to do this.....without taking it in their own hands, they don't have a chance.

  8. bill
    What a shame he's expected to take
    advice from his obese doctor.
  9. Barbs
    I couldn't believe the overweight GP and dietician were telling him the LCHF was dangerous and not to do it for more than 3 weeks. Doctors and nutritionists should lead by example, I'd never take advise from somebody touting a diet that very obviously isn't working for them. By contrast Zoe and Aseem looked in glowing health and are both very trim.

    Now who to believe? Hmmmmmm

  10. Stephen
    Hi Diane,

    That struck me as odd when I was watching the programme, the fact that Jamie didn't lose anything around the waist in terms of measurement. In 9/10 cases people who embark on LCHF will lose inches/cms around the waist. I thought something was amiss so I went back to 04:58 on the video and it measured 106 however when you go to 26.35 on the video his measurement is 104 :-) Just from that I would say he did lose around the waist. I totally agree that 3 weeks isn't enough to be on LCHF. It would be great to have a follow up programme at some stage.

    Reply: #21
  11. Brian
    In 2016 there are still doctors using total cholesterol as a marker!!! I'm speechless.
    Reply: #19
  12. gbl
    I don't think it's a question of "who to believe" but partly these two things: First, she is right. No one knows for fact there is no harm: double-blind randomized fact. The second to be considered? She would surely be sanctioned by the Welsh college and possibly lose her license to practise if she outright backed it. A handful of happy lchf dieters is not enough alone to topple the "standard of care".
  13. gbl
    I know what *I'm* having for Thanksgiving dinner. (October 10th).+
  14. Yossi
    I wonder why his GP did not measure blood sugar, and triglycerides. Fairly basic and inexpensive tests. She didn't seem very encouraging or complimentary about his weight loss and reduced cholesterol. I think I would be inclined to change doctor.
  15. Yasmin
    His protein intake was a bit high for a non athletic male. I have learnt through great websites like these that extra protein also creates more insulin and that if you feel hungry increase the fat in the diet.
  16. George Henderson
    Diane, how much glycogen do you think people store? Not enough to explain the weight lost.

    If we assume Jamie was retaining fluid not bound with glycogen, and lost several kilo of that, then he has significantly improved his health and life expectancy. But more likely he was burning fat not stored exactly on the waistline first.

  17. Jennifer Bowerman
    I enjoyed this video. It backs up everything we have learned from the experts on this website. I find it sad that we are so willing to defer to medical doctors for what to do and how to eat. I wonder if they ever check their own markers for their personal health, or whether they are ever willing to suspend their expertise and be prepared to learn new insights. That's the amazing thing about guys like Drs Westman and Fung, they were curious! It seems that once most doctors leave med school, they just stop learning. I find it odd that science is all about aggregates even though the numbers aren't really there when it comes to carbs and low fat and their application to health, but when it comes to individual success stories based on the opposite of what is presumed to be true, they are considered to be
    anomalies which don't really count! It is a paradox for sure!
  18. Reanne Wilton
    I think it's uncanny how a low carb high fat diet and all the so called expert opinions based scientific evidence is exactly the same as what we see with the man made global warming argument. We have governments and scientists who are basing their opinions off businesses who paying for an outcome that benefits them and not the general public.

    The sad fact is that because the majority of people believe what they hear and are told, we are all supposed to follow that way. When in reality you find by digging around that the opposite is true and there are a few people out there who haven't been swayed by governments or business and have research to back it up.

    It's sad to think of how much time and money will be wasted, before we finally turn things around.

  19. Marie
    Brian,

    There absolutely are doctors that strongly focus on a cholesterol level. My doctor thinks that I am on the verge of a stroke because my total cholesterol is over 200 and wants to start me on a statin. My LDL is 112, HDL 98, and Triglycerides are 42. These levels improved when I started a low-carb diet.

  20. Marie
    I work in a medical office and one of my co-workers is an uncontrolled T2D. She has met with our Dietitian on a few occasions and has been told that she should eat at least 160 grams of carbs each day. Her doctor recently told her that she needs to follow a low fat diet because her triglycerides are too high. I have told this co-worker that she needs to cut her carbs and eat more fat. There is enough evidence to show what this will help to control her T2D. She won't listen because she trusts her doctor and the Dietitian.

