Rice cereals introduce babies to junk food – Noakes

Cape Town – Weaning a child on rice cereal is its earliest introduction to junk food, Professor Tim Noakes said on Monday.

Testifying at a hearing into his conduct before the Health Professions Council of SA, the professor of exercise science and sports medicine said research had shown it was a product with very poor nutritional value.

Read: Noakes' 'real food' may not be kid friendly

He quoted research by Professor Alan Greene of Stanford University, who challenged rice cereal’s status as a staple food in the US.

Noakes quoted Greene as saying: "In fact, I think white rice cereal is the tap root of the child obesity epidemic. The problem is that it is, basically, like feedings kids a spoonful of sugar."

Noakes argued that an infant did not need one gram of carbohydrates.

The Real Meal Revolution, Noakes' book, promotes a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet.

He was called before the council after a complaint was lodged by the former president of the Association for Dietetics in SA, Claire Julsing-Strydom.

'Real' foods

The complaint was prompted by a tweet Noakes sent to a Pippa Leenstra after she asked him in a tweet if LCHF eating was advisable for breastfeeding mothers. She said she was worried that feeding babies dairy and cauliflower would give them wind.

Noakes advised her to wean her child on to 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."

Noakes' response resulted in his being accused of giving unconventional and unscientific advice, and of unprofessional conduct for dispensing the advice via social media.

According to his LCHF diet, infants should be put on a diet of soft, cooked meat and full-fat dairy, dark green and orange vegetables, in addition to breast milk, from six months.

Not against dietary guidelines

This, he pointed out, was not against national and international dietary guidelines.

Noakes, however, disagreed with the South African dietary guidelines which advise that carbohydrates should also be introduced.

"Wholegrains are not making us healthier," he said.

All the foods in the South African nutritional guidelines were on the green list of foods in his book, he said.

Eating fat was important for babies as it provided essential fatty acids. Noakes pointed out that the World Health Organisation advised that infants’ diets contain 30% to 45% fat, which he said was considered a high fat diet locally.

The hearing continues. 

Also read:

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

why a low-carb diet is good for you

A scheduled high-fat diet may curb obesity

How a high-fat diet can help diabetics

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

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