Skip to comments.Twin Doctorsí Diet Experiment: One Gave Up Sugar, One Gave Up Fat
Posted on 01/31/2014 11:51:14 AM PST by nickcarraway
Sugar vs fat: Chris and Xand Van Tulleken, both 35, spent a month following restrictive fad diets to see if one food group is behind the obesity epidemic.
Is a high-fat, low-carb diet better for you than a high-carb, low-fat one? A pair of British brothers set out to end the fat versus sugar debate.
Alexander (Xand) Van Tulleken, a senior fellow at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University in New York, and Chris Van Tulleken, a physician at University College Hospital, London, each agreed to stick to a specific diet for one month.
Chris followed a super-low-fat plan, while Xand cut out carbs, and their journey was documented for BBCs Horizon program.
The 35-year-old identical twins were the perfect guinea pigs, Xand said. They had the same genes, lived similar lifestyles and had comparable exercise habits, so any changes would be the result of their new diets. They were allowed to eat whatever they wanted, both brothers said cutting out such a big food group was no picnic.
I thought I'd got the better deal: I could eat meat, fish, eggs and cheese, Xand wrote in an article for the Daily Mail. But take away carbohydrates and the joy goes out of meals. And remove all fruit and veg they all have carbs and you get constipated."
Xand said the diet filled him up, but he felt slow both mentally and physically. Chris, who was always snacking because he was never full, blew past his brother in an uphill bicycle race.
He just keeps getting further away and I cannot make my legs go any faster, Xand told the camera during the race. Its like Im stuck in one gear.
Chris also crushed him in a fake stock trading competition.
"I just couldn't remember anything," Xand said in an interview with the Daily News.
Both brothers did drop some weight at the end of the month, but Xand explained to The News that his weight loss came from losing muscle ("Losing muscle is bad news," he said). He was also closer to being diabetic.
"I was significantly less healthy than my brother was," he said. But Chris low-fat diet could also have negative health consequences, so neither is good for you in the long run.
The most interesting thing we found was that we were asking the wrong question. It's not which is worse for you, fat or sugar, but rather which foods are making so many of us gain weight and why? Xand wrote.
Their advice? Stay away from processed foods that are loaded with sugar and fat.
So Xand was full of crap?
I am reading this article wrong or does it make no sense whatsoever.
One pair of twins does not a study make. Fats and sugar have differing effects on different people. What Xand describes as the result of low sugar, high fat is what I get from low fat diets.
You’re right, it doesn’t make sense. None.
They set out to prove one over the other, and found out it’s both. Meh.
It has the advantage of being very easy to stick to.
What diet cuts out vegetables? What fats were allowed/disallowed? What about processed meats?
This wasn’t any kind of valid experiment. It was a silly stunt, leading to a poorly written article, culminating in worthless conclusions.
No, I think you got it clearly. Don't eat anything, but don't stop eating, then you might be slow or fast, depending on whether you feel full or not. Weight loss is not guaranteed, but Obamacare premiums will still go up.
It... makes no sense.
Was this translated from another language?
Both brothers did drop some weight at the end of the month, but Xand explained to The News that his weight loss came from losing muscle (”Losing muscle is bad news,” he said). He was also closer to being diabetic.
This doesn’t add up, if Xand was the one on the low carb diet, there was no way he was near being diabetic. This is impossible as there would have been little if any sugar in his blood to cause his blood sugar to spike like a diabetic or pre-diabetic... I am either reading this wrong, or something is just not right with this paragraph.
Maybe a balanced diet is better?
I am having trouble following it too.
This needs more explaining about which twin followed a specific diet, and what the results were for each.
And no fruit or veggies in one of the diets? The outcome of that is obvious.
How much processed food did they eat....this is a really stupid “study”
Don’t tell my 2yo. He’ll take broccoli over cake and always wants some of my “green juice “ which is mostly kale, cucumber, green pepper, fresh ginger, tomato, and carrot juice with cinnamon and garlic.
Lo carb diets still have lots if veggies. It’s a shame this wasn’t a real study...
