Tim Noakes' high-fat, low carb diet (Banting) has created more than a stir among professionals and the public, but there's no denying that it's worked for him since he is predisposed to develop adult-onset diabetes - what is known as “carbohydrate resistant” (CR) and hence “pre-diabetic”.
According to Prof Noakes, those who are profoundly carbohydrate resistant (CR) (as he is) must restrict carbohydrates as much as possible to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes for as long as possible and hopefully for ever.
He finds it easiest to simply remove these foods from his diet. Those with lesser degrees of CR (and carbohydrate addiction) will not need to be as restrictive as much.
Read: Noakes on carbohydrate intolerance
Foods that Tim Noakes has removed from his diet
- Sugar (Must be completely removed from your diet)
- All sugary drinks including cola drinks and sweetened fruit juices Bread
- Breakfast cereals
- Some high energy fruits like bananas
- All confectionary – cakes and sweets
- Desserts containing sugar and carbohydrates
- Artificial sweetners and products containing these products (like “diet” colas)
- Vegetable oils containing high concentrations of omega 6 fatty acids
He also warns everyone to be very wary of so-called “low-fat” “healthy” options, yoghurt especially, since these are laden with sugar and so are less healthy than are the full fat options.
In fact one needs to check the sugar contents of all the foods that one eats. It is astonishing how many contain hidden sugar (which is of course there for a very good reason – for it is addictive, driving the overconsumption of the foodstuffs into which it is added).
Read: Why the world is becoming fatter and fatter and Why sugar is getting such a bad rap
Noakes believes that most dieticians would agree that none of the foods listed above is essential for health and some like sugar and other refined carbohydrates are definitely unhealthy.
"Some dieticians argue that whole grain cereals should be included because they are “healthy” but I have had difficulty finding whole grain cereals that have not been heavily refined."
Read: Tim Noakes: refined carbs may be toxic
"It is also clear that allergies to grains and cereals are commoner than is realised and I wonder if some of the benefit I have derived might not be due to removal of some undetected allergens in cereals or grains.
Indeed I have “cured” myself completely of two allergic (respiratory) conditions and one gastrointestinal complaint since adopting this eating plan. "
Read: What you can expect of Noakes' book The Real Meal Revolution
Professor Noakes says "The real point is that if one is as CR as am I, one has to make choices of (i) how much carbohydrate one wants to eat each day.
I limit myself to between 50-75 grams a day as that is the amount that allows me to regulate my body weight effortlessly without hunger – and (ii) which carbohydrate sources will provide that scanty amount of carbohydrate.
I have chosen to get my miserly grams of carbohydrate from highly nutritious vegetables and dairy produce, not from whole grain cereals. Others might be advised to make a different choice."
Read: Should protein and carbs be eaten separately?
Tim Noakes restricts his food choices to the following food and beverage groups:
- Eggs – from free range hens
- Fish – an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids
- Meat – not processed and preferably from sources that are organically raised eating grass. This group includes biltong, preferably game or ostrich.
- Dairy Produce – milk, cheese and yoghurt – all full cream and from organically fed cows.
- Vegetables – mainly leafy, low carbohydrate sources like lettuce but also including broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, avocado and many others. The choice is based on their nutrient value and their low carbohydrate content.
- Nuts – especially macadamias, walnuts and almonds but specifically excluding the non-nuts, peanuts and cashews which are high in carbohydrates.
- Fruits – only those which have a lower carbohydrate content like berries and apples.
- Water, tea and coffee (all unsweetened)!
I eat my fill from these food groups and am no longer hungry.
In a previous article for Health24, he quoted:
"I eat eggs, bacon, sausage for breakfast OR cheese, yoghurt and the previous night's fat/protein meal. For lunch I will snack on cheese, nuts, biltong and for dinner one of the delicious meals from Real Meal Revolution with lots of vegetables/salads. "
In fact my preferred choice is now to eat a “proper meal” only once every 12-24 hours. I wonder whether humans are truly designed by our evolutionary history to eat large meals, three times every 12 hours (during the day).
What a high-fat diet can do for your hair, skin and nails
More on carbohydrates and finding out if you are carbohydrate resistant
Watch: Talking about the documentary Cereal Killers with ex-athlete turned documentary filmmaker Donal O'Neill
The 10 golden rules of Banting
Is your low-carb diet causing constipation?
Image: one of the dishes from The Real Meal Revolution