Horizon: Eat, Fast and Live Longer

I’ve just watched the BBC Horizon programme on fasting. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the iPlayer any more but I did find it on you tube.

Overall I found the programme very interesting, however there were a couple of things I would have liked to have seen.

The first thing I think the programme would have benefited from is looking at how fasting affects Muslims during Ramadan i.e. eat nothing during the day and eat in the evening. Michael Mosley undertook a three and a half day fast and alternate day fasts. Personally I would have like to have seen if there was any benefit (from their point of view) in evening meal to evening meal fasts.

The other thing I would have liked to have seen would have been the effect of fasting different macro-nutrients while keeping the overall calories the same, for instance restricting carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. They kept talking about blood glucose levels and insulin in the blood test results, so it would have been interesting to see what ‘fasting’ carbohydrates had on IGF-1 levels.

My favourite bit of the programme though, was when Michael Mosley and the researcher studying alternate day fasting went through a drive through and they talked about what people ate during the feeding days. Michael Mosley asked about fat intake and the researcher responded by saying that surprisingly, even when people ate high fat foods during the feeding days, they still saw an improvement in their LDL cholesterol and triglycerides! Maybe it’s because of the fasting, or maybe it’s because high fat diets aren’t actually that bad for us in the first place 😉


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