Sugar vs fat on BBC: which is worse?

Sugar or fat, which is worse? That’s the question in the BBC documentary “Sugar vs. Fat” that aired the other night. And it’s been a long time since I got so many e-mails asking me for comments!

It’s an interesting setup. Two identical twin brothers – both of them doctors – go on a diet for a month. One on an extreme low fat diet, one on an extreme low carb diet (not even vegetables are allowed!). Here’s some background information:

MailOnline: One twin gave up sugar, the other gave up fat. Their experiment could change YOUR life

You can watch the show online here.

Unfortunately they end up mostly “confirming” their preconceived ideas. Ready? Here comes the spoilers:

Result

Obviously when there is only one person on each diet, chance plays a big role. But I think the findings were more or less what could be expected, it’s mostly the ignorant (or TV-drama) explanations I have objections to.

Weight

First thing first. Even though both brothers were at a fairly decent weight to start with, the low-carb brother lost the most weight: 4 kg (9 pounds) vs only 1 kg (2 pounds) for the low-fat brother.

As study after study show more effective weight loss on a low-carb diet, this should be no surprise. The loss of fat was 1,5 kg on low-carb (a good result in a month) and 0,5 kg on low-fat. Most of the rest was probably fluid. On a very strict low-carb diet you quickly lose a kilo or two of glycogen and water weight.

How much – if any – muscle mass the participants lost is impossible to know as the BodPod test only measures fat mass vs. non-fat mass (including water).

Brain function

For testing the brain function of the brothers the producers chose to make them do stock trading with fake money.

This shows that the producer is ignorant or just interested in a dramatic show. Why? Because short-term stock trading – without insider info or other illegal tricks – is a game of pure chance. It’s been convincingly shown that a trained monkey has a 50% chance of beating a well-educated stock broker. Why? Because it’s all chance.

In other words this test is rubbish, but the low-fat brother wins.

More interesting and relevant is that the low-carb brother complains of feeling “thick-headed”. I’m sure he’s honest. Going on an extreme low-carb diet – without even vegetables – can absolutely result in problems concentrating etc. for a week or even more, before the body and brain adapts to burning fat and ketones.

This problem can often be partially avoided by increasing the intake of fluid and salt. And after a week or two it’s normally gone.

Exercise

For testing their exercise capacity the brothers do “long sessions of uphill cycling”. The low-carb brother predictably loses badly.

Why? Two things: the body needs weeks or sometimes even months to adapt to high-intensity exercise, using mostly fat and ketones. And even then you might need a little bit of carbs for explosive and anaerobic sports like this.

I’ve interviewed Dr Peter Attia who successfully races his bicycle for hours on a very low-carb diet. Even he uses a little bit of slow-release starch for maximum performance on his long training sessions:

YouTube: Very Low Carb Performance

Diabetes

Finally the icing on the (diabetes) cake. The doctor claims that the low-carb brother has become “almost” pre-diabetic by eating low-carb! The word “almost” should actually be interpreted as “not”. I wonder if the doctor knows the first thing about low-carb and diabetes. In fact I wonder how much he knows about diabetes at all.

The low-carb brother has a fasting glucose of 5,1 before the diet (normal) and a fasting glucose of 5,9 after the diet (normal). Did you catch the word “normal” twice? Yes, thats right, a fasting glucose of up to 6,0 mmol/L is considered normal, at least in Sweden. It also varies significantly from day to day. If we tested the doctors’s own fasting blood glucose it might be 5,9 today and 5,1 tomorrow.

The result could be due to chance but sometimes the fasting glucose level actually gets slightly higher on an LCHF diet, while the glucose levels during the day (after meals) is way lower. This is probably because the body is adapted to burning fat and so the need for burning glucose when fasting is lower. Thus you don’t get the same fasting “dip” in sugar levels.

They also did glucose tolerance tests – a much more relevant test. But the result of the low-carb brother is never mentioned. I guess it was normal.

The fact that diabetes is effectively treated with a low-carb diet should tell us everything we need to know. You don’t get type 2 diabetes by eating a diet that can cure diabetes. And you certainly don’t get type 2 diabetes (strongly correlated to obesity) by losing 4 kilos of excess weight in a month.

