Banting basics

The premise of Banting is that a ketogenic diet – a diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates – and only eating healthy, real, fresh foods without additives, is the solution for good health. The main focus of Banting is to eliminate food that contributes to lifestyle disease, including refined carbohydrates, processed foods, grains, harmful additives and sugar. 

Is it safe? 

Carbohydrates can cause excessive weight gain. They can also increase blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic diseases, says Sandi van Zyl, wellness programme manager at Virgin Active. But one of the main concerns with Banting is that saturated fat can include a list of negative health consequences, such as high cholesterol and heart disease. Many advocates of a LCHF lifestyle report relief from these diseases in a relatively short time after adopting the Banting lifestyle.

Is balance key? 

Despite the success stories and growing popularity of low-carb diets, experts are quick to warn that balance is key. Dr Jacques Snyman, owner of Zurreal, says we still don’t know enough about the long-term sustainability of low-carb diets. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on promoting physical activity and making lifestyle changes,” Snyman says. Banting or not, weight loss alone improves markers of heart disease such as high blood pressure.

A simple solution

A diet is a temporary quick fix to weight loss, and on completion of your diet you return to your normal eating habits. But Banting is a lifestyle that offers a permanent solution not only for weight loss, but also for overall good health, say authors of The Banting Solution, Bernadine Douglas and Bridgitte Allan.

There are a few important guidelines to staying on the LCHF track:

EAT

   Animal proteins like eggs, meat and poultry

  Fats like butter, cheese, coconut and olive oil

   Nuts and seeds like almonds, macadamias and pecans

AVOID

   Grain-based foods like flour, corn, pasta, rice and breakfast cereals

   Seed oils as well as hydrogenated oils

  Sugar, confectionery and fruit juice

   Fast and processed foods

   Starchy vegetables like potatoes and peas

   Soya

   Artificial sweeteners

 For more on the Banting lifestyle, get out June issue in stores now!