Banting Is Not Balanced – I Don't Care What Anyone Says!

I am SO tired of talking about Banting. The minute people hear I am a dietician – they are like a moth to a flame. I am also so tired of seeing ‘Banting Menu Boards’ outside struggling restaurants – trying to make a quick buck on the marketing tidal wave that Banting has made. I am also so tired of trying to fix what Banting has done to so many of my patients.

When faced with a Banting question in a social setting, I try and keep calm and very professionally give my one liner that I hope shuts them up, “If Banting was working – I would be out of a job, and I am not!”

This being said, the questions have forced me to write one last blog post on this topic. I am ready for the ‘Banting Cult Fraternity’ to lash out at me like they did when I wrote my last blog post on ‘My Thoughts On The Tim Noakes Diet” – but I feel strongly enough about the below points to fist fight anyone throwing punches my way.

I must first clarify that Banting does have a place in the nutritional management of diabetic or insulin resistant people. That’s it! The Banting Diet can safely be used to manage that ‘at risk’ group of our South Africa society – not for your ‘Average Joe South African’. I will even go as far as to say that I recommend LOWER carb diets for this ’at risk’ group when I consult them. I do not however, recommend the ‘carb elimination and fat purge?’ part of it.

I also want to clarify that I have spoken to tons of people who claim they are Banting - but they say things like “ I don’t eat cream or butter or red meat” – so then you are not Banting! Also, those of you who are cutting bread, alcohol and breakfast cereals out of your diets but are still eating apples, oats and quinoa – you guys are not banting either… Banting is no grains, no fruit (other than berries really,) no dairy and LOTS of animal fat.

So here are my personal observations as a dietician and as a human being as to why I do not think you should be Banting.

  1. Cholesterol Levels Are On The Up
I have had multiple patients who have seen an increase in their LDL-Cholesterol levels since they started Banting. Now that is all good if you believe Prof Noakes’ theory that LDL-Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. But I don’t believe this as it has NOT been proven in a long-term study – so if it was me, I would freak out and stop Banting.
  1. The Banting And Cancer Debate And Its Reality
How many people do you know who have been diagnosed with cancer and started eating more meat, butter and cream? I don’t know any! All the people I know who have beaten cancer or who are trying to beat it have basically turned into vegans – or vegetarians. They try and eliminate animal protein and animal fat. I agree that stopping refined sugar is an excellent strategy to try and lower cancer cell production – but I 100% disagree that an increase in animal foods lowers your risk of cancer. And this opinion is in line with current research.
  1. The Science Is Not Showing That It Is Better Than Any Other ‘Diet’
Still, there are no studies saying that it trumps other ways of eating! Stellenbosch University released a study in 2014 stating that Banting is neither healthier, nor more effective for weight loss than other diets (PLOS ONE Journal 2014). I believe in the healing qualities of oats for example – why should I make my clients cut them out then?
  1. The Banting Bad Mood
Almost every single female patient that I have seen that has tried Banting has told me that they had dramatic mood changes once they cut all sources of carbs out of their diets. So you lose weight but you become moody, miff and irritable – that sounds like fun… Naaaaaat!!!! The scientific explanation for this is that carbs raise serotonin levels in the brain. Women tend to generally function on a lower level of serotonin than men. So if you cut carbohydrates out of a woman’s diet her serotonin levels drop more than a mans would – hence she becomes moody and irritable. Perhaps a few healthy whole carbs included in her diet will help her feel happier and get her the same weight loss results!?
  1. The Public Think They Know More Than The Scientists
There have been warnings issued by some pretty big associations against Banting – like the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Association for Dietetics and the Scientific Advisory Board on Weight Management in the UK. I find it crazy how laymen, with no medical background at all, think these associations are wrong. They do, after all, employ scientists who sit and study this stuff all day long – they surely have the publics best interests at heart?
  1. Marketed To All But Not For All?

Prof Noakes agrees that his diet is not for every body – but then why has he marketed it to everybody? Why did he kick off his marketing campaign to the lay public and not to the cardiologists, endocrinologists and dieticians who work with diabetics daily? He will answer this question by saying. “In my opinion, most people are insulin resistant these days”. Well if they aren’t then this diet could have catastrophic effects on their health – then what!? There is no disclaimer saying ‘Before starting the Banting Diet have your insulin levels checked and if they are normal, do not follow the diet?

The typical South Africa middle aged man is doing the best on the Banting diet. A typical fat bellied, inactive, meat loving 50-60 year old. He loves Banting for a few reasons:

  1. He is seeing results as his belly size shows you that he is insulin resistant – so he should be on a lower carb diet.
  2. He loves chop fat, soft cheeses, butter, salami and mayonnaise – so this way of eating feels free and liberating and he absolutely loves it!
  3. He probably also has high cholesterol and is on statins already (cholesterol lowering drugs).
  4. The high fat content is helping him to keep full and avoid the sugary junk that he was eating in the past.
So this is good – he is better off Banting than not. Although, if it was me, I would worry about the cholesterol. But this is up to who you believe more – Noakes or the rest of the medical fraternity The typical South African housewife however, who has 4-8kg to lose, is battling on the Banting diet for other reasons:
  1. She has always eaten pretty healthily – so eating fat and fat and more fat is freaking her out. She is sub-consciously worried about the long-term effects
  2. She isn’t losing as much weight as her husband and that is annoying her – as she is stricter and more aware than he is!
  3. She finds the food rich and expensive as a long-term solution.
  4. She feels her moods are low and she is not her self – she wishes she could feel happier.
  5. She craves bad carbs when she is emotional and very little can take this craving away… So she often succumbs and then sits with guilt.

So how can we be recommending the same diet to both of them?

If you want my opinion – eat with caution. I am seeing far too many ‘Ex-Banters” who are now sitting in my office with bigger problem on their hands than before they started Banting.

Take the good advice out of Banting, which is ‘move back to whole foods’ – but do not eliminate whole food groups (grains or fruit) and do not over compensate with others (animal fats). A ‘Clean Approach’ to eating makes much more sense to me – whole, unprocessed, fresh and nutrient-rich food from all the groups available to us!

Balance is the key to health – and Banting is NOT balanced, I do not care what anyone says!

If 'Clean Eating' sounds more reasonable to you - why don't you try one of my Online Clean Eating Guides? They contain daily meal plans, shopping lists, recipes and more.

100 THOUGHTS ON “Banting Is Not Balanced – I Don't Care What Anyone Says!”

by Carel

Interesting debate. This debate is all over the internet with strong data, studies, arguments both sides. Yest there is so few onjective persons. Will we ever reconsile?

Are there any skinnies out there, like me? And prediabetes? A1c 5.5 ish

Whenever I eat any even good carbs my BS spikes. So I eat avo, eggs, nuts, green veggies, sardines, 2small fruits a day…and my glucose meter shows 5 after meals. And I feel great. I’m 50 male.

Can we agree, watching your BS post meals show the way to go?

by Jarmi

Hi Kelly
Thank you for a good, balanced opinion.
I have been a very active Banting enthusiast for 4 years now… and yes, I have done the butter, cream and fats properly… yet what I found initially was weight gain, which I then realised was too much yogurt and nuts… I did the banting breads , buns, muffins etc and they all are terrible – I cant stand the graininess of almond / coconut flour and the taste of linseed flour is awful. So I dont do any of those substitutes anymore…
So, I have been cooking for hubby and 2 kids aged 6 and 8 by adding carbs for them in the form of potatoes, rice or paste when required. No sugar and lots of fresh veggies… I have what I cook for them, just without the starch / carbs…
But, I pick up weight every now and then, especially if a cheat (even just a little bit) and for the past 4 years I have been struggling with reflux / heartburn constantly… Banting diet makes me feel full, yet somewhat sluggish and now that you mention it – I have been mostly in a bad mood…
I have read some stuff on Keto, paleo, tried some prescribed banting meals etc yet eventually got to the Cinderella Solution… This has lists very much like banting but one is permitted to have oats, quinoa or wild rice with your lunch, some fruits (obviously in moderation) and much less dairy…
and guess what – I have not been struggling with heartburn for the last 3 weeks that I have been trying this, have more energy and mood swings are definitely less…
So, my take on banting is that it worked somewhat for me, but it is very easy to start living off fats (nuts, cheese etc) and proteins and loose track of eating balanced diets with veggies included – which just anyway leads to weight gain and sluggishness.
I now feel balanced by just adding quinoa / wild rice to my lunch and reducing cheese and creams and nuts… and my moods are 100% better (which I originally thought were my hormones)…

A good article and I agree with you 100%

by Lisa

I found this post on s search for ‘Banting doesn’t work’. I’ve recently been researching around this diet for health reasons.

