One twin eats hi-fat, the other hi-sugar, what did tests show?
What happens when two identical twins go on radically opposite diets. For the 2014 BBC documentary Fat vs. Sugar, twin brothers undertake a fascinating and insightful experiment. One twin abandons all sugar for a hi-fat diet, similar to that recommended by Atkins, low-carb, Paleo diet advocates. The other twin abandons all fat for a hi-sugar diet, similar to that recommended by vegan, vegetarian, and plant based diet advocates. I can tell you the whole story here but if you have an hour you can check out the full story for yourself here. I embedded the full video at end of this article.
Every cell in your brain runs on glucose. This is the easiest and most readily available energy for your body. Glucose is a simple sugar that circulates in the bodies of humans and other animals as a readily available source of energy. Whether you eat sugar from fruit, bread, pasta, or potatoes, it is all broken down by your body into glucose. Glucose is widely acknowledged to be the human body’s ideal source of energy.
But if glucose is our body’s ideal energy, why is it that so many people have jumped on the bandwagon of promoting hi-fat diets and what is the impact of choosing hi-fat over hi-sugar? Thankfully Alexander and Chris Van Tulleken underwent this unique experiment to illustrate the answer to these questions. If you haven’t yet watched the documentary above, SPOILER ALERT, I’ll summarize the results of their experiment now.
The high sugar diet outperformed in tests both physically and mentally demanding. Observing the twin on the hi-fat diet it is hard to not feel sorry for him as he craves carbs, appears lethargic, and has cloudy mental function. He has also lost more muscle mass than fat by the end of the experiment. The twin on the hi-sugar diet appears full of energy and happy throughout the test. He eats as much as he wants and beats the other twin easily in a physically challenging bicycle ride test and a complex mental test requiring simultaneous use of multiple mental capacities. The only thing I found disappointing about this film is the weak conclusions they drew at the end when as a viewer the results of their test were incredibly persuasive. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself the impact of diet on your mental and physical abilities. One hour spent watching Fat vs. Sugar may change the way you view what you put in your mouth.