    This Dietitian does not believe in a low carb lifestyle and scoffs when someone mentions it. She was advising another provider that their patient should be eating at least 50 grams of carbs at each meal and that fasting is dangerous and will lead to weight gain. She did mention that a recent training class mentioned adding more fat to the diet, which is good to hear, but she said it meant that she could now have one TBSP of peanut butter for breakfast.

    It is frustrating to know what this information is not correct and is being spread like wildfire. She will see the same patients with no results. They will not lose weight nor will their blood sugar levels level out. It makes the patients think that they are broken. I did have one doctor that advised her patients to follow a low carb diet to control their glucose levels. She was the only one I have ever worked with though.

  21. Rosalie
    Thanks for pointing that out - I went back and checked and you're absolutely right. He did lose 2 inches!! What a shame no one producing this documentary noticed it. Seems like this doctor couldn't wait to tell him the diet was a waste of time.
  22. Roderick
    Another very good informative programme that helps discussion and raises questions. Sadly it can be seen that the 'solution' is very 'faddy' and is not sustainable, when are we going to see a film that not only challenges but comes up with stories and 'evidence'. The image is we can eat as much as we like for as long as we like, with three square meals per day. This is not possible for most people, who need to adjust intake to achieve goals, as much as change to high fat. Fat is energy and eat too much and burn too little the result is weight gain, high protein input maybe also reason why we stop loosing weight.

    When I started in june 2016 after 45yrs being over weight I was desperate but sceptical and so had three huge meals per day as this had been my pattern for most of my life. The weight loss was amazing for the first month, with 1 stone coming off. By then reducing intake and higher proportion of fat to protein ratio I have kept the weight coming off and now total over 56lbs weight loss in just 4 months. No side effects no issues other than my own decision making process, its been a sharp learning curve because of my past education and belief system.

    There are many inspirational people out there who need to share their story and help inspire others, we have a great team of Doctors, Professors and Nurses who are showing the way. I look forward to seeing a film that challenges the 'Western Diet' and then promotes LCHF in a more positive and detailed way. I am having my 6 month check up soon and cant wait to see my doctors face, this will be my fourth so the blood results will be interesting!

  23. Ron Griffiths
    Roderick
    I'm glad you have seen the light. For me it was going back to what we ate in the 1940s/50s and was glad to realise that this High Carb/low fat dogma is a scam! I like you, lost weight effortlessly and all my health markers have improved. (amazingly, I now never feel hungry).
    Problem with the medical profession is that they are forced to follow GUIDELINES, so until they are allowed to follow the biology and evidence based medicine, it will be a long haul to change.
    There is TOO much money driving conflict of interest! (and health comes second) It is VERY profitable keeping us Sick!
  24. Carolyn Brack-Jackson
    My HgbA1c was 11, now 5.8. My wt was 250 last year now 233lbs. I'm 64 yrs old , have just completed my 2nd 5K, I would NEVER have had the energy before eating a LCHF diet. My goal is to lose 63lbs, continue to run(want to do a marathon, it's on my plate,lol) and to no longer take any medications! Thanks for all the information, support and encouragement, this is a lifestyle that WORKS if you work it!
  25. Catherine
    So glad to see a sensible approach to this way of eating. My fiancé and I have been eating this way for 5 years. He's a very healthy GB athlete and I do ok too. We're both pretty healthy and don't get the colds and bugs as much as many others. You just need to look at how healthy the advocates of this way of eating look opposed to the Drs advocating high carb. We're not designed to be hungry all the time as high carb leaves you feeling. Stock up your herbs and spices bin your pasta and try it. I know when I've eaten too many grain based foods as my tennis elbow flares up, it goes when I eat unprocessed natural foods.
  26. Geraldine Denise
    I agree with you completely! He's eating far too much protein, he didn't seem to be well versed in recipes and options. The quantity of protein probably prevented him from losing more weight and inches off his belly. I saw a big change in my waistline after one month. Now , eight months later I am very happy with the food options and the sustainability of this type of diet. + My body fat distribution has changed, even though I don't can't exercise much.
  27. Geraldine Denise
    Another point is the obese doctor advising him what to eat. How can a person follow the advice of someone who looks so unhealthy? I enjoyed the video but was disappointed he didn't do it for longer and check whether he was in Ketosis or not. I doubt that he managed to change from burning glucose to ketones. Pity. + Since he lost the unacknowledged two inches round the waist by now he surely must know! Perhaps he'll have another go!
  28. George Henderson (@puddleg)
    The GP's advice reminds me of that thing Micheal Pollan says. What was it?

