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Banting diet: What to eat and not to eat

The good, and the not-so-good of banting.

When it comes to a new fad diet or trend, we’re not easily convinced – nope, not at all. But with a lot of chatter in the health world surrounding the rather old, but new Banting Diet, which claims fat is not the enemy and weight loss is easy, we admittedly perked up and wanted to know more.

So what is all the fuss about? Well firstly, it’s not to be confused with the Paleo Diet though they both do encourage eating “real” foods rather than processed and refined food-like substances. The name is derived from Mr William Banting himself, a London undertaker who in 1861 was prescribed a weight loss plan that consisted of low carbohydrate, high fat food (LCHF).

But it wasn’t until Dr Robert Atkins appeared with his famous Atkins Diet in 1972, did eating fat start to rise in popularity. Since then the diet has been dusted off and re-worked, and now with banting-friendly restaurants popping up all over South Africa and social media goers like Banting Babe giving it a try, it seems everyone is on-board the banting train.

The Banting Rules

There are no tedious recipes or complex calculations with this one – the principles are simple: eat foods that are high in fat, low in carbohydrates and are medium in protein. Only eat when you’re hungry and stop when satisfied. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, before you sign along the dotted lines there are a few big no’s to be mindful about. There is no sugar, no grains (of any kind), no fruit or very little, and definitely no snacking allowed. You can also say goodbye to that afternoon beer or cider, too.

But what you can do is, embrace the love for foods like avocados, coconut oil, eggs, fatty fish (these are the good fats). And be sure to stock up on proteins like salmon, lentils and chicken. Dairy foods such as yoghurt, milk and cheese are okay (phewf!).

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