Outside the UK? Watch the BBC documentary The Truth About Carbs

We are already hearing great things about last night’s BBC documentary The Truth About Carbs. And if you live outside the UK and have been unable to watch it so far, there is good news! You can watch it below, via Daily Motion.

The Truth About Carbs features presenter Xand van Tulken, a medical doctor who, despite his love of carbs, says he is determined to find out whether they really do cause health problems.

The team looks at some of the health conditions that may be linked to carb consumption, as well as looking at the effect of different foods on blood sugar levels and examining some possible hacks to make carb-containing foods less damaging.

You will probably recognise a familiar face: Dr. David Unwin from our Low carb for doctors course teamed up with the programme to trial a healthy eating plan that teaches participants to be smart with their carbs.

The documentary is also available here via BBC online if you’re in the UK.

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Other inspiring low-carb documentaries

Dr. David Unwin

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  • Motivating people to change their lives
    How to commit to a lifestyle change


  1. Pam
    I haven't watched the whole thing yet and I thought it was good until it got to the resistant starch part. I tried the cooking and cooling idea on potatoes in potato salad and I found the potato salad still shot my Blood Sugar way up. Also, if you cook then cool to increase resistant start but then heat it again what I read said that then decreases some of the RS.

    I have also heard that whole grain bread is barely and better than white bread. So a person would really need to check their BS 45 to 60 min. after eating, to find out how different they are for their own bodies

  2. Jodi
    Thanks so much for making this available to those of us outside of the UK. I'm enjoying it ... but ... I'm already questioning this a bit. I've heard conflicting evidence about how "good" fiber is for us. And I'm eating more meat now than ever (I'm still eating vegetables, but have cut down on them - and no longer eat them as "filler" thinking that I *have* to) - while still being very "regular". (I do make sure to keep my electrolytes up.) I've been Keto for about 20 months now and just reached my goal weight. Should I really be worried about fiber? Anyone know what the prevailing info/evidence is on that?
    Reply: #3
  3. Jodi
    Also, he seems to be suggesting that we can "burn off" the amount of glucose we take in - and if we don't burn off a sufficient amount, it'll be stored in our body as fat. That seems to be suggesting the "calories in, calories out" model ... and we already know that to be false. There's some good information here ... but I think it doesn't go far enough. He's trying too hard to be friendly to the current (outmoded) way of nutrition thinking. So as I watch... I'm afraid I'm becoming less and less impressed. It's good that this is out there - but he's still perpetuating some pretty damaging myths.
    Reply: #11
  4. Ivor Cummins
    A move in the right direction, but still a lot of misinformation yes. Watch this for proper explanation of the solutions - and all the fiber nonsense explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwO-Uizzx8I&t=1s
    Replies: #9, #16, #24, #34
  5. Huntress
    Resistant starch levels are barely changed by freezing, it is REFRIGERATING for at least 24 hours that you need to do. You can even freeze after that-- but freezing alone makes almost no difference at all.
  6. Jim
    Video unavailable
    This video contains content from LDS, who has blocked it on copyright grounds, both here and at the youtube location.
    Reply: #12
  7. Yaz
    Unavailable, unfortunately.
  8. Paige
    Yes says unavailable for me too, which is a shame. I wanted to see it.
  9. Jodi
    Thank you, Ivor. I appreciate the extra info! Watching the video now. I also noticed as I went through this documentary, that he doesn't mention "high fat" once. I guess that would have scared too many people. ;)
  10. Melinda
    Darn! I must have just missed getting access. .please let us know if this situation can be resolved.
  11. Huntress
    No matter how we try to get around it, it really is all about calories. No, you can’t count them going in and no you can’t count them burning off, so it makes no sense to count them... but even people eating keto often stop losing weight because they eat too much. Calories count.
  12. Jim
    the video was working again at 5:45 EST
  13. Juergen
    I watched it on you tube last night.
  14. Don
    What!!! Not getting enough fiber from fruits and vegetables?!!! What a load of hooie!!

    Read Fiber Menace.

    There are no studies showing a decrease in all cause mortality from wating more fiber.

  15. Andre
    Thanks a lot for making this BBC documentary available outside of UK.
    The dietdoctor team is just fantastic.
    It is an absolutely interesting documentary as it deals with what is mostly important. Getting rid of the added sugar and limiting as much as possible of the starch in our diet.

    We can't win every battle at the same time. Forget for now the fiber battle or the fat battle.
    This documentary will give us a fair chance to win a major battle on sugar and starch. This would be quite an achievement...

