What will the Next Diet Revolution be?

Even though the Banting or LCHF diet is in the spotlight due to the “trial” of Tim Noakes for advice given by him about the feeding of an infant, this is definitely not at the forefront of dietary research. I have only recently become aware of this research last week on the BBC Science Program on BBC Earth hosted by Dara ‘o Briain where scientists at the cutting edge of research are invited to discuss the latest breakthroughs in various fields. This interview dealt with the effects of our gut bacteria, one of which related to dieting. As if to endorse these findings, this week’s online edition on Time Magazine covers the same topic. [Note: The printed version did not carry this story as the two editions carry different articles]

Main picture: Is this still on your menu?

What is one of the greatest impediments to scientific breakthroughs especially in the medical field? It is the compartmentalisation of knowledge into various disciplines. The extent of his professional hubris is evident in the Noakes case. One of the charges relates to his providing dietary advice. Being only registered as a General Practitioner, Tim Noakes is thus not entitled to provide dietary advice. Only registered dieticians are allowed to dispense such suggestions.

Dr Barry Marshall also faced the opprobrium of the medical profession when, in 1985, he proposed that the cause of peptic ulcers was not diet or stress related, but was caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Being a lowly physician and not an endocrinologist, this discovery was treated with disdain by the medical profession. How could a physician develop a theory regarding the cause the peptic ulcers? The prevailing dogma was too engrained!

Dr Barry Marshall

Dr Barry Marshall

In Noakes’ case, he did not develop the LCHF diet. He is just popularising it. In his engaging autobiography, Noakes gives full credit to Gary Traub and his book The Diet Delusion, to expose the fallacy of the current scientific dogma in the is regard. Yet even as an evangelist for the Banting Diet, Noakes is being crucified.

Vital breakthroughs as the reason why cholesterol is oxidised and hence “toxic” to the body have recently been uncovered. The culprit is insulin. The ultimate villain is none other than carbohydrate. The sequence of events has now been decoded. The continuous consumption of excessive quantities of carbohydrates causes the over-secretion of insulin. In large continuous doses, insulin is detrimental to cholesterol, oxidising it in the process.

According to Time Magazine:

In the new study, published this month in the journal Cell, a team of Israeli researchers looked at a variety of biomarkers in 800 people between the ages of 18 and 70. For one week, the men and women wore devices that measured their blood sugar levels every five minutes. They also used a mobile app to closely record their food intake, sleep and exercise. In addition, they filled out questionnaires about their health, and provided blood and stool samples for testing. 

One of species of gut microbiota: Clostridium butyricum

One of species of gut microbiota: Clostridium butyricum

The researchers found that blood sugar levels varied widely among people after they ate, and these levels were highly variable even when the researchers had the people eat the exact same meal. Sometimes a food that would result in low blood sugar for one person would cause high blood sugar for another. This information, they argue, suggests umbrella recommendations for how to eat don’t do the trick.

What the researchers believe could be responsible for these differences is the microbiome—trillions of bacteria that live in the gut and differ wildly from person to person. Another recent study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that even if they exercised and ate the same amount, an adult in 2006 is heavier than one in 1988. The study authors also suggested that changes in the microbiome could be at play, amid other possibilities.

Pasta is not on the Banting Diet Plan

Pasta is not on the Banting Diet Plan

“We are only just beginning to explore how the complex microbiome influences our physiology and health,” says study author Jennifer Kuk, a professor of kinesiology and health science at York University. “This [new study] is another that shows promising evidence that the microbiome may play an important role in how we regulate body weight and could be a novel target for future weight loss interventions.”

Tim Noakes

Tim Noakes

If this breakthrough does not assist in weight reduction, then there is another possible solution but it is not even on the horizon yet. It is one’s genetics. Don’t hold your breath as there are no indications yet that gene manipulation is a possible solution.

Should gene therapy not assist in weight reduction, then you know the answer.

You are over-eating.


Not only are Cokes full of sugar but so are fruit juices. Surprisingly both are as detriment to one’s health as the other

There are no more excuses.

Just eat that celery stick and try and enjoy it!

Or eat fat according to Tim Noakes.



Book: Tim Noakes – Challenging Beliefs [Autobiography]

Book: Gary Traub – The Diet Delusion [I will gladly lend anybody my copy but it not light bedtime reading]

Online article: Time Magazine – Why Losing Weight Is So Hard for Some People



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