The low-carb movement has gained much traction in South Africa with Prof Tim Noakes leading the way. However it has not been without ruffling some feathers.
He has called on his critics to join the low-carb lifestyle debate with 16 health experts at the Old Mutual Health Convention from 19 to 22 February 2015 in Cape Town.
Noakes maintains that a diet high in fat is actually far healthier than we’ve all been led to believe. He posits that an excess amount of carbohydrates is behind many of the diseases of lifestyle so many people suffer from.
"You can't keep promoting an idea that is wrong," said Noakes at a briefing ahead of the four-day event taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
"If there are any scientists out there, who believe passionately that we are doing the wrong thing and that the low-carb movement is killing all of South Africans, as people frequently tell me, please come forward and let's hear your story, we can't wait."
Read: Gary Taubes on why we are fat
He said that people who were the most vocal about his eating plans have turned down the opportunity to attend the conference. Said Noakes: "All of a sudden they've got reasons why they can't make it".
"I think what they've seen is that they've got serious scientists to debate with and they realising they are out of their depth. It is always very easy just to repeat the same stuff as everyone says it but when the other information comes along and you're made to look stupid, probably that is what they don't want to do."
Read: Tim Noakes' Eating Plan vs. balanced weight loss diets
Noakes' book, The Real Meal Revolution is rooted in the concept of "Banting" – the LCHF (low carbohydrate high fat) diet named after William Banting, who gained popularity for drastically reducing his weight the LCHF way.
The collaborators include nutritionist Sally-Ann Creed and chefs David Grier and Jonno Proudfoot oppose counting calories as a way of eating, and say you must, as we did 100 years ago, eat when we are hungry.
More controversially, they maintain we've been lied to about fats, and that everyone, despite the fact that people have been cutting it out of their diets, is still getting fatter by the day.
Read: Zoe Harcombe on why we overeat
Heart specialists were horrified at his claims that high cholesterol does not cause heart disease. The sporting fraternity was mortified that he was admitting his previous “carbo-loading for athletes” theory was not a good idea and dieticians could barely contain their fury that a sports scientist could make such claims.
The 16 experts who will speak at the Old Mutual Health Convention include Gary Taubes, Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr Eric Westman, Christine Cronau, Dr Ann Childers, Jimmy Moore, Dr Jason Fung and Dr Robert Cywes.
The summit will be discussing the widespread increase of obesity and diabetes and how our traditional view on a low fat diet has influenced this.
In the video below Prof Noakes speaks about the significance of the event:
Pro low carb diets:
Tim Noakes on how it works and why this is a lifestyle more than a diet
Tim Noakes diet is put to the test
Video: why a low-carb diet is good for you
A scheduled high-fat diet may curb obesity
Video: Tim Noakes talks about his book The Real Meal Revolution
Carb and sugar addiction is fuelling SA's obesity epidemic
Tim Noakes says refined carbs may be toxic
Tim Noakes: the heart disease theory 'has failed'
Tim Noakes: poor children should eat animal organs
Is the Tim Noakes Diet affecting your hair, skin and nails?
Why we get fat, by Gary Taubes
Could the LCHF/ Banting diet help prevent or control ADHD?
Anti low carb diets:
Tim Noakes' critics shun the low carb high fat health summit
Pregnant moms on the high-fat diet may be putting their offspring's life at risk
Why a high-fat diet is bad for the body clock
A high-fat diet could up the risk of pancreatic cancer
High protein diets increase your chances of developing kidney disease
DietDoc asks: why are we always chasing quick-fix diets?
Warning issued regarding HFLC and high protein diets
Too much, too soon, Tim Noakes!
Banting/Noakes diet discriminates against women
Noakes slammed by UCT professors
Patrick Holford: banting is dangerous
Heart Foundation's open letter to Tim Noakes
Experts warn against Noakes diet
We debate Tim Noakes on which diet will save the world
TIP: Visit our partner site Food24 for some excellent LCHF recipes.