Banting diet 'cutting edge and science based' - Noakes

2016-10-18 17:06
Professor Tim Noakes (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Professor Tim Noakes (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is cutting edge and science based, and dietitians have the legal requirement to give this nutritional information to the public, Professor Tim Noakes said as he concluded his testimony into a conduct hearing by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) on Tuesday.

"There is the evidence. Let's teach it to medical students and our dietitians," he urged, following a lengthy testimony on the research and studies into the banting diet.

The scientist argued that he has given enough evidence during the hearing to prove that it is scientific, saying he found the process cathartic.

Noakes – whose book The Real Meal Revolution promotes a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet – was called before the council after a complaint was lodged by the former president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing-Strydom.

The complaint was prompted by a tweet Noakes sent to a Pippa Leenstra after she asked him for advice on feeding babies and on breastfeeding.

Her tweet read: "@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies?? [sic]"

Noakes advised her to wean her child onto LCHF foods, which he described as "real" foods.

His tweet read: "Baby doesn't eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF."

Caution on social media

Noakes argued during the hearing that his advice was anything but unconventional, quoting research from as far back as the 1800s before the boom in obesity rates.

On Tuesday, he questioned why Julsing-Strydom, who laid the charge, was not present to listen to his testimony. 

Julsing-Strydom, a registered dietitian practising for 11 years, testified in November.

She said she had asked Noakes to not give advice on infant nutrition and argued that caution must be taken when responding to inquiries via social media. 

She argued that Noakes' advice to Leenstra was unconventional and not in keeping with paediatric nutritional guidelines.

"I have to ask why she has no interest in listening to evidence which proves her wrong," he said.

The hearing continues until next Wednesday.

Read more on:    tim noakes  |  cape town  |  nutrition

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