    Eat food
    Mostly Plants
    Not too much
    For no longer than three weeks.

  29. Nads
    Great doco, I am just embarking on my LCHF journey so looking forward to feeling better and shedding a few kgs. I am learning heaps from your site. I would find it hard to accept any advice from an obese Dr and an overweight dietitian, how can you take then seriously when clearly what they are touting is not working for them?
  30. Delaney
    Like comment #4, the big thing I noticed is how much protein he ate during his LCHF stint. Too much protein will start to act like carbs do in the body. I stalled because I was eating meat at every meal. I cut meat out from my lunch meal and dropped more immediately. I've been doing LCHF a few months now, and I've only lost about 10 lbs, but I've lost a TON of inches. I've had a few different dr appts and my numbers are all lower (blood pressure, which was great anyway, etc.). But this was a good documentary. I just don't want to share it because, if it does gain ground as a trend, my meats and fats and nuts and alternative flours are going to get even more expensive!! :P
  31. gbl
    The tape measurement was in centimetres not inches: he lost two centimetres or just over 1/2 inch.
  32. Peter
    I think the TV programme had a positive outcome after all. Jamie did lose weight, although he seemed to be overdoing the protein intake. I also think over consumption is a hidden problem for many people following an LCHF regime (BTW it's NOT a DIET in my view). I went from 95kg to 80kg in four months and lost 4 inches from my waist. While I now eat the right foods I probably do eat a bit too much of them sometimes. I combine LCHF with 16 hour fasting up to lunchtimes and I feel so much better for it. Learning this regime is a bit like learning a new style of cooking, which is something I enjoy doing anyway. I would like to think that I am learning more all the time. I have picked up some of Dr Terri Wahl'a ideas around hyper-nutritive diets and they certainly seem beneficial. I only use coconut oil in cooking now as a result.

    It will take some time to change mainstream thinking around reducing carbs; there are decades of lobbying on behalf of the grain and cereal behemoths to undo and getting the proper research accepted as best practice will take a while. Eventually there will be no other choice if we are to conquer the obesity epidemic.

  33. Francoise
    I find that upon embarking on a high fat low carb diet, people tend to eat too much protein in the beginning. After being told for so many years that red meat, eggs, butter, etc. should be severely restricted, and then learning that in a HFLC diet, you should not fear to eat such food, it is a normal reaction to enjoy them and overeating them. When you embark on a HFLC diet, you learn the pitfalls as you go. And moderating protein is one of those lessons.
  34. Maria
    One thing that is left out of many of these presentations on LCHF, is that what we are presented with in terms of carbohydrates today, is often food that has been tampered with in the factory, made by scientists, with little or no actual food component ( yes, it IS a science)!

    There's no doubt in my mind that carbohydrates cause us to be fatter, but the morbid obesity that we see today, is, I believe, due to, let's call it 'scientific food' that is concocted in labs, food that has just the right amount of crunch, the right zing in the mouth, the moreish taste, and the whole combination is a cocktail that meets the needs of people with poor eating habits, and demands that they eat more of it.

    I refer to this food as extrusion, because much of it begins its life as a gelatinous mass that is extruded through machines into shapes that our forebears would never have dreamt of, and then baked I guess.

    Right now I am looking after my sister's cat. He is a fat boy. When did we ever see cats with weight problems? ???

    Well this boy is now not so fat, and he has stopped scratching at the pantry door for the biscuits that I believe, caused his obesity. In its place he has raw, organic meat and chicken, laced with just a little bit of tinned food - I KNOW, but this is a journey...... Hopefully he will begin to realise that the former tastes and is better for him. I know he has lots more energy than he used to have and he spends more time outdoors.

    For my money it's best we avoid supermarkets where possible, support our local farmers and fishermen, and get back to cooking. My family is essentially LCHF, but we don't and can't eat so much protein as we see in this presentation...but we have lots of salads, green smoothies, fat and some protein.

    So can we believe the 'scientists' who come up with the guidelines for a healthy diet? The short answer is no, for far too many shills are handsomely paid by the food giants to 'guide' us. What a sad state of affairs!

    If that is the case, and I believe it is, where can we find the truth? My answer to that is listen to your body. If you are following a healthy, law-carb diet, if your weight is in check and if, whilst all around you are succumbing to viruses and the likes whilst you stay well, you're on the right track.

    If you have lots of weight to lose, try fasting. You will be much more alert and trust me, you won't be hungry!!

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