To bant, or not to bant

2017-01-31 06:01
Tim Noakes’s real meal revolution is spreadingrapidly in the Upper Highway Community. Photo: supplied

Tim Noakes’s real meal revolution is spreadingrapidly in the Upper Highway Community. Photo: supplied

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A “BANTING craze” has taken off and the community is going banting like their life depended on it (literally). People are rushing out to purchase the banting bread, heba pap and let’s not forget avocado farmers, who are ringing in the profits.

However, the Fever investigated what banting is and how healthy and sustainable this diet for the average person.

The low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, often referred to as the "Tim Noakes", "Banting" or the Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) diet in South Africa, has gained considerable popularity since 2010, but has also drawn a significant amount of criticism.

Professor Tim Noakes stumbled upon this eating plan and in eight weeks he reported losing 11 kilograms. This spurred him to begin writing and his book, The Real Meal Revolution, is now a number one bestseller at Exclusive Books.

This low carb influence has found its way into restaurants, markets and supermarkets nationwide. Trendy restaurants and well known food chains have now created a specific isle for banting products.

Omi Nair, who started the Facebook group, Omi’s healthy eating the LCHF way, has well over 10 000 members. The group is designed for banters to share ideas, recipes and support each other through the lifestyle change.

“Like everything in life there's no ‘one size fits all’, however, the majority of people on the low carb lifestyle are benefitting. This is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change. Diets are not sustainable, but embracing the LCHF lifestyle becomes a way of life with good food choices and which is sustainable long-term.

“The focus is on clean eating but fresh, whole real foods are encouraged using the green list as a guideline. The focus is on people to take control of their lives by controlling what they put into their bodies.” said Nair.

Nair said that carbs such as rice, potatoes, pasta, roti, pizzas, wheat products, margarine, sunflower seed oils, processed foods, soya, sugar, most fruit, fizzy drinks and juices, canned foods, legumes and pulses are prohibited.

“The use of coconut oil, butter, ghee, olive oil or palm oil should be used for cooking. The health spin-offs are phenomenal with Type 2 diabetes being reversed in majority of cases and the bonus is weight loss.”

She said her personal journey saw her health issues of high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, osteoarthritis and inflammation being reversed.

“We are brainwashed and labelled as chronic patients and not told that these health woes can be reversed with good food choices.
“With every medication there's side effects and there is a drug on the market to counteract that. Why are health professionals treating the symptoms and not finding and remedying the cause?
“I took it upon myself to empower others and what better way than social media? I have entered the homes and kitchens worldwide, from Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and right down the road in Phoenix with my group Omi's healthy eating the LCHF way where my recipes, advice and guidance is given.
“People have realised the folly of their ways and have decided to take the first step to a healthier lifestyle not only for themselves, but for their families as well. Reading the testimonials on the group is very heartening when I see people are a better quality of life.”

Nair said she would “absolutely” recommend the lifestyle because she’s on it for eight months and has a weightloss of 21 kilograms.

An avid banter Sammy Moodley, who lost 13kgs in under three months said she is so happy with her new lifestyle.

“I tried so many diets and was so depressed with my weight. When I was introduced to the LCHF diet, I realised its not a diet, but a lifestyle change.

“Our choices in life determine our health and if we eat what our body needs, with a little bit of exercise, the results are amazing.

“I am a whole new person and it is all due to Tim Noakes. Try it, you have nothing to lose. Oh, and for all those sceptics that say your blood pressure and cholesterol will increase, and so on, I have to say that my blood reading is normal and my doctor has never been happier with my health.”

Like everything in life there's no ‘one size fits all’, however, the majority of people on the low carb lifestyle are benefitting. This is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change. Diets are not sustainable, but embracing the LCHF lifestyle becomes a way of life with good food choices and which is sustainable long-term.

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