Summary

The documentary concludes that it’s not about fat or sugar, it’s about avoiding processed food with both fat and sugar in it. I’m sure that strategy would work fine for these two fairly fit brothers. It’s an excellent start. But it’s not enough for everybody.

In people with obesity and diabetes studies convincingly show that low-carb diets are more effective.

Finally, while a super-strict low-carb diet is not necessary for everyone and has possible side-effects (especially during the first week or two) it certainly do not result in diabetes. That’s just ignorant.

What did you think about the documentary?

More

Diabetes – How to Normalize Your Blood Sugar

New Study: A Low-Carb Diet and Intermittent Fasting Beneficial for Diabetics!

Football Champions on a Low-Carb Diet

Swedish Expert Committee: A Low-Carb Diet Most Effective for Weight Loss

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143 comments

  1. Ken
    Amazing that even the usual media hype over various eating plans is still broadcast like some kind of freakshow tv.
    ive been zero carb (bread, pasta, rice , white potatoes and cereal) for over 5 years (tonnes of veg) and at 40 I have never felt better.
    I play professional paintball with games lasting 7-8 hours without break and do just fine.
    I powerlift as well and since dropping carbs ive got stronger, leaner and faster.
    Ive recomended the paleo way of eating to many friends and clients who have type 2 and all have had fantastic results whih seem to confuse the so called experts. (No surprise)
    Why are they still clinging to the dogma its Ancel Keyes all over again!
    These people need to face facts and embrace a soloution that doesnt require the sale of medications.
    Reply: #3
  2. Garth turner
    I took out of it the same as you Doc. I was surprised we never got the Glucose results. But what really worried me, was the doctor insinuating that there was more chance of a low cab diet bringin on diabetes than a high sugar/carb diet. If any new diabetic seen that, surley they would be really confused?
  3. Garth turner
    Like you ken I excercise at the gym 5 days a week. I dont have much time so my training programme is short high intensity training, and I do just fine. Ive been diabetic T2 for the last 4 years, I eat a low carb high fat diet, Im on no medication, and my last Hba1c result was 6. Someone tell me im doing something wrong?
    Reply: #46
  4. Rick
    Interesting to hear your summary of the show...i missed it last night but recorded it for viewing later. I anticipated a type of hype like after the BBC documentary on fasting in 2012, but if that is what the show is concluding with then i doubt that will be the case...
    After reading taubes books and researching the subject myself with the help of your great website its obvious to see the many benefits and studies supporting this way of eating.
    I plan to start my new journey on monday, I am a healthy weight 29 year old male who works out with heavy weights 3 times a week...i am not doing this to lose weight or control diabetes but just that i believe that our bodies are not adapted to be eating all the processed rubbish and sugar and the feelings and problems that come from it....plus i love my coconut oil coffees in the morning :) Great website and really great source of information for the new comer, i shall be recommending
  5. Dave
    Saw the documentary and for a so called scientific documentary it left out important info.
    They had their cholesterol tested before and after but the exact results were never mentioned, just that they were normal before and after. Why didn't they give the exact ldl hdl levels?
    Nothing was mentioned on actual calorie intake.
    As for the low card high fat diet, it appeared extreme as there was no mention of eating vegetables , so unrealistic diet.
    Interestingly enough they didnt dwell on the point that on the high fat diet cholesterol didn't increase, they seemed to skip over it.
    The end conclusion was sensible about the sugar and fat processed foods causing people to gorge on that type of food , so suggested to avoid it, but no mention on how to avoid it. They could have mentioned, as shown in the experiment that when you eat a fat/protien low carb meal you don't each as much and controls appetite better.
  6. Michelle
    They said weight the LC doc lost was mostly muscle mass and not water. I don't think you have addressed this dietdoc, can you clear this up please?

    I do agree that this programme has told us nothing new, however; it has confirmed peoples fears in the UK that low carb is not healthy. I call that irresponsible.

    Reply: #8
  7. Peter
    It's hardly surprising the 'low carb' brother reacted badly to the fasting gluucose test. After a month of not eating any carbs he suddenly ingests a huge amount of sugar, his poor pancreas got the shock of its life and pumped out insulin as fast as it could.
  8. PhilT
    The statement made on the program about "muscle mass" was incorrect, the BodPod does not measure muscle mass only fat and fat-free mass (FFM) - it is incapable of differentiating water from muscle from bone, for that you need an MRI, DEXA or similar imaging device, or an autopsy, or a nitrogen balance study.