I’ve suffered with lpr (silent reflux), which I figure is GERD of another form. It’s horrid. And scary. The Drs have failed to treat it prescribing PPIs. Everything I’ve read about PPIs is that they’re not very good, particularly for long term use. I believe that treating the symptoms and not the cause has got to be the way to go..

I’ve also just been told l have high Cholesterol, but that it might be ‘familial’ (am awaiting tests) …so I’ve been all over the internet, looking at what you might term ‘laymen’ (normal people) sharing their experiences… to treat both conditions NOT to diet per se. I’ve been cautious and haven’t quite felt convinced at the best way to try. Until this week when I’ve read numerous articles on LCHF diets, treating GERD. These recent articles have been written by two Drs, one a self declared ‘Functionsl Medicine Dr’, complete with links to journals, another Dr (who has written a book on the medical profession), another Dr who talks about insulin resistance (which my mother also now has been diagnosed with), and a personal trainer – all within two days I’ve made these connections.

All of these commentators have researched LC diets in relation to medical conditions as medical practioners. To disregard them in the way that you do is somply Facile. Further you also fail to provide any medical evidence to the contrary.

I would concur however that balance is important and necessary. I might suggest that a period of Banting might be beneficial for many people, then move to a more balanced lifestyle. For mysel I can see that I have a terrible sugar addiction (like most), and I think I’m much more careful than most ( I have honey in my tea, I don’t drink Soda, I have chocolate a couple of times a week, I don’t eat biscuits, but will have the occasional cake… but I do probably eat too much bread and low value (nutritionally speaking), I work out a couple of hours a week, I could do more… However, my system is out of balance, I’m carrying a few pounds, my digestion is acting up… Banting seems a good place to start. The diet I intend to try, does exclude all sugars, it does exclude grains (most of which are often refined, and bleached as we know), it does include fruits…but it suggests to moderate them. The picture you paint is simply over simplified.

I’m looking forward to the road towards better health and balance.


by Claire

Hi Kelly,

Firstly, thank you for writing such an enlightening and well written article. Folks in South Africa in particular seemed to have subscribed massively to this Banting malarkey and really need to start getting the correct information- I shudder to think what the effects of all this Banting is doing to people’s health!

I too bought into the whole Banting thing and at the time believed it all but something never felt right about the foods I was eating (it is so easy to get it wrong which is why people have no success, that and it’s complete nonsense for 95% of people). I gained so much weight and was completely miserable…. until I watched “What the Health” and utterly eye opening documentary which long story short resulted in me becoming a Vegan. (Best thing I have ever done, hands down) and for more reasons than just my health.
There’s far more damage being caused by Banting lifestyles than just clogged arteries but ultimatly people are so misinformed which is a large part of the issue and why I get so crazy mad about it… everyone’s an expert right?!

Since I’ve stopped eating meat and dairy – I’ve lost weight, I feel normal in my body again, more energy, better skin, the list goes on… but more importantly the food I eat is fresh and varied and delicious and feels right… feels balanced… it’s not about what you can’t eat but about all the stuff you can and without sounding cheesy – nature’s basket is plentiful and way more budget friendly! It’s not rocket science that an unprocessed natural piece of veg or fruit is going to be better for you. I’m not qualified like you are in your field but I also think it can be a lot more simple than buying into a bunch of nonesense that ultimately just doesn’t feel right… Plant based, Whole Foods, Excerise & Water… I believe it’s that simple :)


by Nasreen

I tried banting for a short while. My energy levels werent great but i persisted. It was only after running distances greater than 10km that i felt something wasnt right. After reintroducing carbs with my protein and a low fat diet, i felt my body getting stronger and i was able to cope with the longer distances. My body also started toning up more after bringing back the carbs. I now follow a healthy eating plan. It was actually surrreal to realise that my body was only ready to shed the extra fat when it was supported with the correct bavlance of protein carb and veg. Banting is beneficial for that select group but defintely is not for everyone

by Gottfried

I agree 100% with Kelly. She summarize this perfectly. What she says about layman trying to spread rubbish is just amazing. For instance: “It has been proven through several biopsies that consumption of excess Fructose causes our liver to produce small dense LDL cholesterol. The worse kind.. Even with this bad cholesterol, it can only permeate the arterial walls through damage caused by the release of excess insulin” NOW where on earth have you studied biochemistry?? Fructose is NOT dependend on Insulin! and a much better sugar in moderation. After 40 years in the medical field and having practice, teach and studied nutrition, I came to the same conclussions as Kelly. My recent discovery is that ALL people with this obsession actually suffer from the sectarian spirit and it becomes a religion now. They are all “better than thow” and knows their “Bible” better than the experts. Last but not the least, everyone reading this blog should study the mediteranean diet. Its the MOST studied dietary lifestyle and has the best outcome in terms of health. The Banting Diet is producing some horrible medical cases , like strokes and CVD which is pilling up and we collect them for further evidence based medicine and action.

by Wilma

Thank you for a awesome post. I am also sick of the banting thing. The problem with most banters is you cannot have a conversation with them about balanced diets and exercise even moderate exercise compared to possible side effects of banting. They are so stuck on Prof Noakes theories they are blindsided and sometimes even get downright nasty. Overweight inactive children becomes overweight adolescents and adults. Thanks for the info.

by Zarike

Hi… I just want to say… Four years ago I was at a dietician… She placed me on a diet for my cholesterol. My ldl was 11. After a year of being on her diet, loosing 5kgs, exercising, I decided to test my cholesterol… My ldl only decreased until 8… Still too high… I felt bummed because I followed her diet religiously. I am 1.8m tall and weighed 68kgs, good shape. I went back to her and we changed my diet making it more fat free strict, more “healthy” carbs etc and after another six months I tested. The test disappointed me again, 8. It did not go any lower. As time passed I got fedup and left the diet and just ate mildly healthy not caring about my cholesterol or this balanced eating nonsense.

I got sick afterwards, PCOS… Ovarian cysts, some popped and caused me to gain a significant amount of weight. 40kgs in a month and a half, I weoghed 110 to be exact. I was devastated, felt sick. After ditching contraception medicines and hormonal treatments the gynecologist gave me (because it made me more sick than ever), I tried the “balanced” eating ways again like you explained to us here in your post… It did not help at all, I thought I will never loose weight or get my hormones balanced and be happy and healthy again.

Finally after searching for months on how I can fix my hormones and get my cholesterol down and my weight, and be healthy, I came across banting. A month into banting, I had my menstrual cycle which was gone for eight months and my water retention disappeared, I had energy and I felt positive and happy, yeast infections I used to have cleared up! I lost 30 kg so far in a course of three to four months of banting. My hormonal acne cleared up, I have no more cysts, my hormones are balanced, and guess what, my cholesterol, my ldl level tested a month or two ago is 3.. :)

I believe in banting because I was on two dietician diets, cholesterol meds, hormonal meds, I even exercised while being on these typical “healthy balanced eating” trends and nothing helped or made me feel as amazing as I feel now… Pluss I have never noticed bad moods since eating banting, in fact I am in a better mood than ever in my life, I am confident and I feel amazing!

I LOVE BANTING it saved me from becoming a diabetic type 2, becoming severely obese and getting heart disease and even from the chance not to be able to have kids… I used no medications, nothing… All I did was cut carbs, and sugars, embrace healthy fat, meat Nd veggies :) I get enough healthy banting carbs in my system! My doctor also picked a fight with me when I told him I am banting but after seeing my ldl results he kept quiet.

