Endorsed by sports scientist Prof Tim Noakes, the Banting lifestyle is recommended long-term to combat or reverse a range of lifestyle diseases. But how does it perform for the very active?
What’s key to this eating plan is that it “keeps blood insulin and glucose concentrations low”. Noakes believes once you “cut the carbs”, your brain should point you in the direction of more fat or protein.
LCHF at work in the body
In a 2013 occasional survey, 127 subjects reported numerous benefits of this eating plan: weight losses of 5-84kg; elimination of medication for type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension & hypercholesterolaemia; reduced medication for types I & II diabetes mellitus and hypertension; and eliminated irritable bowel syndrome symptoms (8 respondents). Noakes concluded that although it was well documented that better weight-loss was possible on LCHF than on HCLF, a clinical trial was needed to disprove it being able to reverse type II diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and hypertension.
Celeb athlete: Like most retired athletes, international field hockey player Mark Pearn spent his career following a high-carb diet. Having recently started Banting, he reports better sleep, digestion and weight management, as well as less inflammation. However, he approached Noakes about his inability to reach “top gear” on the field in elite-level club matches. The feedback: to increase his carb intake slightly the night before big games.