    So the low carb guy lost 1.5kg of fat and 2kg of FFM, the high carb guy 0.5 kg of each. They didn't start from the same body composition or weight.

  9. Svenska tack
    Skriv samma sak på svenska tack.

    Du är svensk och har en svensk blogg, Varför inte bara skriva det hela på svenska med.

    Tack.

  10. PhilT
    The low carb twin wasn't keto adapted, the highest blood ketone level written on the flipchart fleetingly visible twice in the cycling segment was 0.5.

    I suspect he ate a ton of protein.

    They should have had a 2 week washout and reversed diets in a crossover protocol, as well as getting advice from low carb experts rather than the carb queen they employed - see her breakfast suggestions at http://www.amandaursell.com/?page_id=988 ( LOL )

    The twin docs have done better in the past http://www.channel4.com/programmes/medicine-men-go-wild/4od#2923146

  11. Phil Cordell
    My family & I watched this program with great expectations, but was disappointed & left wanting !!

    The experiment had various flaws, one being that they were purely studying Fat/Sugar, although protein was mentioned, it wasn't given an equal value (implying that the protein consumed in the test was classified as fat ??).

    The stock market test was practically irrelevant, as we didn't know their experience, interest or natural aptitude prior ?? The same for the bike test, although the blood test during was informative!

    The 'Fat' they chose included dairy, which obviously is greatly sugar in the form of 'lactose'?? Plus an amount of processed meats including; burgers & sausages that probably had an amount of ingredients we don't know about ??

    It would've been better if they showed the high effect of healthy carbs in the form of fruit & veg, plus 'healthy unprocessed' protein as one diet, against a diet of processed meats, and simple processed carbs, they would've had a different & probably more beneficial result.

    In addition, the mention of muscle loss wasn't qualified by giving the viewer the information that; if you exercise the muscle while reducing calories, more muscle is retained & a greater portion of fat lost. The fact that they only cardio exercise as an example, although not explained, only went to prove what educated health professionals should know, a combination of muscle based exercise keeps/increases your metabolism, cardiovascular exercise on a calorie reduced diet will only eat that muscle and thereby reduce metabolism.

    Yes we know that 'during an event' athletes require/benefit in performance, with using simple carbs as immediate energy, but most of us are not 'athletes in competition. I thought the study was for weight loss not performance ??

    The only useful part was in the summary, where they deduced, to avoid processed foods, as they contain the 50/50 combination of fat/Sugar that is directly related to gaining weight and making us unhealthy.

    I'm more than happy to discuss this further or help anyone wanting to improve their health, fitness and physique !

    http://fitforyou.co.uk

  12. Cher
    I have only just started LCHF. I gained a great deal in my midlife. All I can say is that so far I FEEL so much better than I did on any other 'diet' before. Surely that has to be taken into account. The summary of the fat & sugar combination is the only part of the documentary that makes complete sense. A lot of diet products rely on this, that is why real weight loss is never accomplished. The rest I'm afraid did not wash with me at all.
    I was completely disappointed with this program making me wonder if the sugar industry were not promoting it.
    The good thing is it encourages discussion.
    I will continue on my LCHF journey...watch this space.
  13. John
    I awaited the programme with interest, it having been advertised for about a week before its broadcast.

    After the brief inteview with Robert Lustig, the effect of insulin on storage of fat was described as the "Insulin Hypothesis", yet the idea that saturated fat and cholesterol block arteries, and are bad for you, was given the status of fact set in stone, and not accorded the more accurate description "Lipid Hypothesis".

    Weight:
    One point you do not mention is the loss of muscle mass: the low-carb twin's lost 2kg of muscle mass against 0.5kg loss of muscle mass on the high-carb twin. I do not know enough to comment on the loss of muscle mass, or whether the method of measuring is accurate or appropriate.

    The twins repeatedly put the loss of weight down to calorie consumption-the low-carb twin eating less calories due to satiety eating fat.

    Brain Function:
    I also thought that it was a poor test. Even if the results were not down to chance movements in the stocks being traded, it could simply be that one twin is more comfortable with that particular situation and performs better as a result.

    Exercise:
    I agree with your comments on the exercise test. For a quick explosive burst of energy, some carbs may be useful.

