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Banting & Atkins Diet Origin

Written by Dr Arien

‘The one thing we all have in common is that we are all unique’

Certain diet trends might work for some people, but they’re definitely not one size fits all! Some might even develop very high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, putting them in serious high health risk groups. Super foods to support any weight loss program, can be selected to suit each individual’s optimal nutritional requirements.

Tim Noakes’ eating plan is not new at all – prescribed in 1861 by a Harley Street surgeon Mr William Harvey, with great success to an obese London undertaker, Mr William Banting – more appropriately named the Harvey-Banting diet. The diet is also based on the Paleo diet (paleolythic diet of our free roaming and cave dwelling, hunter-gatherer ancestors). Paleo and Banting diets typically consist of fresh fish, meat from grass and pasture fed animals, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, mushrooms, roots, nuts. It excludes what are perceived to be agricultural products: grains, legumes, dairy, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. This whole story is so open to both confusion and logical debate! For example, if you can eat the meat of grass fed cattle, why can’t you drink the milk from grass fed cows, rich in CLA and grass nutrients?? Broccoli is healthy, but also an agricultural product, as are legumes….these did grow wild in caveman days – wonder about the cows, though!! Common sense my dear, common sense and fresh produce – my only rhetorical comment!!

‘Banting’ was the standard treatment for weight loss in all the major European and North American medical schools for nearly 100 years until it suddenly went out of fashion after 1959 when it was deleted from all the major medical and nutritional textbooks, to be replaced by the low fat, high carbohydrate, so called ‘heart healthy’ diet of the then consensus reality to promote the cereals of big industry! Dr Robert Atkins re-discovered ‘banting’ in 1974 and his name is now incorrectly used as if he was the first to describe this eating plan.

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