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High carb vs high fat/protein diet

Cape Town dentical twins, Jax Howie and Jeanne Neilson, are challenging Professor Tim Noakes’s controversial high carbohydrate and high protein diets by putting them to the test.

The twins from Bloemfontein, who moved to the Cape and stayed here after completing Bachelor of Arts degrees at Stellenbosch University, say they will change their eating plans in the name of public interest.

Identical twins Jax Howie, left, and Jeanne Neilson, right, are putting the diets of Dr Tim Noakes, centre, to the test. Credit: SUPPLIED

“What this is, is a public interest project, because high carb versus high fat/protein diets are what the public is interested in right now,” said Howie, who will be doing the high carb diet.

“Jeanne and I and almost everyone we know is asking: ‘Which eating plan should I do? If only I could do both at the same time and see what happens’.”

Howie said their food intake will be hunger-driven and the amount they consume will be uncapped.

The 35-year-old twins approached Noakes to put his new theories to the test recently and he agreed to help them with the challenge. Noakes will be helped by project manager, Jamie Smith, and dietician Rael Koping.

Noakes, who caused a stir in health circles when he refuted his own nutritional advice of carbo-loading every day, is glad to be part of the exercise. “We are doing this to make people aware that there is more than one option to lose weight,” Noakes said. “People must understand that this is not a scientific research project but we hope it will give people more insight on the diets.”

Noakes said he was certain the outcome of the project would see the twins, who are already lean, gaining more muscle. He also said they would not have to do any sort of exercise.

“Nutrition is more important than exercise and they can just carry on as per normal. Jax is a mom and running after her kids will be enough exercise for her, “ he said.

Howie will have to eat oats, lean meat, pasta and cucumber in her high carb plan, while her sister, Neilson, will eat eggs, beef biltong, sweet pepper and mushrooms on her high fat/protein plan.

The twins will be in the project for two months and will be tested regularly to track among other things cholesterol, fasting insulin and blood glucose, blood pressure, hip and waist circumference and body fat percentage. - Cape Argus

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