    Diabetes:
    The twins commented on their insulin levels post-test, the low-carb twin having a slightly fasting glucose than pre-test and a lower insulin level. He described this as insulin resistance. Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't insulin resistance high-insulin coupled with high blood sugar, not the low insulin that he exhibited.

    The high-carb twin did have high insulin, "your body's ability to produce insulin improved". I thought of this as "Eating sugar is good for you as your body gets better at producing insulin". It was admitted that, long-term, this could be problematic, but possible development of insulin resistance and diabetes was not explicitly mentioned.

    In fact, to me, the subtle inference seemed to be that the low-carb twin was at a greater risk of developing diabetes than the hig-carb twin, should they continue with thier diets.

    All in all, as you say, the twins had their pre-conceived ideas confirmed. They did admit that some of the results surprised them, as they went against what they had been taught at medical school.

    Reply: #17
  14. Poland
    This test is not even close to show the real benefits of low-carb diet. Every advantage that occured they transform into some sort of misunderstanding or coincidence. It should be at least 2 months for the bodies to adapt, grown the proper enzymes to burn fat. They do not show the cholesterol changes which is surprising as well. This test has the opposing results in my opinion, it rather discourages people to try this diet.

    Surely the summary of the article gives us an important point. So called "supermarket, trash" diet consisting of 50/50 sugar/fat is the worst thing you can do for your body. Picking either of sides already does well for organism.

    A question to those who workout on low-carb diet, do you eat some carbs before an intensive workout session? Or just a meal containing fat 1,5-2h before?

    Reply: #16
  15. Murray
    It sounds like the LCHF twin gorged on protein. I have found that if I eat too much protein my blood sugar is high the next day. Of course, high for me is 5.0 to 5.2 mmol/L. Usually I am in the range 3.8 to 4.7 (4.2 this morning). Blood sugar fluctuates easily. Looking at a cookbook can raise it 0.5. When I walk and run the dog, my last 0.5 km is a hard pace run and my blood sugar will have risen from 4.2 to 5.4. 5.4 is the highest I've measured on my monitor since getting it a year and a half ago.

    Glucose tolerance has to be interpreted carefully on LCHF. If you abstain from alcohol for a while, your alcohol shock response will be less tolerant. Abstaining for a while and giving the system an unnatural shock catches the metabolism unprepared for a binge. Just like alcohol. Don't binge. Sugar is the new alcohol. If the LCHF twin did not have a poorer sugar binge tolerance test, it suggests the adaptation period was not long enough for him or that he failed to engage the epigenes for keto-adapted phenotype for some reason.

    I expect the sudden, drastic shift from excess carbs to zero carbs was too great a shift for the LCHF twin's metabolism to adjust epigenetically in that short a time. I expect his thyroid activity dropped off, explaining the low energy and coldness. Dr. Cate Shanahan counsels gradual reduction of carbs and does not have the thyroid symptoms many people get going very low carb cold turkey.

    Anyway, discovery was not the purpose of the media stunt. It was driven by confirmation bias. Otherwise they would have consulted well known expects in such experimental design like Drs. Phinney or Volek.

  16. Murray
    Poland, check out this paper on fasting and endurance training and Phinney and Volek's book The Art and Science of Low carbohydrate performance.

    http://jap.physiology.org/content/110/1/236.full.pdf

    For longer endurance at very high intensity, slow carbs are useful. Nuts seem to be popular for that. I generally measure fasting glucose in the morning. 4.7 or more indicates to me I am glycogen replete. Below 4.7 and I figure I have some room to take in carbs without elevating blood sugar above 5.0.

  17. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor

    The twins commented on their insulin levels post-test, the low-carb twin having a slightly [higher] fasting glucose than pre-test and a lower insulin level. He described this as insulin resistance. Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't insulin resistance high-insulin coupled with high blood sugar...

    No need for forgiveness. :)

  18. Poland
    Will surely read it! Thanks, Murray. As for excercises with moderate intensity or long-term body weighting it is not necessary to have a carb-preworkout-meal? Sometimes during 35-40 minutes muscle workout with the increased heart rate i encounter slight power lacks which i did not have during high-carb diet. Any proposal for that kind of thing?

    Murray, is the book you recommend available in the online version? Havent found it.

