Banting Diet

bantingdiet, wiightloss

by Helene van den Berg

I, me and my fat, Part 10

Prof. Noakes uses the term “Banting” for a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF). This diet is named after William Banting, in 1862, a popular London undertaker , who was terribly obese. He was the first guinea pig of the LCHF diet. He reduced his weight so drastically that his approach became known as the Banting diet. Banting  consists mainly of

  • animal proteins and saturated animal fats – all meats, poultry and game (EXCEPT luncheon meats, vegetarian protein/unfermented soya); all natural and cured meats and sausages (parma ham, salami, bacon, chorizo  EXCEPT vienna sausages, cured meats with excessive sugar); all sea food (EXCEPT swordfish and tilefish – high in mercury); all eggs; broths.
  • All fats – coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, butter, ghee, lard, full fat mayonnaise (not made from seed oils!);
  • NO seed oils – canola, sunflower, cottonseed, grape seed, corn, safflower)
  • all dairy products (EXCEPT: cheese spreads, coffee creamers, ice-cream, any 2% or fat-free milk or yoghurt; soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, condensed milk.)
  • some nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pecan nuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds; limit cashews and chestnuts.
  • fresh vegetables grown mostly above the ground (salad greens – 2 cups/day; all fibrous vegetables – 1 cup (uncooked)/day).
  • NO fruit juice; no vegetable juices, except the home-made ones on the green list; limit butternut , carrots,  sweet potatoes ;
  • NO starchy vegetables – potatoes, peas, legumes, beetroots.
  • LIMITED fruits;  berries are lower in sugar.
  • NO grains – wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice, corn /corn products, couscous, millet, pasta, noodles, all forms of bread, crackers, breakfast cereals/ muesli/ granola, breaded foods, all flours from grains, no gravy powder/ stock cubes/maize starch.
  • NO SUGARS – agave, fructose, honey, syrups, cordials, energy drinks, sweets, dried fruit, malt.
  • Sweeteners – stevia powder, xylitol granules, erythritol granules (EXCEPT artificial sweeteners – aspartame, saccharin, etc.);
  • NO fast foods, processed foods.
  • NO food with added sugar (glucose, dextrose).
  • NO soya products.
  • NO hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils/ trans fats (margarine, vegetable oils/fats)
  • NO beer, cider, fizzy drinks ( lite/zero/diet )
  • Purified water is the best!

(Refer to Noakes’ green, orange and red lists on p.47, 48, 49 in his book  “The Real Meal Revolution”. Try some of the beautiful recipes in this book !).

Foods in limited quantities:

  • Cheese – 8 tablespoons/day. All cheeses (except processed cheeses and less than 1 g/serving carbohydrate).
  • Cream – 4 tablespoons/day
  • Mayonnaise – 4 tablespoons/day (must be low-carb)
  • Olives – 6 or less
  • Avocado – ½ / day
  • Lemon/lime juice – 4 teaspoons or less

Fats and oil:

  • All fats and oils – olive oil, coconut oil
  • Avoid “lite” salad dressings. (less than 1 g/ serving carbohydrate)

Humans do not need to ingest carbohydrates to survive (e.g. Inuits). The glucose for functioning of the brain and other organs can adequately be provided by the actions of the human liver: it does not need to be ingested.  Therefore, the key is to discover the amount of carbohydrates per day that optimizes one’s health and performance. Those with extreme Insulin Resistance (IR) values must cut their daily carbohydrate intakes to about 25-50g/day. To ingest more than 200g/day , regardless of the amount of exercise, is unhealthy.

Banting is not just for overweight or obese people and diabetics, but a good lifestyle program for athletes, digestive conditions, pregnancy, childhood, menopause, allergies and cancer.

The BENEFITS of Banting:

  • Weight loss, no hunger, fewer cravings.
  • More energy
  • Better health – better blood glucose and insulin readings
  • Increased mental focus
  • childhood
  • Better sleeping habits

Note of WARNING: Don’t pick and choose what you want to adopt and what you want to ignore – when you choose to eat the bacon, but still continue with your McDonalds hamburgers, you are going to BALLOON!. Also, don’t attempt to follow a low-fat diet!!.

Adopt Banting, but do it properly!.

Important tips:

  • Quantities – eat when you are hungry; stop when you are full. Learn to listen to your body.  Enjoy losing weight comfortably, without hunger or cravings. Prof Noakes said : “There are no meal times, no portion sizes, no kilo joule restriction. Let your body tell you how much to eat. The only thing you count is the grams of sugar or carbohydrates”.
  • AVOID – canned soups, ketchup, skimmed milk, fruit juices.
  • AVOID any “fat-free/ “lite” diet product!.
  • Check the labels of liquid medication  (cough syrups/drops etc.)
  • Avoid labels with “Great for low- carb diets” .

Reading a low-carb label:

  • Look at serving size, total carbohydrate and fiber
  • Use total content carbohydrate only.
  • You can subtract fiber from total carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrate count for vegetables  – 5g or less.
  • Carbohydrate count for meat/condiments – 1 g or less.
  • Check the ingredient list – avoid foods that have any form of sugar/carbohydrates in the first 5 ingredients.
  • Avoid sugar by any name e.g. cane juice, agave syrup, corn sweetener, dextrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, molasses, honey, fruit juice, cane juice, high-fructose corn syrup (especially!!).


  • Breakfast – sausage/bacon, eggs and cheese or vegetable omelet/quiche
  • Lunch – tuna/grilled chicken salad with 1 ½ cups of salad greens, feta cheese, egg, avocado and other vegetables; salad dressing of olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
  • Snack – nuts, biltong (dried meat), berries and full cream Greek yoghurt, with 2 T of flaxseed oil.
  • Dinner – Meat/fish with 1 cup of mixed vegetables with butter.


  • YTaubes, Gary, 2013. “Why we get fat, and what to do about it”.
  • Prof Noakes, Tim, 2014. “The Real Meal Revolution”


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