Banting diet rebuttal

Banting diet rebuttal asks just what are the drawbacks of this high animal-fat platter?

Based on the teachings of the famous physician William Harvey, some one hundred and fifty years ago, it is a meal plan which today totally contradicts the modern belief that cardiovascular disease is caused by foods high in animal fats.

It is also in complete contradiction of the meal plans introduced some thirty-five years ago by the biochemist, Ancyl Keys. The low animal fat fad seemed so obviously right that within a few short years it totally altered the traditional American diet.

From butter, animal fats and protein almost overnight, there was a change to polyunsaturates, margarine and high starch food.

Even prime beef had to be grain-fed.

Wanting to be healthier, the populace turned, en mass to solvent-extracted oils and hydrogenated foods, and a diet high in grains and starches; animal fats like butter were eschewed as the villain of the piece.

Keys' low fat dietary recommendations had a most unfortunate and totally unexpected consequence; obesity and an epidemic of diabetes became the order of the day. A highly refined carbohydrate diet stimulates the appetite centre in the brain, making people ravenously hungry.

Another unexpected finding is that it is refined carbohydrate and not saturated fat that raises cholesterol in the blood. The American Heart Association now endorses eggs, for example.

Obesity buttocks.

Banting diet rebuttal

This Banting diet rebuttal needs to be considered before embarking on this high animal-fat way of dining.

Within a few short years North Americans and many Europeans became extraordinarily obese on the highly refined carbohydrate and polyunsaturated oil diet. Starved of animal fats, they were continuously famished and couldn't stop eating. Within two decades the twenty year diabetes rule[2] kicked in with a vengeance.

Into this most unsatisfactory situation came a new interest in the Banting diet. Of course, it was immediately controversial. Having been told for a generation to steer clear of animal fats, the obese were being encouraged to consume unlimited high cholesterol food; but to strictly limit all carbohydrate.

What is firstly not clear is whether this diet is advocated for the obese only, or is it for all? Reading the real meal revolution by professor Tim Noakes and three colleagues, one gains the distinct impression that simply everyone should be avoiding fruit like apples, all whole grains and legumes; and starchy vegetables like butternut.

The big plus of Banting is that it really works; the obese lose weight and the continuous nagging hunger of Keys' high-starch diet can be avoided.

Moreover despite the diet being high in saturated animal fats, the total cholesterol levels drop in some cases, as does blood pressure; the threat of metabolic syndrome is lessened. Diabetics find themselves better controlled and immediately able to reduce their medication.

Within the medical fraternity there has been considerable antagonism to this move to a high animal fat diet; fears of rampant heart disease trouble many. Already Banting diet rebuttals are pouring in. 

On the other hand, there has been considerable support for change; the high carbohydrate diet of Keys is clearly not working, and the move to polyunsaturates and hydrogenated fats has resulted in a huge increase of inflammation of joints, muscles and organs; and of arteries too.

Says veteran heart surgeon, Dr Dwight Lundell, despite the adherence to low animal fat diets and reliance on statin drugs to lower cholesterol, the inner lining of arteries have become relentlessly more red and inflamed. Cardiovascular disease is certainly not under control.

To add to the confusion, scientists doing a review of over 70 research projects have now declared that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that a change from butter to margarine and polyunsaturates would decrease heart disease; there's as much information for as against.

Butter is back is the new catch phrase.

So professor Noakes has an impressive list of research reviews arguing that animal fat is not the problem; carbohydrate is.

It is our considered opinion it is the refined carbohydrate that has caused the obesity epidemic, and its attendant diabetes.

Twenty year diabetes rule

At the end of the day, whatever qualms you may have about this high animal fat diet, if it works for you, as it has for many, the risk of premature death is greatly decreased if you can get your body mass index below 30. Use the chart below to measure your BMI.

A group of researchers in the Netherlands under the leadership of Dr Anna Peeters found that obesity was associated with a 6 to 7 year decrease in life expectancy.

If you are seriously overweight and enjoy tobacco then it's a 14 year loss. That is your retirement gone up in smoke; worse is the disability and pain that dogs the joints of those who are significantly overweight.

What are our qualms then? Why this banting diet rebuttal?

