Furthering my review of The Real Meal Revolution Part 3 – Banting Diet
Let me repeat myself, I do like this eating plan. Replacing carbohydrate with fats as an energy source in our diet is a good thing. It is not a new idea, it is one that has been resurrected by the authors.
Interestingly, Mr Banting’s booklet stirred up a lot of controversy when he published it. It put the medical noses out of joint, something like today.
The more I read the book the more disappointed I become especially with Noakes. The other authors never claim to be scientists so a book written by them that was a marketing tool is accepted. However, Noakes puts his name to this book and it’s pseudo-science and tries to legitimise it. It is no wonder that his peers are criticising him, unfortunately he deserves it. I personally am very disappointed in him.
I want to discuss Carbohydrate Intolerance and Insulin Resistance.
Carbohydrate Intolerance. The Merck Manual says this about it ‘Carbohydrate intolerance is the inability to digest certain carbohydrates due to a lack of one or more intestinal enzymes. Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal distension, and flatulence. Diagnosis is clinical and by an H2 breath test. Treatment is removal of the causative disaccharide from the diet.’ The most common being lactose (milk) intolerance.
You will notice the symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance, diarrhoea, abdominal distension, and flatulence, no weight gain. No weight gain because the body is unable to absorb the specific carbohydrate at all. It stays in the intestine and therefore cannot be used by the body in any way and cannot contribute to weight gain or any other bodily function except diarrhoea.
Insulin resistance is a real condition. Insulin resistance is the excuse the doctors give their overweight and obese patients to make them feel better about their condition. I have heard it so often, ‘The doctor says I am insulin resistant that is why I am overweight’. Another way of saying, ‘It’s not my fault I am fat’. I feel like finding the doctor and slapping him or her a few times. You do not get fat because you are insulin resistant, you are insulin resistant because you are fat. This is an important distinction. The first, ‘I am fat because I am insulin resistant’, indicates there is nothing I can do about my weight. The second ‘I am fat and that has caused my insulin resistance’, indicates this is a reversible condition, all I have to do is lose weight.
Insulin resistance is the cells protective mechanism prevent excessive amount of glucose entering the cell. Glucose it cannot use or store. Glucose that would be detrimental to it if it were to enter the cell. From the individual cells point of view, let someone else deal with the excess glucose in the body. Reduce the amount of glucose and the problem goes away. To do this replace carbohydrates with fats, which are broken down slower resulting in a more stable glucose blood levels. Too much fats, however, will also result in too much glucose in the blood and result in insulin resistance.
Noakes says as he and other athletes such as Bruce Fordyce got older and put on weight they became insulin resistant. If it were the other way around they would have had issues with the problem when they were much younger. As they got older the intensity of their training dropped yet they probably continued on the same diet, ie their energy input stayed the same yet their energy output has dropped. I had a mountain bike accident and broke my shoulder so I haven’t been able to do any exercise for 3 months. I have continued to eat the same as before and have put on a few kilograms, and I use this type of eating plan, and have done so for years, and have never put on weight, because my energy input and output were in balance, now they aren’t.
As I said in the beginning, I like this eating plan. I have been doing it for years. The book is a marketing exercise and is full of inaccuracies and I am sorry I wasted my money on it. The recipes are good though.
For me the inaccuracies and pseudo-science of this book is a real problem. It casts doubt on a legitimate eating plan which has now been tainted by this book.