Thanks for your blog post/article. But this is my story without using fancy scientific words, just what I experienced with banting so far.

by Nels

I have to agree with the balanced being the key word and critical. Yes you loose wait on banting but am not sure about the sustainability.

by Geoff Botha

Hi Kelly

When I was first introduced to the Banting Diet, I honestly thought it was a brilliant way to lose weight and be healthy. But I was actually wrong, I was introduced to the biased side of the story.

I am currently studying BSc Human Movement Science and Physiology at Potchefstroom, and I am in 2nd year. One of my subjects, Exercise Physiology, has made me realise everything about the Banting Diet, as well as it made me realise how ignorant people are. We need carbohydrates to function, and there is a very long list. Not many people realise that starch and fiber is carbohydrates (polysaccharides to be specific). Fiber is absolutely crucial for our diet, as it plays a regulatory role in heart disease and obesity, AND it help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. And the list continues, but I don’t want to keep you reading.

I completely agree with your article, and it is a very good read. It is all about having a balanced diet, and eating clean! Keep up with the brilliant work!

Kind regards

by Claire

Hi Kelly,

I have struggled with my weight most of my female adult life…im almost 40. At my heaviest I weighed 110kgs and it was terrible. (Obesity and diabetes run in my family) I tried a few different diets but Banting was the one that worked for me. I think of banting as eating real food. Banting does in fact allow dairy (in moderation for some people) so I get in all the goodness I need. Free range meat, eggs, fresh veggies and yummy cheeses how can u go wrong? I’m not a huge fan of fatty meat so get my fats from olive/coconut oil, nuts cheese and Avo. I still have my red wine over the weekends and have lost 40kgs. I’ve been banting for 2 years now and cannot be happier. I don’t crave junk food or sugar anymore and my overall health is 100 times better. I know banting works but u need to find the right balance. I’ll never change and will support banting all the way.

by Mareli Basson

Thanks for the article. I really enjoyed it.

The other thing that people keep forgetting with banting and why it’s so popular, is because a lot of the resources are free. The information is easy to access, the rules are simple to follow, even restaurants cater for it now and let me say again you can get a lot of the information on it for free. So the barrier to entry is extremely low.

I was happy to see you included a link to clean eating plans at the end of the article. I was thinking “great, I can send this to my friend to rather consider than banting”. Problem: they’re all paid plans. And nobody’s saying you shouldn’t make money off your expertise. But if your denouncing a system that’s “helping” a lot of people through its ease of use and easy access to information, then the alternatives unfortunately have to attempt being as accessible.

Either way, something to consider to give your article a bit more credibility, is links to the studies you’re referring to (some people like myself like following up and if you did I’m sorry. I’m browsing this on mobile and not seeing any links) and maybe linking to a couple of basic clean eating plans that are available for free, or create you’re own that you’re willing to share for free. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of hits for it especially off this article alone. The sales pitch at the end unfortunately brings a lot of the information and its sincerity into question.

Thanks again, I have sent your article to my friend regardless. My suggestions are just in case you want people to easily consider other alternatives to banting and helping them find the information necessary to get them started.

by Dumisani Dlamini

Fascinating discussion but a bit confusing lol. I think one of the problems with banting is that it’s kinda expensive for the average South African.

by Taylia

Hi Kelly,
This was an interesting read. I have to say this banting phenomenon has gone viral… but the concept of low carb had been around for years before, and I don’t know why it’s suddenly so popular.

I am insulin resistant, Have reactive hypoglycemia and PCOS. I have found eating lower carb has been beneficial for me,because my moods are now stable, I don’t get severely depressed from the sugar highs and lows, and I cannot control myself around sugary/starchy foods. So for me it works, but then again my brother is vegan and that works for him, and my sister eats everything in moderation and that works for her.

I believe there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to diet…. or anything in life.

Everyone must listen to their own bodies. But I do agree with you on people consume too many animal products.

In my approach to low carb, I try and cut down on dairy/ animal products and try and incorporate tons of veggies, plant fats (avo/coconut milk/nuts) and limit the processed starch.

But there’s nothing wrong with fruit in moderation! And complex carbs!

by Anonymous

I did enjoy the condescending comments relating, often, to fringe research or research in its infancy which has not been peer reviewed, thoroughly tested or accepted by the broader scientific community. There are ‘studies’ and then there are studies. Thank you for this balanced post.

by Nikki

I do not believe in this banting.

What ever happened to eating a good breakfast, a fruit, lunch (a salad with tuna is what I normally have) and then supper I have my meat, potato and veg or whatever but I eat what I want with a moderate portion.
I am lucky that I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I don’t like carbonated drinks, so I do drink a lot of water (and I do like a glass of wine in the evenings :-) ) I also don’t eat alot of take outs.

I think society has forgotten about the basic’s and is fighting and this nonsense high fat, low protein, low fat, high carb or whatever….

I am not overweight, I am healthy and quiet happy with my “diet”. I have also lost about 12kg’s but over a year and I am glad I did not over exert my body, I did it gradually..

Oh and exercise very important.

by senate lekholoane

Hi Kelly
Im a forth year Nutrition student at the National University of Lesotho.I would really like to thank you for putting this topic up for a debate. All I can conclude from all these comments especially from “banters” is that people are still not educated about good nutrition and clean eating….


by Dr Sean Murray

Thanks for the balanced approach.
I’ve run a CDE (diabetic practice) for 18 years and I am happy to advise Low carbs high fats.
I have seen 6 patients cholesterols go down (Totals and LDLs) and can not recall any going up significantly.
We do lipos annually and they have varied a lot, before the Banting variable came along.


Sean Murray

by Elspeth Burdis

Thank you for your honesty. I would like to know what fruits are good to eat for weight loss?

by Dr Charles Lubbe

I absolutely agree with you in as much as people saying they are banting and having no idea whats required. Strangely enough their are very few banters that will equate banting with a low carb diet or say that they are on low carb. The principles of LCHF and nutritional ketosis are very simple and easy to follow and it will correct your weight and health.

As to your comments on cholesterol and the bodies that you refer to that are concerned, may I suggest that you brush up on your reading. I would recommend The Big Fat Surprise and Why we get fat and then check your opinions again after that.

A very recent study showed that the highest cause of heart disease isd obesity followed by the second highest cause being normal lipid levels. Cholesterol did not even feature and could not be plotted as a cause.

by Colleen

This article is incredibly interesting and informative. I personally chose to go clean food route and saw drastic results (even though I wasn’t actually over weight). Thank you for sharing this.

by Anton

You are a dietician that studied on bad science. Physicists once had text books that said the earth was round. Tik Tok

by Ryan

Hi Kelly

This way of life has plenty of new science to back up, its not not a cult it’s a lifestyle way of eating that has 10’s of thousands of people healthier for it, including me (25kgs lost in 7 months), I ate a ‘balanced’ diet and was still putting on weight!! With this lifestyle we not starved or don’t feel deprived as you mentioned and it can be expensive, but for me it actually works out cheaper!!

I have a family member who was morbidly obese, insulin resistant, heart problems and the list goes on… she has lost 27kg in 8 months and still going, insulin is normal, heart condition improving…! Some woman do battle, but there are many mistakes that can be made while Banting to retard weight loss. The general public are not so stupid and don’t claim to be scientists, but we (10’s of thousands) trust newer science, rather than the science that has made the world sick and scientists in food boards funded by grain and margarine companies!!

Please refer to the links below…

As DR Lubbe said perhaps do some more research and PS great advertising!

by Robin Harvey

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for sharing your views on Banting, and I’ve read and understand where you’re coming from. You’ve expressed your opinion on the matter but may I recommend that you attend the LCHF summit to be held in Cape Town later this month where 17 of the worlds top experts (scientists, heart surgeons, researchers and medical doctors) will be present and present evidence for LCMPHF eating based on human trials and scientific studies). I believe its the duty of care of each professional whether in the medical or nutrition field to attend this, and be open to the findings, so as to ensure that opinions shared are based on fact and science. I am prepared to wager that the cases you have seen where Banting or LCHF is “not working” is because the patient has failed to adhere to the actual principle and guidelines and is gaining weight because of this. In addition, the book “Cholesterol Clarity” by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman should clear up any issues (backed with scientific study) on whether saturated fat causes cholesterol. If that doesn’t convince you, try reading “The big fat surprise” by Nina Teicholz – I’m sure you’ll find it riveting.