  1. Does the Banting diet have any meaning whatsoever for those who have a normal BMI, whose blood sugar, cholesterol and pressure are all quite normal; who are in good health and have plenty of energy?
  2. How long should obese people on the Banting diet avoid foods for which there is much research proving their benefits; foods like butternut, apples, beetroot, tomatoes and legumes for example?
  3. Is buttered bread smeared generously with honey really the devil in disguise? Even low GI bread and raw, lightly filtered honey that is full of pollen? What about homemade jams and jellies? Are they recommending that all bread should vanish from our supermarket shelves?
  4. Half the world get their protein from legumes and not from meat; are they quite wrong, and seriously unhealthy?
  5. Should none of us be enjoying fresh green peas from the garden, or lima beans, or even dried butter beans?
  6. Should the Japanese and Chinese be avoiding all whole grain rice? Should South Africans and Americans be shunning corn on the cob?
  7. Can a vegetarian bant? With no desire for pork crackling and a total need for chickpeas, lentils and pulses for protein, does the Banting diet have anything to offer? And for vegans who have no desire for eggs, cheese or butter?
  8. Whilst on a true Banting diet, there should be plenty of B6 from all the green veggies, I'd still like to see some research on the levels of homocysteine in Banters. It's such a toxic breakdown product of protein metabolism.
  9. Is all that bacon that is advocated healthy? There's plenty of research convincingly proving that processed meat and particularly fat increases colorectal cancer. Fat, meat, alcohol, and low-vegetable or low-residue diets are fingered in the journal of Pharmacology published by Karger[3].

Glycemic Index

Hummus ingredients ed

Grasping the meaning of the term glycemic index is the right way to lose weight permanently; do you understand it?

Most of us would agree that those carbohydrates that are rapidly digested and give a surge in blood sugar, followed by a steep rise in insulin, should be avoided by the obese and diabetics, and eaten only in moderation by those who are healthy. Foods, if you can call them that, like white bread and rice, chocolate cakes and bagels and even potato if you are seriously overweight are to be avoided.

But what about all those healthy carbohydrates (in my opinion, anyway) that have a low glycemic index? Those that do not engender an insulin surge; like apples, hummus and butternut soup?

In this Banting diet rebuttal, there is no restriction of these starches. Likewise, corn is a very healthy grain, eaten fresh from the garden.

Are all pastas to be described as a total NO-NO? The way a starch is prepared greatly alters its glycemic index.


Any diet that gets the weight off, but doesn't keep it off, for my money, is a fad; a fashion so bad that we will have to change it again next year; in fact research strongly indicates that no diets work; sustainability is non existent. 

This week I met a man who lost 35kg on the Banting diet, but just couldn't avoid some of his favourite foods for ever; he's put 26kg back on. Are we simply going to say that he's weak, and that anecdote is irrelevant? Had he continued with a slice or two of low GI bread a day, smothered in butter, and our authentic hummus recipe, perhaps it would have been more sustainable for him.

I think I should state up front in this Banting diet rebuttal that I believe in many aspects of the high fat, low carb diet; it obviously works to get the pounds off and that can only be described as beneficial. But what happens after you have returned to a normal BMI?

And I emphasise the fats from the olive and avocado, rather than that from bacon, as is the craze here in South Africa. Processed meat is known to cause cancer; it's proven beyond a doubt.

"WHO noted that weight loss using aspartane or any one of the many alternatives was not sustained; a finding in nearly every diet trial in history and something more attributable to human nature than the sweetener one chooses."

 Dr M Walton-Shirley, MD

In short pull the sweet tooth for ever. Anyone addicted to sugar, aspartane or any one of the many alternatives is unlikely to lose weight permanently.

Gastric and colorectal tumours

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 7 studies involving over half a million people found that there was a 23% lower overall risk of malignant gastrointestinal tumours[4].

That was even more so of the stomach where the prevalence was 59% lower.

Vegetarian food plans are typical high in whole grains, legumes and vegetables; and fruit too. However those banting would not be afforded this protection. In fact because they must get all their protein from animal products there is increased risk.


BMI is the way to grasp how urgent your problem is? It stands for body mass index. You should understand the term if you want to live long in the land; it has a direct influence on how long you will survive, and on your general well being.

In this Banting diet rebuttal we certainly don't consider it a sensible plan for those with a normal BMI; their blood glucose is likely in the normal range.

But the obese end up having to take massive doses of anti-inflammatory drugs for foot, knee and back pain and that has a seriously detrimental effect on their future quality of life.

Understanding where you lie on the body mass index scale, what glycemic index is about, and heeding the warnings at this Banting diet rebuttal will enable you to get the pounds off safely and permanently.