  16. Kat
    Can't wait to hear you at KetoCon again!
  17. Jude
    Thanks Ivor for making this available, enjoyed it. Dr. Unwin is one of my heroes. Right up there with you.
  18. Cassieoz
    I see this as a great 'thin end of the wedge' documentary. It suggests a continuum of 'everyone would benefit from getting rid of white carbs' through to 'lots of folks would be healthier ditching white AND beige carbs.' Xander's focus comes from his public health background, aiming to get moderate, longstanding change in as many people as possible and this will never be enough for rusted-on, fire-and-brimstone keto proponents. Ce la vie. His push is for 'evolution' rather than 'revolution' and I think it does brilliantly. This will reach a much wider audience than we-the-converted including those without pay tv and who are scared off by all the organic, grass fed, 'quality' rhetoric. Bravo for a first step BBC
    Reply: #20
  19. Madelein
    I agree with most of the comments above, but I still think an opportunity was missed. 60 minutes are short, so why not rather talk a bit about adding some healthy fats to your diet once you ditch the beige carbs instead of the time spent looking at resistant starch and the decidedly silly bit about glucose and exercise?
  20. Barry
    I agree with Cassieoz.
    The audience for documentary does not resemble the audience for this website.
    The BBC is not a specialist science broadcaster, although it does have science programs. It has to entertain its viewers, especially at that time in the evening. And many of those viewers are not scientifically literate.
    The program went far further than I would have expected. Criticisms of it by some dietitians suggest that it hit home!
    Perhaps it should be thought of as moving the "Overton Window". Documentaries like this may help acclimatise the UK to feel comfortable with condemnations of "white carbs".
  21. Valerie
    The BBC site says the video is unavailable outside the UK because of copyrights issues.
    Did you obtain permission from the copyright owner before posting the video on daily motion? Or did you just steal it?
  22. Chris Pattinson
    My view on this documentary is as something intended as entertainment with a little education for the general public in the UK this was perfect. I was saying to my good lady as we were watching it that some of it was wrong be we have to appreciate this was being watched by people educated to believe the eatwell guide in the UK was healthy. This has got a lot of people questioning it which is good. We have had a couple of good programs just recently going against the high sugar diet so think this is a move in the right direction. Not perfect by any means, but baby steps.
  23. Anneliese
    This is a move in the right direction. Plenty of useful advice but also some questionable advice but this was better then nothing. The elephant in the room was eating healthy fat. Was this deliberate as if saying eating healthy fat as the way forward to supplement a low carbohydrate diet was going a step too far. Meat was served but nothing mentioned really and it only seemed to be a passing comment. I believe I did hear healthy fat mentioned once almost as a passing comment. However let’s applaud this being on mainstream telly as I’m hoping all the people I’ve talked to about LCHF lifestyle who may have continued to be skeptical will hopefully sit up and take a bit more notice.
  24. Marijke
    Thank you for the link. Great interview!
    Gabor has a lot of very interesting things to talk about. I actually did get quite a lot of new information about processed food, fiber and added fats. Going to watch all the other vids too!
  25. Lisa
    Thank you for making this available to us! I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
  26. Mert
    Some people need a lot of fibre for bowel evacuation etc...those who don't need fibre...you are sooooo lucky!!

    Actually using a lot of fat does help as long as your gallbladder is working ok!

  27. Jill
    What's the point of teaching people about low carb without re-educating them about fat, which this programme completely missed out; this presents a high risk of people following a low carb low fat diet; very dangerous. Half Truths are not The Truth. Very surprised this website is supporting this programme.
    Reply: #29
  28. Camas
    Not terribly impressed with this. I had to get through too many food triggers to get to a smattering of meaningful info-THEN he doesn't get to the heart of reason for Low Carb--insulin action & insulin resistance. He also totally ignored the need for increased fat. While he asks the experiment group if they were satisfied with the meals (hunger) & pleased with the results and they SAID yes, however their faces did not support this affirmative response. The Magic Pill was much better.
  29. Greenbee
    It seems to me that the BBC purposely avoided the whole fat debate and since the mainstream medical authorities still cannot agree on fat it was probably a wise decision. It would have been too much for the average viewer. The results of the low carb programs should be valued as a good first step. I have been waiting 20 years for a network like BBC to tackle the carbohydrate problem and reveal it as a massive public health disaster. More enlightening shows like this will follow no doubt, but the fat feud will rage on for several more years I suspect.

