Patrick Holford, founder of the London-based Optimum Nutrition Institute, will be in South Africa this month to give seminars and workshops on â??total health transformation”, and to promote his latest book, Good Medicine, his supplement range, and diet.
Holford is no fan of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet regimens, also known (though not strictly correctly) as â??Bantingâ?, and has already locked nutritional horns in debate with Cape Town sports scientist Prof Tim Noakes over the theory and science.
Yet the ‘Banting revolution’ is spreading faster across the globe than you can say saturated fat. And Noakes is spearheading it in South Africa with revolutionary fervour worthy of Che Guevara at his peak.
In SA, the revolution has spawned ‘Banting restaurants’ that have popped up all over the place. The Eat Out in SA website now offers The Banting List â?? Where You Can Get LCHF Meals. It makes fascinating reading on its own. It says Banting has ‘sent the price of cauliflower soaring’ (itâ??s one of few vegetables, along with broccoli and kale, allowed on Noakesâ??s diet); it has made coconut oil ‘a store-cupboard staple’, and the ‘surname of a tubby London undertaker’ (William Banting) as common in culinary vocabulary as ‘latte’.
There is solid science underpinning LCHF eating, though youâ??d never know it from the bilious attacks on Noakes in social media, print, on radio, TV, or wherever else his opponents can find a spot to vent their venom. (Click here to read what critics say Noakes says, and what he really says.)
Noakes certainly has been pilloried from scientific pillar to post for a spectacular about-turn on carbohydrates a few years ago. So vicious, and often ridiculous, have been attacks on him, youâ??d swear he was advocating ritual suicide by mouth. (Read here what he actually advocates.)
Noakes has always said his LCHF diet is for people who are insulin resistant (IR), which he believes most people are these days. And if the obesity and diabetes epidemics raging across South Africa and others parts of the globe are anything to go by, he has that spot on.
As the name implies, IR is a condition in which the body makes insulin but does not use it effectively. It is a serious condition, which if unchecked, increases the risk of hypertension, heart disease and full-blown diabetes, with all the attendant health risks that include heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and limb amputation.