The Truth About Carbs, BBC1 review: Accessible documentary with tremendous results

Dr Xand van Tulleken in The Truth About Carbs, BBC One

Dr Xand van Tulleken set out to explore carbohydrates, and their role in our increasing rates of type 2 diabetes, obesity, bowel cancer and fertility problems. The Truth About Carbs was a fun, accessible documentary complete with animations, demonstrative props and a visual experiment in which he asked people to measure out the sugar cubes found in foods from a bagel to a muffin. Shock: there are 19 in a seemingly innocent baked potato.

Dividing them simply into three types of carbohydrate: beige (starchy), white (sugary) and green (healthy fibre), van Tulleken clearly got his message across about the importance of healthy, resistant starch in the diet.

After hearing the terrifying diabetes-related conditions he listed – blindness, ulcers, heart attacks, strokes, limb loss… oh, and death (“It’s pretty hard to overstate how dangerous type 2 diabetes is,” said the upbeat, amiable doctor) – you certainly wanted to follow GP David Unwin’s low-carb lifestyle advice. With tips such as substituting celeriac for carb-heavy roast potatoes, or bulgar wheat for rice, we saw the results of a group of overweight patients who had all lost weight, with some on their way to reversing their diabetes.



The i newsletter
News for open-minded people. Delivered straight to your inbox.