You just need to find the right cheese sauce to fall off that diet.
Everything in moderation.
You are correct. It’s baloney [and not the tasty kind.]
I guess most people on Atkins don’t know, because I can’t remember one that didn’t think vegetables were evil and the main thing that make people fat.
I was going to make the same comment!
His body’s response to being deprived of complex carbs may have pushed more sugar into his blood stream.
And therefore perfect for the typical feature story for public consumption.
I’m calling Child Protective Services if you let him drink that again.
I don’t see how, unless I misunderstand how the body works, and I may, I thought when you deprived the body of carbs, your body became Ketone dependent, deriving its energy from ketones extraced from stored fat.
If depriving yourself of sugars would cause blood sugar to spike, then I don’t understand how Diabetics could exist on a low carb diet.
You're reading it right: it makes no sense whatever. It's contrary to the experience of millions and contrary to the findings of many studies.
One issue is that the guy who thought he was supposed to cut out carbs and eat nothing but protein and fat misunderstood. He wasn't supposed to cut out all carbs and fiber; he should have been eating low-sugar vegetables, some nuts, berries, avocados, salad, and other things to make meals pleasant. The point is to cut sugar and glucose-elevating foods out if your diet. Also, there are fats and then there are fats.
I eat a low-sugar diet and it has done wonders for my glucose levels, strength, sleep, skin, and mood. I think the twin who are crap carbs may have enjoyed his sugar rush, but he has a far better chance of experiencing heart attack, diabetes, and even Alzheimer's.
If he’d just cut out REFINED sugar,
he’d have beat his brother up the hill on the bike.
Anything published in the NY daily news is automatically bullfeathers. It’s a poorly written rag scaled to the intelligence level of a mushroom.
Then not one of them actually read the Atkins book - they just heard that they could do an all-bacon diet and went for it. :)
one month does not a valid diet experient make, even one as poorly designed as this one
completely cutting out any component naturally found in the things it is O.K. to eat, whether it be all fat or all carbs, is not a diet experiment, its unhealthy
a good diet does not cut them out entirely, fats or carbs, but provides a good balance of them, the body needs some of each and feels under nourished when it does not get them, sometimes registering that under nourishment as a trigger to store more of what is being consumed as fat - the body’s natural way of “saving for a rainy day” when triggers indicate it should
The solution to losing weight is as it has always been...eat less, exercise more, drink lots of water. Just put down the Doritos and hit the elliptical machine.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
It's one of the reasons you don't do a "study" with two people.
Saw a Breatharian on </i>Tom Snyder</i> about forty years ago. He was extremely slow [and slightly slurred] in his speech, and looked like he’d just been rescued from Andersonville.
Saw a Breatharian on Tom Snyder about forty years ago. He was extremely slow [and slightly slurred] in his speech, and looked like hed just been rescued from Andersonville.
So, that all said, I swear by the low carb diet ... but ... Your brain needs carbs. I'm not sure a lot of doctors would recommend you be under 20g/day. This guy was clearly not getting enough complex carbohydrates for this brain if he was experiencing forgetfulness and so on. Be advised...
An extra slash on the opening tag. You banished the Italians twice. :=)
How true, The other day on the local news some spokeszombie for PETA called on the FLA dept of corrections to serve the inmates vegan diets. She sounded like knocked back a few too many Quaaludes.
Not veggies. Starches are the culprit. Wheat, grains, potatoes. Veggies are fine as are fruits in moderation after the first week.
Grandma put meat, potatoes, vegetables on the table every night along with a couple of Rheingolds. My Grandma died at 99 after mowing her brothers lawn in her own apartment in front of her own TV neither over nor underweight.
It takes most people two to three weeks to adapt to a low-carb diet, so a one-month study may not be long enough to show any real effects.
Second, there’s no discussion of what they replaced what they weren’t eating with. A lot of people who try low-carb don’t seem to understand that they need to eat a lot more fat. Meals that are low in carbs and are low in fat are dry and tasteless. Meals that are high in fat are not.
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