Eat out with Banting

2014-08-05 00:00

RESTAURANTS have started making adjustments to their menus in an effort to cater for the new health trend — the Banting diet.

The eating plan is based on the theory of a low carbohydrate, high fat and medium protein diet, for weight loss.

Now respected sports scientist Tim Noakes’s adaptation of an eating plan designed by surgeon William Harvey for an obese undertaker, William Banting, in 1861, has a steady following.

And restaurants and cafés have quickly hitched their wagon to this rising star, it seems.

Owner of Traffords in Pietermaritzburg, Penny Hatting, has introduced a variety of meals to her menu in order to accommodate Banting followers.

“All of our meals are suitable for the Banting diet. There has been a huge demand for it and I am on the diet myself, so I know that it works,” she said.

Shaun Munro, executive chef of the Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani hotels, has just come back from a working week in Cape Town “where the Banting diet reigns”.

“We had the privilege of eating at just about every restaurant. It got to the stage where many of the restaurants even had two menus — one exclusively with the dishes the chef had developed according to the Banting diet.”

Munro said that at the Elangeni and Maharani restaurants, most meals could be modified to the diet because they were served buffet-style and guests could separate their proteins and starch. “We are seeing its influence, though people are not asking for it,” said Munro.

He said in the Grill Jichana restaurant at the hotel, they had noticed that 50% of guests were not going with starch with the main course.

“We have also seen a dramatic 30% reduction in the ordering of toast at breakfast.”

They are, however, noticing an increase in the consumption of bacon, ­especially streaky bacon. “Also, people are eating less potatoes and baked beans at breakfast.”

Anna-Marie Barnard, manager at Wimpy South Coast, said: “Customers are free to substitute their carbs for greens in our menu options and now food is offered with salad at request.”

Sameer Kathrada, general manager of Adega restaurants in Durban, said their food is made in special sauces but can be modified if preferred.

“People love our sauces which are tasty and rich.”

Spokesperson for Kauai restaurants, Nicole Hannival, said their menu has specific meals for people on diet. She has lost four kilograms in four weeks so far.

WHAT IS BANTING?

THE Banting diet by Tim Noakes is a high fat, medium protein and low carb way of eating. The diet recommends you eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied. It also involves no grains, very little or no fruit and no sugars, while many dairy products such as full-cream milk and yogurt are encouraged. The ‘Banting’ was the standard treatment for weight loss in all the major European and North American medical schools for nearly 100 years. It suddenly went out of fashion after 1959 when it was written out of all the major medical and nutritional textbooks.

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