As a follower of LCHF since Nov 2013 I have found it my responsibility to self-educate on the topic because of the negative low carb dogma that has existed since the US government condemned millions of americans to obesity, hypertension, cancer and diabetes by recommending a higher carb, grain based diet. I have remained open to both sides, choosing to let the facts educate me. I am finding it difficult to fault LCHF, since even the famed “China Study” on animal protein has been dismantled as flawed.

Hope to see you at the summit, and trust you will remain open to the findings as your patient’s health and well being should ride on evidence, rather than experience/opinion.

by Kelly Lynch

As far as I know the earth is round?

by Kelly Lynch

Ryan my blog does not promote refined grains or margarine. Neither are classified as clean. Your family memeber would have done well on banting as she was morbidly obese, insulin resistant etc – as said in the blog – this is the population group who should be considering a lower carb diet – not the whole population.

Not everyone is morbidly obese or insulin resistant.


by Lesley van Reenen

I follow Paleo, which is different from Banting – for one the emphasis is not on high fat, though good healthy fats and oils are certainly encouraged and I eat them far more than I used to. (I am very slim). One of the areas that is similar is that grains are not allowed. I have been on the Paleo diet for over 2 years and feel way better without grains and all that they bring with them. My partner had high cholesterol and was on statins and he is now well in the normal range with no statins. He didn’t achieve this by eating grains! I think (even) Dieticians should constantly question the status quo and realize that what was considered healthy, isn’t necessarily so. Didn’t I hear within the week on Sky that it has been discovered that butter is good for you? It’s enough to make you fall around laughing. And as for doctors – it is only very recently that they stopped suggesting Special K for breakfast. Or maybe they still do it :) What do doctors really know about nutrition? Another point I have to make: why are doctors (and it seems dieticians) saving this special vitriol for Banting? Why aren’t they tackling processed food manufacturers, governments, pharmaceutical companies, Monsanto et al with the same vigour? As for the failing restaurants: I often go to Starlings who serve some Banting foods. Starlings is pumping!

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Robyn

Thanks for your comments. I am pleased at the reach that this article has had, as I believe that we all need to have an opinion and ultimately we all have a choice as to what we put into our bodies. I however do not believe eating a high fat diet is correct and I will stand by my notion that clean eating is a more balanced way of eating. There are also multiple papers proving that a whole food, balanced diet is nutrient rich and essential for optimum health – for your ‘normal’, non-diabetic, non-insulin resistant people. I however do believe that banting can aid in cases where the pancreatic function is low or ceases to work – these are not the majority of the population though. I do keep abreast of the publications and 100% agree that sugar and refined carbs are toxic for our bodies. I do not however put all carbohydrate sources in one group and I do not believe that animal fat should be eaten in excess.

Clean eating is balanced – and life is about balance. But life is also about choice – so these blogs are there to give both sides of a current coin and ultimately allow the public to choose for themselves!

Thanks for your input

Kelly x

by Glen

Thanks Doc. Very well said.

Kelly: In Sweden this debate was raging some years ago with doctors (but not RD’s) slowly turning towards belief in late published research, feel free to be the first(?) RD in S.A. to promote healthy eating instead of grains, grains and oh, more grains. Grains is not human food. Leafy greens, meat and fat (not PUFAs) are.

With regards.
Glen, LCHF eater since 2009 with PERFECT lipid profile

by donovan

Dear Dr Lubb

I hope that you have not assessed your clients success in banting, on whether or not their cholesterol has gone up or not. Since industry standards are dictated by pharmaceutical companies, who are dying to increase their pool of potential clients, you should know that their advised values are only beneficial to their bottom line.

There are zero studies that have been done on the effects of cholesterol levels, that show an increased rate of heart disease with an increased level of cholesterol.

Our friend Kelly makes plenty comment on “balanced diet” which I do not understand the relevance of.. A giraffe, one of the biggest mammals on earth, only eats acacia leaves, How do you think this is possible. Panda bears only eat bamboo shoots, have you ever analyzed bamboo.. The secret lies in their stomach bacteria. The same is for humans.. There are only certain foods that our bacteria are happy with. This is exactly one of the reasons why banting works.

It has been proven through several biopsies that consumption of excess Fructose causes our liver to produce small dense LDL cholesterol. The worse kind.. Even with this bad cholesterol, it can only permeate the arterial walls through damage caused by the release of excess insulin. All this damage is a symptom of too many carbs.

So my point is, to say that your patients have become worse due to increased cholesterol as a result of eating saturated fat, is as a result of a long series of lies and assumptions. I really think you should do some research on this topic. IT really is liberating, it’s like a huge puzzle that you just keep finding all the pieces to and they all stick together and make a perfect picture.

I wish you all the best.
Donovan Bold.

by Madeniya Van Der Schyff

Thank you Kelly that is all I can say.

by Kelly Lynch

I clearly state that I do not believe in any processed foods – that is what ‘clean eating’ is.

Banting is a high fat diet – this is where the problem lies.

Butter is a ‘clean food’ as it is not processed – so eating clean does allow for butter – but not for butter in excess.

by Beatie Nelson

Hi Kelly
Interesting that you should choose the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s scientist as reputable…if you were as well known as Tim Noakes, surely they would slate you for your recommendation of food items such as butter, etc.
I guess what an earlier commentator was getting at how can you trust what scientists say if they are being sponsored by the makers of the product they recommend (go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website and take a look at their 5 big sponsors on their home page and google what they manufacture…and the sponsors were also funding the Stellenbosch study…)
The good that’s come out of this, is hopefully people starting to question what they have been spoon fed to be believe is good for them.
Incidentally, compared to the “recommended” amount of fat on a well known weight loss program (the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of olive oil per day), the LCHF is HF, but if you read what Noakes is saying in his book, you will see it is “eat enough fat…small amounts..your body will tell you how much…” (ref Real Meal Revolution, page 10) and I would dare to guess that these small amounts would not entirely differ from what you are telling your clients to do :-)
With nearly half the SA population being obese, I believe our health care professionals would be well advised to tackle this problem with something like Banting (as most do not have access to specialist dieticians like you) – I can attest to a much lower food and medical bill since being on the Bant-wagon :-)

by Murray

Hi Kelly

I think the problem is that “Banting” seems to be the catch all for all the low carb, high fat diets including Paleo etc. I also think that if you have a good look at what Tim Noakes says is that LCHF worked for him but his approach for other people is more Paleo than Banting. When people ask me what diet I follow, I very rarely say Paleo as that requires a five minute explanation or a response like “Is that like Banting?” resulting in me answering something to the effect of “Similar” to avoid a lengthy explanation.

Perhaps more concerning is your reference to institutes like the Heart Foundation who have their logo’s plastered all over margarine and cereal, both of which are essentially toxic. Secondly, their research, much like most of the other research being used to teach on was sponsored by Big Food who are trying to sell you margarine, high fructose corn syrup etc.

Given the blatant lies from the likes of politicians, Big Food, drug companies etc, surely one needs to look at mainstream research with some skepticism and to therefore try and understand what they are not telling us and to look at independent research before we arrive at our own conclusion. Tim Noakes has proven his theories (albeit on a small scale, Chris Kresser – see – has proven his theories not only from his patients but also by re analysing data and evidence from his peers. He doesnt just accept Harvard Medical reports as gospel)

Although you talk about “clean” eating, you don’t mention “grass fed” and genetically modified, both key factors to healthy eating. You also mention grains, again, most of which in South Africa are now genetically modified and again, they have not been tested enough to be declared safe.

Grain, even Heritage grain, is not ideal because of the natural toxins and gluten issues which requires one to germinate, soak etc the grain before eating it. Its not only a schlep to prepare grain properly, but I don’t know of any food producer who does this so grain should be off the list completely. Even worse is the GM grain that has natural pesticides engineered into them. These “pesticides” are known to disrupt our gut flora which can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome, the source of many auto immune diseases.

