Far be it from me to climb onto a bandwagon – as greenies we set rather than follow trends. I do believe in always keeping an open mind, though, and not judging anything until I have first-hand experience.
So when I heard about banting earlier this year and the tremendous health benefits reported, I had to find out more. Of course reading the book was not enough for me, I ditched the carbs in a flash and did the full online course. Hence I was obliged to plough through reams of research papers to make sense of the science behind it all. We live during a time when so much of what we know, or thought we knew, is turned onto its head. What a liberation!
I had every reason to try, so my motivation was in place. Weight, arthritis, severe headaches, insomnia battles for years. So surrendering grains – and the stomach pains that I had tolerated since childhood – was only a pleasure.
Don’t judge without experience
Of course critics are having a field day. Strangely it is those who don’t need to change the way they eat, and have not tried this at all, who shout the loudest. So here is my opinion: If you don’t have problems with your metabolism or/and any of the inflammatory conditions which hugely benefit from dropping anything that converts into sugar and causes insulin spikes, then you will simply not understand.
It’s like a sighted person trying to say what a blind person needs. If you are slim and pain-free and doing well on grains, carbs and lots of fruit, then good for you. But many of us really battle on such foods. So allow those who benefit from this to do their banting in peace.
I see in my own household and all over the place that men lose weight much better than women on this way of eating. Though to me the health benefits are more important than anything. Not to mention mental clarity, a calmer mind and improved concentration, feeling stronger, having more energy – and good sleep. The fats are simply good for the brain. And mine can do with it, after growing up with a mother always on no or low fat diets and me following in her footsteps. Deprived brains made things difficult in our house…
Enter Mossel Bay man some 195 000 years ago
It is very interesting to read the history and palaeontology behind this and in his book, The Read Meal Revolution, Prof Tim Noakes collects the story from the previous Ice Age 195 000 years ago, when the few survivors on this planet were what is known as the Mossel Bay man. They lived off the ocean, the odd game meat, tough bulbous plants and some wild berries. This is our genetic blueprint, until disaster struck with the advent of agriculture. “Unfortunately, humans got so good at refining the agricultural process, that refined processed foodstuffs are the result today,” he says.
The Agricultural Revolution peaked in the year 2000BC, so we have only had access to such foods for about the last 4000 years – a small fraction of the time.
Ancel Keys & false science
The second disaster was the passing in 1977 of the US Dietary Goals based on a flawed study, which many scientists at the time disagreed with. This was when and where the high-carb, low-fat myth and the disastrous food pyramid (today still taught in our schools) was formally born, and followed by SA at large.
So jumped up all the diet companies, whom I will not name here, which resulted in folk losing weight, based on unsustainable calorific deprivation, as the body was deprived of essential nutrients. The metabolism slows down to compensate for this perceived famine. Like a caged animal, once set free, it ravenously devours all it was deprived of, notably the fats and the proteins – now combined with carbohydrates. Like a lamb to the slaughter, this poor person gains all the weight back, and more. Then back to the diet – nice business model.
Sadly diabetes and heart disease soared. And I will add that mental imbalances exploded too. As if our bodies were not abused enough, then came the advent of genetically modified foods – now called Frankenfoods. This has resulted in fruit and vegetables with higher sugar and carbohydrate content than the original or heirloom versions found in nature.
Lucky for us old man Banting, the fat funeral undertaker, who was put onto a special low-carb high fat diet by his doctor Willian Harvey in 1862 , also enjoyed writing. So his now famous Letter on Corpulence was written, which documented his phenomenal weight loss and health gain.
Of course this is really all about busting a myth – indeed a lie – that was created almost 40 years and perpetuated ever since. It cost so many lives. Of course this is a bitter pill for many to swallow, but gradually this will become common knowledge as people are healed and thrive in properly nourished bodies.
How green is banting?
How is this way of eating sustainable to the planet, or beneficial to an environmentalist?
- Well, firstly if I am ill I cannot make my contribution to this planet, so that which nurtures my body and my brain can be used beneficially for good work.
- No it is NOT a high protein diet, so no more animals are slaughtered to supply the body’s need for full proteins. In fact altogether I eat about half the volume of what I did before and am simply never hungry. Probably need even less – so yes, we can save the pocket, the planet and resources this way.
- Real food equates ONLY organic, free-range, earth and body friendly fresh produce – no processed, modified, canned, packaged, sprayed or converted foods from industrial farms and dubious practices. So it’s indeed a back-to-nature and home-cooking approach.
- You do know that wheat in many western countries, SA included is ‘ripened’ by soaking the kernel in Roundup just before harvesting? Consuming glyphosate laden, modified wheat and maize is simply one of the saddest things happening to our country’s poor. And diabetes is virtually regarded as normal in our country, clinics are overladen, costs to look after all the ill people – we simply need to wake up from this nightmare.
No cravings, delicious foods
So I am banting for 6 months now. I plan to do this for life, simply as I feel great. No I don’t try to replace wheat products with banting versions, for I do not miss bread, muffins, cookies, pasta, whatever. Cravings for carbs simply vanish when you give them up. On special occasions I have made the most yummy chocolates and cakes. All the family loves it and I feel great afterwards.
The top image is last night’s meal – all from The Real Meal Revolution – and indeed we will be eating a banting Christmas meal, even the Christmas pudding. If you would like to give this a go, your luck is in, for we have one book to give away.
Your red book Christmas gift
Pop your comment beneath this story – either on the website or on Facebook – and you may be the lucky winner of a great contribution towards your family’s health.
by Elma Pollard