Free weight loss programs

Our free weight loss program is a better way to do it; it's not a diet.

Rather than what I see as yet another radical and unsustainable diet, I'd prefer to see you making the changes listed in our free weight loss programs. That means not cutting out all the healthy starches like apples, beans and peas; and a moderate shift to olive oil, avocados and fatty fish.

Even if you are morbidly obese like the man mentioned above, if the Banting diet means a dramatic but temporary weight loss, it's done you no good at all.

Think rather of our Banting diet rebuttal as a new way of life for the rest of your days; it's not onerous unless you think you simply cannot survive without chocolate cake, bagels and colas every day.

Enjoy your butternut soup, fattened with high cholesterol coconut milk but, no you can neither have your cake, nor eat it; not if you want to enjoy your retirement. All purpose flour, polished rice and sugar are banished for ever; except on high and holy days.

Prunes for breakfast, for you know what, a tablespoon of soaked oats with full cream yoghurt and a teaspoon of raw honey, if you can find it, should still be on the menu.

Raw honey surprisingly has a low GI despite being primarily a mixture of glucose and fructose; it's all about the 80-odd other nutrients from the nectar and pollen that are added by the bee.

Here we all agree

Every food scientist on the planet is in agreement about a daily green salad. Enjoy it with a squeeze of lime juice and a dribble of olive oil; lettuce, celery, and baby spinach leaves are perfect. It is a vital in every diet and should be daily on the table.

We should daily be enjoying the red salads for the protection they give to the prostate gland and other organs; it's all about the phytonutrients.

Phytogens meal.

It is even healthier than the Banting diet; if only because it is sustainable. There is nothing onerous about enjoying tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. That's hummus and homemade low GI bread smeared generously with butter, raw honey and full cream brie cheese on the side.

Every month it is different; corn on the cob today, avocados tomorrow, radishes throughout the year; and rarely without our healthy hummus.

How to grow corn is so easy to follow; through the summer I enjoy two cobs a day, with no weight gain.

You will find it all at our free weight loss programs.

More Banting diet rebuttal

Research published in Plos One combined the research from 19 different studies involving over 3000 obese persons. Participants consumed the same number of calories, but comparing the effect of low versus high carbohydrate. Critics of the Banting diet said there was no difference in the weight loss; nor did it happen faster. Unfortunately they didn't track how hungry people felt.

Noakes' response was that those on his low carbohydrate high fat diet feel more sated leading to a lower caloric intake; they ate less and thus lost weight faster.

Moreover, these scientists from Stellenbosch University and Noakes weren't comparing apples with like. For Noakes a low carb diet means less than 50g of starch per day; the researchers' criterion was 200 grams, or four times as much.

Rome wasn't built in a day and clearly more research will be forthcoming. Right now I would suggest you rather follow this Banting diet modified; it is a healthier way to lose weight. 

More concerns

There are many specifics related to certain carbohydrates and disease. For example, men who eat a tomato a day have fifty percent less prostate cancer, the most common serious malignancy in men. 

Despite the fact that tomatoes, for example, are in the very low GI category, they do contain significant amounts of carbohydrate. 

Seriously limiting the carbohydrate and cutting out otherwise healthy foods like tomatoes, apples, legumes, butternut and a host of other carbs may help lose weight, but is also likely to increase the risk of getting serious malignant tumours. 

It is this extremism of the Banting diet that makes me call it yet another fad; by all means cut back very hard on high GI carbs, especially if you need to lose a lot of weight, and a moderate increase in fat, particularly if it includes the olive and avocado, is fine by me as a chiropractor. You need plenty of oleic acid for your nerves; and the extra lutein helps prevent eye diseases.  


At this time of writing the Covid-19 virus is creating havoc across the planet and the single greatest risk factor is diabetes. That means urgently getting blood glucose under control and there is no better way than to strictly limit all refined carbohydrate; no sugar, cake flour, white rice or colas.

At this Banting diet rebuttal we recommend adding more fat like avocados and olive oil to cope with increased hunger pangs, giving satiety.

A vitamin D deficiency too has been strongly fingered as a big risk factor; it is time to get out and take a daily walk in the sun which will lower blood glucose too.

Useful links at low carbohydrate high fat diet

When browsing these links use right click and "Open Link in New Tab", or you may get a bad gateway signal.

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Then forward it to a friend. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.