I can go on and on, but my point is that your heading is probably correct, but the contents of your article leaves me feeling that you have not turned over every stone and are still too entrenched in the dark ages of nutrition. As a dietitian, if what I have read is correct, your industry will become the most important health industry bar none because if people really eat properly, they do not get sick.

I therefore urge you to find the truth, read the “little guys” research etc because the likes of Kelloggs, Monsanto, Coke etc are slowly killing us and can only be stopped when us sheeple wake up and demand proper information and proper food en masse.

by Wendy

A clear sane voice. Good for you

by paul

People are missing Kellys point completely. She is trying to promote balance and sustainability. Its a long term plan with long term results that will last. When did losing 25kg’s in 7 months become something to aspire to? This kind of dramatic weight loss has its own set of problems and would not be necessary if we teach children about balanced wholesome diets. Processed food is the enemy whether it be carbs, sugars or fats and taking a run once in a while wont hurt either…
Banting is the short term answer for people who simply lack the self control to make sure they burning what they consume.

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Ryan

Thanks for your comments. Eating Clean and the Food Pyramid are 2 completely different ‘nutritional philosophies’. Clean Eating does not state that carbs, especially refined carbs be the basis of ones diet (as the food pyramid does). Clean eating promotes a balanced way of eating – so eating from all food groups in their whole form. The fact that millions of South Africans are obese is certainly not because they followed the food pyramid rule book- lets be honest. They just like the taste of junk/fast/refined food – they are not eating that because the rule book told them to.

The fact that the Banting facebook group has 50 000 does not bother me – although as a medical practitioner it is slightly concerning as I am sure not all 50 000 followers are insulin resistant. And Prof Noakes has even said that a LCHF diet is for IR people – his own words!

I will continue to be informed by the science and yes, I do have an open mind -that is why I wrote this blog post.


by Jannie van Zyl

An example of a properly written opinion piece quoting actual science and not personal opinion.

by Ryan

Hi Kelly

I see your point, Personally, I would like to see nutritional science break away from the outdated food pyramid that made us all carb/insulin resistant and obese, and maybe should be moving more towards the ‘caveman’ diets like Atkins, Paleo and Banting.

A large part of the South African population are unhealthy due to the decades of incorrect nutritional guidelines and 10’s of thousands are having really positive results. I am sure you already know that once you become carb/insulin resistant, you like that for life! So hence the banting/paleo is a life time change,to keep this in check, resulting in the growing LCHF market to supply the demand. The Facebook group Banting (Tim Noakes Diet) have over 50 000 members!

You may also be over thinking the amount of fat actually consumed, fat and water is becoming quite popular to fuel high performance athletes. Therefore the are many other health benefits a healthy non carb/insulin resistant person may receive from following these caveman lifestyle diets.

From your replies, the blog article headline should have read ‘Banting not for everyone’

Anyway, hope you now better informed and see the misinformation from your article with an open mind ;-)

by Jannie van Zyl


I notice you make the statement that there is no research backing up LCHF diets but then make counter claims, stating there is research to back up your position.

Yet you don’t reference them. Why?

I can comfortably link you to at least 20 studies showing LCHF outperforms LFHC both on markers and weight loss. But they are very simple to find. Have you read them and can you please explain why you don’t agree with their findings?

As suggested above, I would recommend you brush up on your reading or maybe attend the suggested conference.

Lastly, “nutritionists” love to use meaningless (and highly unscientific) words like “BALANCED”.

Can you please explain (exactly) what you mean by this? “Balanced” in what way, how do you measure it and the research to back it up?

by David

Great Blog post! Totally agree! I have seen first hand how the health of certain people have suffered on this fad diet called banting. My uncle’s father died young of a heart attack. he started banting for 5 months and then he had a heart attack. The doctors blamed his diet and luckily he had the presence of mind to stop eating all that saturated fat and is now fit and healthy again.

by Tessa Bentley

I absolutely agree with you Kelly, I eat as clean as I possibly can with a moderate exercise programme and I have lost weight in a controlled manner so that I don’t yoyo. I tried banting but because of my pancreatitis I had a couple attacks after I had the double thick greek yoghurt, cream and butter. Clean eating is definitely the way to go and I thank you for your article which I thoroughly enjoyed!

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Beatie

If you read my article properly you will see that I state that obese people are insulin resistant and therefore can see results on a banting diet. Secondly – please send me proof that the Stellenbosch study was sponsored by a company that sells or manufactures carbohydrates? The health care professionals have their patients best interests at heart and I am sure I speak for my colleagues – we will recommend what science proves without reasonable doubt.


by Kelly Lynch

Hi Jannie

As this was a blog post and not a scientific journal article I did not reference articles for or against LCHF diets. I did however mention that a study was done in a South African University that proved that it was no better than a balanced eating plan for weight loss in normal non-insulin resistant people.

In terms of balance – eating foods from all the food groups is what balanced means. All foods groups give the body different nutrients and clean eating is based on maximising the ‘nutritional intake’ of ones diet – it is not based on calories or on focusing on one or two groups. It focuses on eating whole, unrefined foods from all the food groups – carbs, protein, fat. dairy, fruit, veg.


by Jannie van Zyl

Kelly, that does not help at all. It is so vague as to be completely meaningless.

Do you mean that balanced is 33% each of fat, protein and carbohydrate, for example?

That would be perfectly “balanced”, right?

When we talk protein,should the 20+ amino acids be perfectly ‘balanced’ as well?

What about fat? How do you ‘balance’ the various saturated and unsaturated fats?

And, I assume you advocate. ‘Balance’ between refined and unrefined carbs.

by Kelly Lynch

I had to approve this comment – #giraffe

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Glen

Where in my article did I recommend grains, grains and more grains? Balance was what was recommended – all whole food group balance? I 100% disagree that oats and quinoa (which are both grains) are not human food – their nutrient contents far outway that of saturated fat.


by Kelly Lynch

Hi Murray

I do not recommend Kelloggs or Coke – maybe re-read the article and look up what clean eating is? In the idea world I would recommend organic everything but realistically the average South African cannot afford to eat a 100% organic diet. The whole pharmaceutical company argument is flawed as they do not promote whole oats, quinoa and sweet potatoes – they promote the food pyramid, which we all agree is wrong and completely outdated!


by David

From some of the comments it appears to me that the Banting bad mood (or BBM as they call it) is a real thing.

by Lynn

Well said Kelly. I have found that talking to my customers about food all day long, many see the Banting Diet as a Weight-loss Diet! I agree with all you have said and have also experienced the disappointment when it has back fired – and not in people who have not stuck to the diet, as an earlier comment suggests. The negative comments seems to have filled in the blanks eg assumed things that you have said which is very telling. Ie by saying you don’t agree with a butter / fat-laden diet, then “you must be saying one with margarine” is the choice!! People just really don’t seem to know what a healthy diet (eating plan) is any more. Maybe it is all the bombardment by consumerism? Schools don’t help either when they take Nutrition out of the curriculum and only serve it up in bits and pieces, spread through various learning areas.

by Jannie van Zyl


by Glen

Hi Kelly. Thanks for replying.

Part of my response concerning grains referred to the Swedish dieticians’ typical recommendation of “eat more grains”. I guess you incorrectly got a reaction from me which was aimed towards the Swedish (and as often seen American) RD’s advice. My apologies.

Although I agree with you about the nutrient content being better in grains vs saturated (or PUFAs as you may know) fats the whole idea behind LCHF is that while eating LCHF style you should get the nutrients from the GREENS, seafoods (vegan and animal based) and meats.

If you look at GI problems, eliminating grains makes for a huge benefit for many people (purely anecdotal evidence from my part, and usually found out by seriously ill people after years of following RD’s advide to add more grains to the diet). If your best (listed as number 1) argument against LCHF is that cholesterol levels generally are rising on LCHF-style diets, then I think that you are way wrong.

Further on, more and more studies are clearly stating that a high intake of sat fats are NOT linked to heart disease and that we in the western world has been wrong since the 50’ies.

