I watched a fascinating documentary last night which I really believe everyone should watch if they can get access to it on the internet. The programme is entitled Sugar Vs Fat and follows two twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken as they go on month-long high-sugar and high-fat diets.
In this remarkable study the doctors are able to compare the effects that consuming too much sugar, or too much fat have one their genetically identical bodies as one twin consumes an extreme low fat diet (which is high in sugar), while the other one consumes an extreme low carb diet (which is high in meat, cheese and full fat cream).
For entertainment value, the brothers don’t just measure their weight and blood sugar; they attempt to compare metal alertness by completing a fake stock purchasing exercise, and then try to compare physical fitness and energy levels by completing a bicycle challenge that would have finished me in the first ten minutes.
Not shockingly the twin on the low carb diet does not lose as much weight as the twin on the low fat diet and does not do as well on the cycle race as he is not hyped up on sugar.
The most interesting part of the programme is the last section in which they conclude that it is really the combination fat AND sugar in processed foods (such as donuts) that the truly lethal combination because there are no naturally occurring foods that contain both ingredients and our bodies were not genetically designed to process them correctly in combination in large doses.
So I guess cola and toaster pastries are not the breakfast of champions ‘after all … big surprise.
Critics of the documentary are concerned that it seems to imply that the frequently prescribed low carb diet is not suitable for diabetics – I will leave you to debate this one with your own doctor.
I think the bigger message is a simple one – your body is a finely tuned machine that interprets everything (and I mean everything) that you put in your mouth as a chemical. Eat too much of one thing and not enough of another and your engine won’t run very well – do it long enough and you can even make yourself sick.
Ironically even though we all know what we “should” eat most of us succumb to the taste cravings of some terrible processed junk – stuff so bad we would refuse to eat the unassembled ingredients if we saw them lying on a table. If you doubt this – just have a look at what lurks inside a Twinkie in the image at the top of the page.
Now think for a minute … would you knowingly put bad gas in your vehicle?
Then why on earth would you put “bad gas” in you?
Note: I was able to watch Sugar Vs Fat on Netflix. If it is not available in your country, you can watch clips from the episode by clicking here.