    Reply: #44
  19. Martin Söderholm
    >They also did glucose tolerance tests – a much more relevant test

    In order for a glucose tolerance test to give accurate results the patient is not allowed to restrict carb intake for days/weeks before the test. Something the fat-twin obviously didn't do. If you do a GT test when in ketosis all the glucose will be spared for your liver, the muscle won't grab any. So in this sense, they are insulin resistant. But this is NOT a sign of pre-diabetes, just that your muscles use ketone bodies instead of glucose when they're available.

    Replies: #24, #36
  20. BobTB
    Well it is surely not a rigorous scientific test by any stretch however compared to some of the BS posted here it is grade 1 { pepsi challenge anyone?} . The take what you want to believe { as it fits with your agenda} from any report is de rigueur on all fan sites and this is above all else a fan site. I advise anyone to take the conclusions posted in the tabloid headline style posts with a pinch of salt and to actually take a little time to check the validity of the ""research" being "quoted".

    There is of course a fundamental issue with both the lack and quality of true research into low carb high fat eating. There are no genuinely tier one studies into this way of eating. I am personally an advocate of LCHF as it works for me , unfortunately the scientific evidence base for the validity of LCHF is thin on the ground.The psuedo science posted in more than a few responses here would give Ben Goldacre apoplexy

  21. Chris
    Help, I am just thoroughly confused now. I have been trying LCHF for some time and have seen an improvement in cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure. I worry about the effects on memory suggested by the programme as I am getting to the age where my memory is getting worse anyway. All I want to do is lose weight and stay as healthy as possible but just feel totally despondent and lost as to who to believe.
    Replies: #23, #69
  22. Robin Nixon
    One word: FLAWED

    But what can you expect from a sensationalist program such as Horizon has now become?

    Like almost everyone else here I am proof that LCHF is healthy, safe and works, and in the long as well as short term too.

  23. Robin Nixon
    Chris, all the evidence shows that ketones improve memory, and reduce epilepsy in those afflicted. They also help with Alzheimers too. I have also found my powers of recall are increasing all the time, and my vocabulary seems wider than ever. I also started taking IQ tests every couple of months and have noticed a very slight increase each time. This could be from learning how to take them, or it could be a real phenomena. But certainly I'm not getting any worse on LCHF.
  24. FrankG
    Indeed Martin, this apparent reduction in Glucose Tolerance after a period on LCHF, has been well established, as reported here in 1929

    http://www.jbc.org/content/83/3/747.full.pdf

  25. Tom Welsh
    For anyone who is unfamiliar with the 21st century BBC, I should perhaps point out that it is the home of smug establishment views. And by "establishment", I mean the modern politically correct establishment. If you want to hear what right-thinking, progressive, up-to-date, compassionate left-wing upper bourgeois think, the BBC will tell you - continually.

    Part of this has resulted in an extreme aversion - I could almost call it an allergy - to scientific facts and especially mathematics. The BBC seems to be entirely staffed by people with Arts degrees who understand nothing about science, and think of it as a black art. (I have an Arts degree too, but I have taken the trouble to learn a little about math and science). Except, ironically, for economics and finance - on which topics vast amounts of incomprehensible numbers and jargon are routinely emitted.

    I could have predicted the outcome of any program about diet on the BBC. Namely, complete endorsement of the established lipid hypothesis (except that they don't think of it as a hypothesis, but Holy Writ).

  26. Ivan
    Oh man, you are a star! Such a perfect analysis of the above documentary! Just what I needed when friends/colleagues started asking questions... about my diet! Thanks very much!
  27. Roxy
    Well I usually try to avoid any BBC "science" documentary as they tend to be un-scientific (or frustratingly dumbed-down) and un-balanced. I am on LCHF at the moment, so I thought I would break my normal habit and see what the BBC's take on it would be.

    It seems the only conclusion that was drawn was related to something that wasn't even part of the original test (apart from some strange doughnut-choosing survey). Apparently rats get fat eating cheesecake. Who knew?

    Poor show, BBC, poor show.

  28. Fredrick Hahn
    They ate all they liked so this N=2 test is really pretty meaningless.
  29. Galina L.
    My fasting BS got higher not as the result of a LC diet, but only after (in 3 years after I started LCarbing) my adaptation to do intense physical activity in a fasted state, which suggests for me that it is the necessary physiological adaptation. It took me close to one year, but the increase in endurance was unbelievable.
  30. Pete
    My favorite moment in the program was when they asked the doctor if they were overweight. The doctor’s answer: “I have to check you BMI for that”!