Concerning the allready healthy individuals a “balanced diet” (without unnecessary grains) could be right. For instance add starchy foods like potatoes and carrots (not generally an LCHF food group) and you would probably feel better. The main problem with a balanced diet is that most people can’t define “balanced”. Perhaps you can, but I don’t know what balanced means. Not everyone can visit a dietician to find out.

Finally (long answer here ;=)), I agree with the “whole food, prepare it yourself from ingredients you understand” idea and that an approach such as that would work very well for the majority of people except that very few follow the typical issued advice (at least in Sweden). Ditching all nutrient void foods including wheat and sugar containing foods and ready made foods would probably take away a lot of the problems we today face in the western world.

With best regards from a snowy Sweden.

PS. It is interesting to see that S.A. is now in the state where Sweden was some 4 years ago, with the debate raging. Something good will come out of it.

One very new example of a meta-analysis done on research suggesting fat-phobia is unnecessary:

by David Rhodes

I find it incredible that the reply I wrote yesterday was not published – even though the tests I suggested would be helpful to everyone. Remember: the low-fat debacle has fattened the world, made them more ill in the last thirty years than ever before and, believe it or not, no modern studies agree with it. The body needs natural fat, a small amount of protein, and not one single gram of carbohydrate. Unbelievable, I know, but the more reading you do on this, the more you’ll find it’s actually right.

by Andrew

I first stumbled across the “Noakes” approach to nutrition in his book Challenging Beliefs. The first thing that struck me was how compelling his argument was especially as he was having to publicly eat a large dose of humble pie.

My personal experience of LCHF is that it works. As a mid 30s males of slim build I went from 85kg to 79kg, and haven’t really increased my level of activity (I run 3 x a week), and yet my times are the same as 15 years previous when I was at my fittest.

As for your stance on the “Banting” diet: I think there is broad agreement on the issue of “clean” eating with natural/organic sources being favoured by both camps. The key contention is the carbs v fat as energy source debate and implications for long term health.

My understanding is that the infamous Ancel Keys study that has been essentially used by western governments to defend the balance myth is flawed and the claim that “high cholesterol” causes heart disease is also flawed with the argument being far more nuanced. Thus there is no clear evidence to support the claim of a balanced diet being automatically better than LCHF.

There are two of your points that do need to be challenged directly. The first is your reference to the University of Stellenbosch study. Opponents of Banting seized on this with glee but essentially what this study said was that anyone can lose weight by controlling calories (basic high school science!!). LCHF would not challenge this (it is fundamentally the basis on which Banters lose weight as well) but the key difference with Banting is that you don’t feel hungry and hence don’t feel the need to eat. So for the naysayers, who call it a fad the diet, Banting has far greater potential for long term success as if done properly you feel less hungry. Carbs (sugar) it seems are addictive and mess up the body’s homeostasis.

The second argument of yours with which I find a logical flaw is your admission that the Banting diet is ok for over-weight pre-diabetic men. Surely the obesity and diabetes epidemic that is ravaging the western world requires intervention BEFORE they reach this stage? As a Banting diet appears to be sustainable and suitable for a variety of different lifestyles surely start as you mean to go on?

by Warwick Fraser

Hi Kelly, I have read this blog with keen interest and must share with you my experiene. As of this morning I am 37kg’s lighter than I was 18 months ago, my Cholesterol is now within the acceptable levels (and I’m no longer on statins), my blood sugar is back to normal and my BP is also normal (no more BP meds). I was one of those “fat bellied, inactive, meat loving, not yet 50 – 60 yr olds” (close but not yet earned my cigar at 49). While I don’t agree with all that Tim Noakes says, I must give him credit for opening my eyes and changing the way I view food and my diet. As much as possible I have cut out breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potato and most of all, refined sugar. I have not increased my intake of fats but have also not cut this out of my diet. I don’t think I have seen anywhere where Noakes advocates increasing your fat intake and I think therein lies the problem and the controversy, I think many people grab onto what is NOT being said and typical of the South Efrican man, they chomp down on that lekka lamb tjopie vet en al, oblivious to the side effects because they are following their version of “Banting”. Agree with you wholeheartedly, it’s all about balance. It’s not diet, it’s a lifestyle thing. I find Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint very interesting and a great approach to healthy balanced lifestyle, especially where he says sex is good for your health. Anyways, I’m enjoying the “new” me, so much more energy, self confidence and hey being able to buy regular clothing and not shopping at Rent a Tent is an absolute bonus. So for me it’s all about moderation, except when it comes to healthy living, then go all out, after all we only get one body and one life to live, best we look after ourselves. Eat wholesome, natural foods and avoid all that processed junk that’s so in our faces and around every shopping aisle. Kind regards, W.

by dave

Amazing how hearsay is used to slate Kelly, but medical facts are disregarded when looking at Noakes.
2 see a dietician and see what works for you
3 or find what works for you.

I am not obese but as the rest of my family seems to have Diabetes, I settled on Exercise 5-6 days a week for 60 to 75 minutes to keep my weight down – down 14kgs from max.
I limit grains I limit fat I limit meat , i do not limit chocolate because I love chocolate, ok maybe I do. No diet will ever solve your problem,only a lifestyle will. I enjoy my food , by the way what it is processed food? What is fast food? I used to have a Nandos burger once a year but its actually better to eat a home roasted chicken with oven roasted veggies.
My plate is invariably more vegie than anything else, lost of garlic chilli and spices. I am limiting starch and have always believed in double cream yoghurt. I do not do supplements and do not have a doctor- he left the area about 6 years ago. I am 53.

by Stella

JUST EAT REAL FOOD! I think everyone has forgotten the basics of health and nutrition and who says Banting is for everyone? I don’t believe there is one single healthy diet for everyone, we are all different and YES, banting does work! But then life is full of choices, so make your own.

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Andrew

Point 1: Fat and fullness – I am very aware that this is the ‘key’ as they say fat keeps you fuller and then directly you eat fewer kcal and lose weight. One can do the same without ingesting animal fat, with whole carbs, protein and fat and have the same effect – and we know the long term risks. Do you know what the long term risks of a high animal fat diet are? I don’t and I would be WAY too scared to see if it were my body.

Point 2: Tim Noakes has categorically said that Banting is for IR/Pre-diabetic people – and being obese is a risk factor for IR/Diabetes. Teaching people to eat better is definitely essential to prevent them from becoming OBESE… But banting is not recommended for those who are not IR therefore those not obese!


by Kelly Lynch

Hi David

I have never ONCE recommended the LOW FAT WAY… Please read the blog and become more ofay with what clean eating is. Low fat foods are not clean as they are all processed.

Sho I am tired of writing the same thing to all you banters!


P.S If you believe that we (non-insulin resistant people) do not need a single gram of carbohydrate then great – I don’t at all! And studies have shown that the primary source of energy for the brain are carbs in people who have adequate pancreatic function- but WHOLE UNPROCESSED CLEAN Carbs!

by Sharon

Why do you assume that it is a lack of self-control that is the problem? Obviously you have never had to deal with a health issue and good luck to you. I had been told to “vreet less and exercise more” by a doctor. The Diabetes Clinic I attended gave me a daily breakdown of +- 50-60g of carbs per meal. I did “Banting” and after losing 8kg hit a plateau, did research and switched to a keto LCHF lifestyle. And by the by, I do an Aqua class everyday and swim on average 5km a week, so just how much additional exercise do you think I should have been doing? A LCHF lifestyle is healthy and sustainable and vegetables are eaten with every meal – it’s not all about meat and fats

by Janine Meyburgh

We have been following this way of life for over a year, after seeing a dietician, following a heart foundation diet for 2 years and getting sicker and fatter, with carbs to thank for all of our ills. In the last year we have seen weight FALL OFF, blood pressure drop, have energy now like never before in our adult life. Take your blinkers off before you kill your patients and yourself.

by Lauren W

Banting is 100% clean eating with moderate amounts of fat…enough to keep you fueled. Lots of leafy green veg…moderate protein and appropriate amounts of fat. Stay away from processed foods. Nowhere is it recommended to consumer ridiculous amounts of fat. Kelly, where is this perception coming from? I’d be super interested to know.

