Last year, ABC’s science program Catalyst was slammed by health professionals and its own internal review board for screening a two-part documentary which alleged that there was no link between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease.
Now a new episode of the show is dividing health experts before it even airs.
The Catalyst episode “Low carb diet – fact or fiction?”, set to screen tonight at 8pm on ABC, will look at the science behind low-carb diets, with South African sports scientist, Tim Noakes, saying there is no nutritional value in carbohydrates.
Noakes encourages a higher fat consumption, something that is supported by interviews with Paleo diet advocate celebrity chef Pete Evans and cricketer Shane Watson, who are both converts to the low carb, high fat diet.
Noakes says, “If you follow this diet we can reverse obesity and type two diabetes.”
Dr Peter Bruckner who works with Cricket Australia and Shane Watson told Catalyst that a low carb diet is especially important for people with diabetes, saying, “these people don’t metabolise carbohydrates well, that’s what diabetes is – a failure to metabolise carbohydrates. Yet we’ve traditionally given these people high carbohydrate diets and it just doesn’t make sense”.
Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation both declined to be interviewed by Catalyst, but did send statements to the show. The Heart Foundation was at the forefront of complaints about Catalysts’s last controversial show about heart medication, so this is not altogether surprising.
Nutritionists are already concerned about the impact of the show and have been quick to point out that revelations of a miracle no-carb diet are deeply flawed.