    No! You don’t need the BMI to see that. They had their shirts off! Both these gents were clearly fat.

    Totally surreal. Straight out of 1984. We have designed a system that can honestly tell us that two seriously unhealthy looking men are not overweight. What a load of BS.

    But then again, it works well if the target is to normalise obesity in a country where people carry lots of body fat but very little muscle.

    Britain is the third fattest country on the planet, but with the BBC at the helm, we’re gunning for that number 2 slot!

  31. Nikolaus Kriegeskorte
    The show doesn't address nutritional ketosis. Interestingly, the table of blood measurements displayed several times in the biking episode shows that low-carb twin Xand has ketone blood concentrations <=0.5 mmol/L. This critical piece of information is never mentioned in the story. Xand is not in nutritional ketosis. No wonder he's still dependent on carbs for energy! Why is he not in ketosis after 3 weeks of cutting carbs? There are several possibilities: (1) He cheated on his diet and has still been eating carbs. (2) He's been eating too much protein and converted it to glucose via gluconeogenesis. (3) He is someone whose body takes longer to reach nutritional ketosis. Any thoughts on the relative probability of these explanations? (It could be a combination of these as well.)
  32. Peter (Delta Whiskey)
    My own Atkins journey shows that a long term low carb lifestyle works. I spent 40 years following the conventional low fat/low calorie diet and achieved little weight loss. Three years ago I read Gary Taubes 'Why we get fat' and that changed my life. I found an independent Atkins community (not connected to Atkins PLC) online and haven't looked back.

    If you want to see what a 181 lb weight loss looks like - http://www.atkinsdietbulletinboard.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=5333&#...

  33. Megan
    What I want to know is what is their A1c? Glucose Tolerance is an old less accurate test for diabetes.
  34. Andrea
    Any chance you guys know your blood types? Would put things into context. We are not all the same even twins. Diet by blood type makes a difference.
  35. Damocles
    Doctor: "you have 26% Body Fat"
    Participant : "Am I overweight?"
    Doctor "well, we have to look at your BMI first"

    ... dooo!

    The BMI is about the worst approximation of overweight.
    He already has an exact bodyfat measurement and still trusts the BMI more.

    Here a chart that shows, that having a bodyfat% of 25 can mean a BMI of as low as 19 (skinnyfat),
    up to 40 (bodybuilder)

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Correlation_betwee...

  36. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    True. But even considering this potential problem the low-carb brother seems to have passed the test.
  37. Lee
    Did you see the meal that was briefly shown being eaten by the 'high sugar' brother at one point? Didn't look very high sugar to me - looked like fish, a little rice and some veg. I'd be interested to know what he actually was eating for the four week period and also how it compared to his normal diet. I suspect he was eating more low fat than high sugar.
  38. bill
    One month???

    HAH!

    Useless.

  39. Boundless
    The van Tulleken brothers seem to be professionally clueless about low carb.

    Last year at this time, we happened to watch the “Healthiest Heart” episode in the “Medicine Men Go Wild” series. In this series, these same twin physicians studied medical and dietary practices in remote cultures.

    In the HH episode, the subject was the Inupiaq Eskimos, who subsist on walrus, whale and fish. The doctors were pretty much bewildered by how healthy most of these people were (and their lack of disease) given this must-be-horrible high-fat, moderate protein, almost-no-carb diet. Being apparently unaware of NK (nutritional ketosis), they managed to credit it to high levels of exercise. The one guy in the village with bad labs, no surprise to followers of this blog, was found to be eating wheat products from the outside world.

    Reply: #40
  40. Pete
    Haha that is excellent information! Thanks!
  41. Mike
    Both brothers and the production company should be sued. Guess it shows doctors cannot be trusted to set up an experiment. God knows they cannot be trusted to give nutrition advice. They did not do the proper research to do the experiment properly. In doing so they caused millions of people to be biased against low carb forever.
  42. Jen
    I left this a bit confused too. I thought it was overly simplified and agree that eating zero sugar was crazy and not realistic. I can't imagine for a second that the guy who ate only sugar had zero fat. I agree with the individual that said it felt like it had backing - like it was going to go somewhere interesting and then had to side on a tepid middle-ground to please the funders. I admit I was a bit disappointed. I started it excited and ended feeling "meh, typical!" and want to continue LCHF more than ever. I ate mashed cauliflower with cream and buttle with salmon while watching it. Don't regret my choice a bit. ;0)~
  43. Anita
    I think the results from this programme must definitely be taken with a pinch of salt! The brothers obviously had preconceived notions about LCHF and didn't enter into the experiment with open minds.