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Jannie

Yes balance – balance in ensuring one gets all the food groups, all the amino acids, fibre, all the vits, minerals, antioxidants etc etc. This can be achieved by eating all the groups, in their whole form daily. I am afraid if you find my advice ‘meaningless’ then choose to read another blog post. With regards to your last point – as I have said in all my replies – a balanced clean diet does NOT contain any refined or processed foods so no, no ’balanced between refined and unrefined carbs…


by Michelle

Banting is really neither a high fat nor a high protein ‘diet’. Ultimately a true Banter learns to eat moderate or ‘balanced’ amounts of fats/oils, proteins and low carbs from healthy vegetable sources, as well as from cuts of meat and oily fish and they are ultimately encouraged to abandon alcohols, sweet treats no matter whether they have been made with xylitol, stevia and 85% chocolate products and fruits apart from certain berries and even then ‘only occasionally’. Since I started Banting, I’ve regained energy levels I last experienced in my 20s and have experienced numerous health benefits which have proved to me that grains just aren’t for me. I focus on ensuring that I eat more Banting-permissible vegetables than protein in amounts larger than my fist and I avoid even Banting-friendly deserts. I occasionally eat Orange list starchy veg if I require a carb boost to avoid too low sugar levels and associated depressed mood levels. I have found I can survive on one full plate of food, daily, in accordance with Banting-recommended proportions for fats, proteins and low carbs and for the rest of the day, I can survive on what can only be called ‘Banting-permissible snack-style’ meals. Living in Europe, I’ve noticed an array of low-carb cook books and all feature oats as the only permissible grain in very small amounts to use as binding agents in breads and zucchini fritters. Beans, peas and lentils also feature but on the whole the low carb approach to eating is simply just another dietary option, and has not generated controversy or caused people to lash out at each other, as it has done is SA. My personal feeling is that this is because of the merchandising possibilities it offers entrepreneurs there and let’s face it, there can be no co-incidence in the fact that Sally Creed et al’s range of products was launched almost simultaneously with the launch of the “Real Meal Revolution”. Whoever designed the marketing of the Banting “lifestyle” must have achieved their Marketing qualification summa cum laude. I’ve objected strongly to the Banting specialist magazine’s use of a picture of a lemon meringue-style Banbting desert on the front cover for it’s first 2015 edition and straight after the Festive Season Fest of December, because we’ve all been accused of being ‘addicted’ to carbs, a highly loaded verb to be using. It makes no sense then to place the trigger substance under the noses of carb ‘addicts’ if you claim to be part of a movement genuinely interested in reducing South Africa’s soaring obesity and diabetes rates. It is for this reason alone that I too am wary of the theories behind Banting and the inflammatory terminology – “addicted”, “revolution” – I’ve seen used in an effort to persuade people to adopt the ‘lifestyle’, another clever tactic to differentiate this diet from all previous options to date, but I would not slam it outright. For me the real benefit of the Banting theory is that it has highlighted the fact that too many people get away with pronouncing on issues of health and what we should do for improved health, without really being called upon to prove that they have the best credentials to advise the public. Not even the medical fraternity can agree on what causes cholesterol levels to rise. It must be seriously considered that obesity levels and the incidence of so-called ‘Western diseases’ rose in direct proportion to the increasing availability of sugar-packed fast and ready-prepared foods, from Burger Joint-type options to those attractively packaged varieties available to purchase from up market and other supermarkets. I’m prepared to bet that the tsunami-like wave of fries, pastas, pizzas and burger buns as well as a vast range of factory-made confectionary is as guilty as excessive amounts of saturated fats in butter and pork crackling in contributing to obesity rates among adults and children alike post 1970’s. The increase in working mothers and the concomitant decrease in popularity of home cooking has also led to very bad eating habits and a poor knowledge of what truly constitutes nutritious food. Vegetarianism isn’t the answer either, as India’s reputation as the Diabetes capital of the world will attest.

by Lyn

HI Kelly
For 2 years I have been having a low sugar, high insulin problem. I was told I was insulin resistant, am not so sure anymore. I totally cut out carbs and ended up in hospital with very low sugars (the specialist could not work out why my sugar was so low) I figured it out myself. No matter what illness you have balance in your diet is key. All I know is cutting out carbs nearly killed me. I have less carbs now and have changed my diet more to a low GI diet which includes baby potatoes, low GI bread. provitas etc and have definitely had improved health with regards to the sugar issue

by Ryan

And what´s on my plate now days? Well, meat, poultry, fish, eggs , cheese, butter and vegetables, just avoided all the ones high in carbs/sugar… (all unprocessed)

Even a healthy person can eat this way!

How is that not balanced?

by Kelly Lynch

It is called a ‘low carb HIGH fat’ diet. So, fat is the meant to be the dominating food group of the diet – if you are doing it correctly.

by Kelly Lynch

Another one approved just to show my followers the ‘personal attacks’ – “Take your blinkers off before you kill your patients and yourself” – I am following the latest literature and ensuring that I recommend what has been recommended for diabetic and non-diabetic patients. I would be putting , my clients at risk if I were doing the opposite.

by Kelly Lynch

I thought I would approve this comment as the person states – “obviously you have never had to deal with a health issue and good luck to you” – I sit with patients every single day of my life and help them sort out their health problems. As you (Sharon) attended a diabetes clinic – that would make you a diabetic right? And if you re-read the blog you will see that I have stated that a LCHF diet does have a place – and that place is in diabetes management…?

by Kelly Lynch

You are not banting then – banting is a low carb HIGH fat diet Ryan. The blog post discussed why I believe a LCHF diet is not balanced – I did not say what you are eating is not balanced.

by Kelly Lynch


Thanks for your words – it is amazing how angry and personal some of the replies have been… Doesn’t faze me though – I believe that we all have a choice, so let everyone do what they believe is right… I hoped to just shed some professional light on the whole matter!



by LVW

Kelly, I couldn’t agree more with you.

I am amazed at the time and effort some people put into their replies and comments trying to contradict your opinion – usually if I don’t agree with something I just ignore or scroll pass. Unless I am trying to convince myself of something….But I will take the time to support a relevant topic.

Anyways, as a health professional I am blown away at this Banting issue. As you’ve mentioned, it has it’s place, but that’s about it!

I am all for healthy, clean, balanced eating.

And I have loads of respect for you, for putting yourself in the line of fire by tackling this topic head on.

Stand strong…

by Sven

I guess one big problem here is that there are a large portion of the population who walk around being insulin resistant and are actually thin and healthy looking people. So how do you find out if this is an issue in time?

I am now in my mid 30’s, I have been eating pretty much what I like for the first 30 years of my life and not had any weight gain at all. My brother told me “once you hit 30 the belly will come!” Sure enough It started to creep up on me so I had to do something about it. LCHF has been the only thing that worked for me. I am not diabetic or sick in the healthcare sense of the word so according to your stance LCHF would be a potential danger hazard.

The issue I am facing is that if I start to eat “moderate” amounts of carbohydrates (what would be considered a normal serving of rice with my meal for example) ALL the cravings start coming back. Its impossible to walk past an isle in the supermarket with candy without stopping and longing to eat the whole damn thing. Which I can do and have no problems avoiding if I keep the carb count low.