    What's the point of teaching people about low carb without re-educating them about fat, which this programme completely missed out; this presents a high risk of people following a low carb low fat diet; very dangerous. Half Truths are not The Truth. Very surprised this website is supporting this programme.

  30. Frank
    A great document displaying how far behind the main stream is in understanding public health nutrition and then a big jump away from understanding individual nutrition responses and monitoring. It's nice being out here in Diet Doctor land where the messages are clearer and more scientific.

    The psychological exercise performance segment was interesting as we understand the benefits of carbohydrates in relation to exercise, and exercise/activity in relation to overall health. Treating a sports drink like toothpaste by spitting it out to get increased exercise benefit has some merit. It may facilitate electrolyte uptake through the oral mucous membranes, if the formulation is correct; salty as well as sweet. But the concern would be the insulin response in relation to the carbs in the mouth, and that switching off ketone production and fatty acid release for longer, sustained body fat reducing activity.

    The host doctor trying to do an interview while stoned (on gas) while getting a colonoscopy done was hilarious, top notch, mass media documentary making. Brilliant stuff.

    The 'take out', excuse the advertising parlance, messages are there to see and cherry pick. Being aware of personal nutrition is important to health. Making your own incremental health improvements as you learn will motivate longer term changes. Monitoring your own blood glucose response to a meal gives you important, personalised data. There is still malarky insidious in the stuff about resistant starch but in the context of a mass media fed audience, the message makers are well aware of the futility in commanding people to stop eating things they are addicted to. That doesn't work. The celeriac and cauliflower rice are the methadone transition program to the white stuff (bread, biscuits, rice, sugar, potato, pasta) addiction.

  31. Barb
    Informative, but I was very disappointed that there was NO mention of increased fat intake. I think this is VERY important. Really, this is not much different from the 'diets' we have been fed for the last 40 years - more green stuff and less white. Without the increased fat, we will always be hungry, and will eventually give up.
    It has taken me some time to get my head around more, good fat. But since I've embraced it, I'm never hungry, my skin feels great, my hair feels great, arthritis?? what is that?
    It is a huge part of this lifestyle change.
  32. Marion
    Ugh, couldn't watch more than ten minutes of this... Still hung-up on the 'more fruits and veggies' thing, I see, no matter that, in order to get the amount of fibre a day these 'health doctors' say we need from fruit, you'd have to eat the equivalent of a pound of sugar along with it. There are better sources of fibre - if you think you need it - than fruit! And still the 'carbohydrates are sources of energy our bodies need' nonsense. Sure, if you're thin and healthy, with a good working insulin response, eat your green and 'beige' carbs, but for us, those who are insulin resistant, even LOOKING at a beige carb will derail us.
    As far as I've seen, this is your typical 'want to jump on the bandwagon but still carrying the baggage of previous convictions' half-baked stuff.
    But still, it's hopeful that apparantly auntie Beeb has noticed a bandwagon to jump on.
  33. Lynda
    A step in the right direction at least and not surprised that higher healthy fats were not included. Anything in the British media always stops short of suggesting adding healthy fats or stresses that a low level of fats should be maintained. Overall, this show should have at least piqued the interest of those who are not as enlightened as those on this site and lead them in the right direction.It would be great to have an LCHF documentary that is not censored.
  34. Mariane Cunningham
    Thank you for the link Ivor. I watched the documentary and was surprised to hear the information on fiber and stone ground wheat. For a second there I got excited to think I could eat bread again but then calmer heads prevailed :) This is a step in the right direction for sure.

    A move in the right direction, but still a lot of misinformation yes. Watch this for proper explanation of the solutions - and all the fiber nonsense explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwO-Uizzx8I&t=1s

  35. Kim
    Many Thanks for letting outsiders get to watch this :-)
  36. Craig
    Ivor, I really appreciated Gabor s interview and knowledge. Thank you.
  37. Ruth lax
    Disappointed to hear Dr Pixie querying this way of eating as cutting out a major food group I.e. carbohydrates, she appears to disregard the fact that it is low carbs not no carbs, quite apart from ignoring the facts of the ‘hard’ bio-markers showing huge improvement in health.
  38. Linda
    I watched this episode 8 months ago. I was very shocked , it turned everything I had ever known about health and nutrition on its head. I was so outraged that I decided to look into it a bit more. I am now 27 kilo's lighter. I do Keto which is not a diet but a totally sustainable lifestyle. My husbands and 3 adult children have joined me and we are all lighter, healthier and in control of our eating.

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