    As for the BBC, the least said about that organisation, the better.

  44. Murray
    Poland, here is a link to the book in kindle format.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Performance-ebook/...

    I don't know much about weights and diet. Jeff Volek and Dominic D'Agostino (university south Florida researcher into using ketogenic diet to treat cancer and military use of ketogenic diet) are both into lifting and ketogenic diet. I recommend seeing what they have written.

  45. N.
    Hugely disappointing "documentary". Was it supposed to be a high sugar versus high protein or high fat? They used fat and protein interchangeably. I high fat diet, with nutritional ketosis is what they should have done. Every well read person knows that too much protein - can be turned into glucose in the body.

    Poorly done. These guys clearly want to be popular and have their face on TV. They have ignored or disregarded REAL doctors like Dr. Lustig - who has done ALL of his own research, not just stomping on the work of others for the sake of air time.

  46. François
    Garth,

    Please search on youtube Dr Jason Fung: he is a Canadian kidney specialist who got tired of patients destroying their kidneys with diabetes. he has an intensive treatment for diabetes (a combination of LCHF and of skipping breakfast) - LCHF and partial fasting - which CURES type 2 diabetes.

    The idiots who did the ridiculous comparison know nothing of physiology. Type 2 diabetes is CAUSED by insulin resistance, itself caused by high insulin levels (resistance, or tolerance, is the way the body reacts to an abnormally high level of any substance). The same goes with alcohol: alcohol resistance is CAUSED by alcohol. To suggest that a high carb diet is good for diabetes and a low carb one dangerous is totally ridiculous.

    Dr FUNG gives a series of examples of patients who started taking high doses of insulin or multiple drugs. Nearly all now are drug free with normal glucose levels (a few of the most severe patients still take some medication, but much less than what they were previously taking).

    Please see Yoshifumi Y, Uchida J et al., A non-calorie-restricted Low-carbohydrate Diet
    is Effective as an alternative therapy for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
    Intern Med 53: 13-19, 2014

    They have clearly demonstrated that even a partial restriction of carbs gets the HbA1C and the triglycerides down while a calorie-restricted but any carbs allowed diet changes nothing.. When carbs are 75g-135g per day, the effect is temporary and after 4 months, HbA1C starts creeping up slowly on average. A more severe restriction of carbs is necessary (50g or less) WITH partial fasting (skipping breakfast) to bring insulin levels down and growth hormone levels up and normalize blood glucose.

    See Kral TV, Whiteford LM, Heo M, Faith MS. Effects of eating breakfast compared with skipping breakfast on ratings of appetite and intake at subsequent meals in 8- to 10-y-old children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):284-91. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.000505. Epub 2010 Nov 17. for an interesting analysis of what really happens to patients who skip breakfast.

    Good luck with your diabetes control: you seem to be well on your way to normalizing your glucose and you definitely are doing the right thing.

    Reply: #51
  47. Max EV
    ....just read a comment by Dr. John Briffa on the show-diet. I think the documentary show'ed only half the results, the one half supporting the idea that "a calorie is just a calorie and all calories are equaly beneficial" idea. Whoever diggs deeper gets different results than the people who are easily satisfied just scratching the surface.
    http://www.drbriffa.com/2014/01/30/my-take-on-the-horizon-documentary...
    How deep will we be willing to digg ?
    Reply: #127
  48. Jonas A
    Send your critical comments to BBC. I have done it.

    https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/faqs/forms/?eid=&id=RRCNUJJN2R8QBNQCKB50I5...

  49. Nick B
    4 weeks isn't enough time to cover the effects of a ketogenic diet as your body is adapting. Your cholesterol levels go sky high for the first 3 months before they drop to a low level as that's how long for your body takes to at least to adapt properly to keto
  50. @lowcarb_zealot
    This documentary clearly showed that, unfortunately, being a doctor does not necessarily preclude someone from being an idiot...
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