How do I fit into your world?

by Michelle C

One thing that I have noticed with Banters is that they look 10 years older than before they started banting and they do not look healthy. Take a look at people who eat organic fruit, organic veg, organic dairy, good fats and some Organic free range animal protein and organic pulses – These people glow and they look young and healthy. Just saying!

by Janet

Hello Kelly, thank you for this article = EXCELLENT! Don’t let the negative comments and criticism get to you, it’s par for the course – don’t give up the brilliant work. Best regards.

by Michelle

One thing that I have noticed with Banters is that they look 10 years older than before they started banting and they do not look healthy. Take a look at people who eat organic fruit, organic veg, organic dairy, good fats and some Organic free range animal protein and organic pulses – These people glow and they look young and healthy. Just saying!

by Kelly Lynch

Please then tell the public how much fat they should be having? Another example of what a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of flawed!

by Rosemarie Heald

Hi Kelly,
It is a great pity that you did not attend the Old Mutual Health Convention at the CTICC last week 19-22 Feb. It was an ideal platform for young bright minds like you to engage with the very people whose research results you are putting into disrepute. You could have perhaps picked huge holes into their arguments with all the recent research reading you have done.
So, WHERE WERE YOU? This could even have boosted your credits with the Medical Council by 29 points.
Have more courage in future and engage with the scientists who swim against the stream and bring them back to the fold or perhaps learn something different to what textbooks have taught you.
Before making sweeping statements about other professionals on your blog it may be wise to enter into good scientific debate with them personally so they have an opportunity to show you their thought paths that took them to their conclusions.
By the way have you read Prof. Noakes’ books?
Have you read articles/ research by Zoe Harcombe, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jay Wortman, Dr. Eric Westman?
It may take you on a different journey or you may continue with what you trust to be true, but don’t base your judgements on hearsay. It is beneath you and not professional.

by Michelle

Hi Kelly, I am a dietitian working at the CDE and all I can say is ‘well said’. You articulated everything that I have been wanting to express. Well done for taking this on and standing firm. :-)

by Sven

Not true actually. A LCHF meal should look like this: A small serving of protein based food, can be meat, eggs, poultry the same amount as what is recommended by everyone else. A generous serving of vegetables low in carbs, added to this fat to reach satiety. The serving of fat can vary considerable from person to person.

by Ultra Ketone

I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.
I’m going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
I subscribed to your Feed as well.

by Chloe7

Kelly, why is it called ‘clean eating’ – plse elaborate. Just interested in that adjective.

by Kelly Lynch

Leigh – thanks for your comments.

I have to highlight one of your lines ; “Skepticism drives scientific investigation; militancy halts it!” BRILLIANTLY PUT!

May the most scientifically proven dietary style win :) I have to say, I believe it will be most balanced one.

by Leigh

Hi Kelly

The best scientists are skeptics, constantly questioning their own views and opinions, and constantly trying to disprove their own assumptions. The only way that nutritional science and dietetics can make progress towards helping people to be healthier is to constantly question assumptions and try to prove themselves right – or wrong.

Which is why I find banters so interesting. There’s no leeway in their absolute militancy that banting is right. Which is why you end up being personally attacked for questioning their beliefs – and I don’t have any qualms calling them ‘beliefs’ more routed in faith in a charismatic leader than true scientific rigour; there are still too many questions left unanswered. For instance, banters seem to believe that gut microbiota can provide all the nutrients absent from the diet when banting. This has in no way been proven. Gut flora seem to be pretty astounding but asserting sans evidence that they provide you with essential nutrients? Sounds sketchy.

My point is this: skepticism drives scientific investigation; militancy halts it.

If anything, this banting thing has given researchers a great reason to investigate further and improve our understanding of the role of nutrients in the diet. Therefore, as you say, keeping up with the latest literature is the only rational response. Unfortunately, when irrational people who follow fads have their beliefs questioned, the irrational response is personal attacks. They cannot prove their assumptions correct so resort to ad hominem.

Thanks for the great post. Your efforts at rationality are appreciated by some few.

Kind regards

by Dee

Hi Kelly, My experience with eating a LCHF diet has been very positive. It does work for me. I lost 25kgs and have maintained my weight for 9 months. It is a lifestyle that I choose to stay on. ALL foods contain carbs, so it is the LOW CARB grams that we need to count. The fats definitely helps with cravings and help me to feel satiated. I now know that processed foods create more hunger due to the manufacturers manipulating the taste to create that instant bliss spot. So eating Real good Food is a throw back to my parent’s days where there was not much processed foods and we ate a lot of fatty meats. Take a walk down the isles of your supermarket and anyone will realise that 80% of the shelves contain processed foods and more come onto the market by the dozens each week! My bloods test are ALL good- I have them done last year and again this year. My GP is astonished at the results. I am full of energy.

by Yvonne

Thank you for your balanced blog post. It has clarified a lot of issues for me. I just find it so pathetic that people jump in to comment simply because you are not advocating something that they believe to be true. They don’t even bother to read the full post first.

by Kelly Lynch

Hi Chloe

It is called Clean Eating because it entails unprocessed food – so man has not added or taken anything out of the food. It is therefore as ‘clean’ as nature intended:)

Kelly x

by Duncan

Dear Kelly, WELL SAID!!! You are absolutely on the button!!

by Haris George

Great article. Keep doing.

by B

I am about 15 kgs overweight and I tried banting. Yes, I lost weight, but I turned into a person that I didn’t even recognise. I have clinical depression and am on medication. I was on edge constantly. I gave up after a week. I know that’s a very short time to give something a chance, but since I have been fighting to feel normal for most of my life with my depression, I wasn’t willing to make everyday harder for me to cope

by Radiant Detox Reviews

Awesome article.

by August

Hi Kelly! Well done for courageously speaking about what an imbalanced diet Banting is. Followers seem to be obsessed like Marilyn Manson’s clan. All the skinny people I know seem to eat carbohydrates ( ‘good carbs’) and the fretting banters are still fat as 100 kilos of body weight in a five foot six inch person is still fat regardless of the 100 kilos they have already lost. What also bothers me about this silly fad is the lack of fruit and then having to take vitamins and other supplements to make up for the loss of natural food. I don’t think fatsos got fat by gorging on fruit, whole grain bread , lentils, brown rice and veggies!
Anyway, Kelly, kudos to you!!

by Amber Dannhauser

Dear Kelly,
Elated to read your blog! I am a South African living in in the Gulf, and was fortunate enough to be meet a wonderful nutritionist here who promotes clean eating. I have always struggled with binging, digestive issues etc. Since pirsuing clean eating and a predominantly alkaline diet, I have had almost zero cravings and feel so healthy. There are a large number of South Africans here in the Middle East who pursue Banting. When one gets together socially it is almost all that people who follow Banting talk about. It has been a diet that has just not made sense to me intuitively, so I have appreciate your scientific input. Keep up the good work! Hope you can promote clean eating in a big way!

by Kezia Kent

Would be interesting to see the response this blog post would have with people who have perhaps tried banting, got to their goal weight and have started introducing more balanced eating with all food groups to maintain a healthy weight. Just as a dietician would of recommended in the first place.

by Kelly Lynch

Thank you for your encouragement Fawny:)

by Fawny

Kelly, well done for trying to enlighten people. Most people obviously don’t even read properly and can’t comprehend what you are putting plainly and simply. Why even worry about these Banters, they’re going to land up going to dietitians for proper advice in the long run, so your business will grow…..Ignore the comments written by supposedly educated people.

by Drico Volschenk

I am so glad that there is still people that can actually grasp the reality. Thank you Kelly for being normal. I do powerlifting training, and I have never met a fellow lifter on a Banting diet and still be healthy and fit enough to compete

by Sanda Komane

I did the banting diet and lost 20 kgs , however as a vegetarian the diet is difficult to maintain. I have taken principles in maintaining my weight loss like staying away from processed foods. I have noticed improvements in my bowel movements since adding grains. I have never valued balance since now , I also agree that balance is key

by Nick

I have been a banter for 4 years and it has been in an interesting journey. My excess weight (only about 5kg) fell off in about a month and it stayed that way for about a year, I then started extreme exercising (triathlon at half iron man level) and bizarrely without making any conscious changes to my diet I started slowly putting on weight. No sports bars or energy drinks whatsoever. I have since slowed down on exercise and in the past 18 months have gained 10kg leaving me heavier than ever and still no change in my banting diet. Maybe hitting my 30’s? Much confusion! So many voices and everyone is CONVINCED that their belief is the right one.

Kelly, would love to see you write something about the relationship between weight loss and exercise, the calories in calories out theory which is hotly debated topic in the wake of the ‘banting revolution.’

by Kelly Lynch

Sandra balance is the hardest thing for humans to try and grasp hey?
Keep working at it – it is a journey x