Twin brothers go on extreme diets to find out if sugar is public enemy number one
Sugar or fat, which is worse? It is one of the hottest questions in nutrition, and probably filling your Facebook feed full of articles telling you what you should be eating. It’s a constant stream of differing opinions telling us we should be eating carbs and low fat, while others advise us we shouldn’t be eating any carbohydrates, it’s fat and protein you should be consuming. If only we were all robots.
In this documentary, twin doctors Chris and Alexander Van Tulleken set out on a month-long experiment to see which diet really works, the high fat or the high sugar diet. But what they discover is both shocking and surprising, and what they find out about this on-going debate is that real enemy is in plain sight.
Both twins can eat as much as they like during the four weeks, except one couldn’t eat any carbs, and the other could only consume a minimal amount of fat. They live a similar lifestyle, including their exercise levels, so any change to their body composition would ultimately come down to their diet.
Superficially, the answer seems straightforward: we’re all packing on fat because we overeat and don’t move enough and for most of us, we have grown up being brainwashed that fat is bad: if you eat fat, it will make you fat and worse, it will clog your arteries and cause metabolic conditions.
So it only makes sense that cutting out fat and eating low-fat food is the only way to live a long healthy life. Right? Well, not exactly. You don’t need to be a scientist to work out that most of us are consuming foods that our bodies just cannot tolerate and process efficiently, and statistics from almost all countries around the world are showing us that heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are all on the rise each year.
But the whole “fat is bad for us” dogma is now being widely questioned. Carbohydrates, including sugar, however you consume it, is converted into glucose by the body for a quick energy source, and when you have too much glucose circulating in your blood, your pancreas needs to produce more and more insulin to bring those sugar levels down.
Over time, insulin and other hormones stop working as they should and you start to see the signs in the mirror and develop health conditions such as diabetes. It is the very reason many scientists and nutritionists all over the world are starting to view carbohydrates as a fattening and toxic ingredient.