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Let’s talk about Banting

What is Banting?

By now, you would not just have heard of this magical diet – you would have seen the miraculous results some people are boasting. Yes, people have managed to lose a lot of weight quickly by following the Banting diet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy or recommended for everyone.

It all started in 1862, when William Banting, an obese undertaker in Britain, sought advice from his doctor. His doctor recommended a drastic change to his diet, eliminating most carbs in favour of high fat options with moderate protein. Mr. Banting lost a remarkable amount of weight and thus, The Banting Diet was born.

A few hundred years later, South African Professor, Tim Noakes, came across research which indicated that current international food guidelines were detrimental to overall health. He then conducted his own research and came to the conclusion that the healthiest possible diet for many human bodies consisted of a high percentage of fat and a low percentage of carbohydrates. He went on to challenge international eating guidelines and started The Noakes Foundation to enforce his message, ultimately reversing the global trends related to food and challenging current health and nutrition misconceptions. The first step in his process was to write The Real Meal revolution – the concise Banting guide which has taken the world by storm.

The book teaches you exactly what to eat in order to achieve “banting” status, and contains many delicious high fat, low carb Banting recipes designed to maximise weight loss and promote overall health while you’re Banting.

So what exactly is Banting?

Banting is the term used to describe the act of dieting – specifically dieting by removing carbohydrates from your diet and replacing them with high fat foods and a moderate amount of protein. To stay true to your Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet, you would cut breads, pastas, cakes, pastries, sugar and starchy vegetables out of your diet and replace them with things like salmon, avocados, butter, bacon, and cheese – doesn’t sound bad, right? Right. This is why so many people have seen such great results from the diet plan.

The great thing about Banting is that the food isn’t terrible. The meal plan consists of foods that most people actually enjoy, foods you can easily see yourself eating daily. Professor Noakes himself has eggs, sausage, cheese and bacon for breakfast and snacks on cheese, nuts and biltong – and has still lost weight and seen an improvement in his overall health. There’s no need to munch on leaves and opt for cardboard-esque meals, you can fully enjoy your food while still losing weight.

How does banting impact overall health?

Besides weight loss and great food, Banting has other benefits. It claims to reverse Type 2 diabetes and assists in controlling blood sugar in patients with Type 1 diabetes. It also claims to improve symptoms of IBS, Acne, Skin Irritations, PCOS and Heartburn. By simply cutting carbs and adjusting your diet by increasing the nutritional value of your foods, you can make a real change to your health and wellness.

There are some concerns about adopting a Banting approach to food though. Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, the Association for Dietetics in South Africa and other health groups are warning the public about possible health risks associated with the Banting diet. While they are still conducting their studies, these associations are concerned about increased risks of heart disease, strokes, cancers and diabetes that could possibly come with a LCHF diet. While they concede that certain fats are beneficial to heart health, they cannot endorse a LCHF diet plan until their research has concluded and they can unequivocally determine whether it is as healthy as Professor Noakes claims.

Banting is also not recommended for everyone. It is not safe for women who are breastfeeding as it affects the amount of milk you produce and could lead to ketoacidosis – a life-threatening condition in which the body runs out of insulin. You should also consult your doctor before adopting Banting if you are on any diabetes or blood pressure medication, as the diet and the medication could result in dangerous complications.

When to start Banting

We recommend consulting with your doctor before adopting the Banting lifestyle, even if you are not breastfeeding or on medication. It is dangerous to start a diet or make lifestyle changes without a thorough examination of your overall health so if you are interested in Banting, call your doctor first.

Medical expenses to tend to stack up when you first adopt a lifestyle change – you will need to consult with your doctor in order to establish whether your diet is having any adverse effects on your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar or other biological systems. Affinity Health offers affordable medical insurance options which could cover the costs of doctors visits and hospital stays.

Adopting a diet can be challenging but Banting does make it much easier to shed the pounds and improve overall health and wellness while keeping the hunger pangs at bay. With banters in over 150 countries and some truly astounding results, Banting has become the first choice for many dieters around the world – and with the scrumptious meal options, we can’t blame them.

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